chapter  4
Choosing a planet of life
ByEileen Crist
Pages 14

This chapter explains why a steady state economy is completely incompatible with neoliberalism and at best an uneasy bedfellow with capitalism. It concludes that building new institutions that stimulate cooperation will be more effective than trying to force the steady state economy into a capitalist framework. The argument for a steady state economy is currently associated with ecological economics (EE), and emerges unavoidably from the core paradigms and goals of that field. The basic tenets of capitalist ideology, and hence its perspective on the steady state, emerge from the paradigm and goals of neoclassical economics (NCE), the mainstream economic theory. Capitalism and neoliberalism, together with the policies and cultural traits that have emerged around them, appear to undermine the cooperative behaviors required to achieve a steady state economy. Rather than trying to shoehorn the steady state into the capitalist economy, we should instead be striving to create institutions that stimulate cooperation.