Chapter

Sustainable Development and the Accumulation of Capital: Reconciling the Irreconcilable?

Ted Benton

in Fairness and Futurity

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599064 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294891.003.0009
 Sustainable Development and the Accumulation of Capital: Reconciling the Irreconcilable?

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Here Ted Benton gives a guarded welcome to the normative intentions of sustainable development, arguing that its commitment to the poor as well as to the meeting of future generations’ needs are worth building on. He exposes, though, the deep tensions between these normative commitments and the key tendencies and features of the global economy. In his view, there is a ‘dynamic tendency’ in market systems for over‐exploitation. This can be counteracted, he suggests, by using the normative foundations in sustainable development to argue for radical changes in economic organization and ideology. Benton also argues for a reconceptualization of the idea of ‘need’, suggesting that it take account of demands made on behalf of non‐human nature.

Keywords: economic organisation; exploitation; future generations; markets; nature; need; norms; poverty; sustainable development

Chapter.  10622 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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