Economic growth as a yardstick for a government's success is relatively new on a human historical scale. In my thinking it has arisen out of an expansion of the expected function of a state. States at a minimum are expected to uphold the rule of law and protect its people and its interests. Economic growth arose out of the need to implement not just criminal justice but also social justice. Now with globalisation and the breakneck speed with which developing countries are growing economically, economic growth is so deeply entrenched. However, it is possibly unsustainable and as things stand culturally and environmentally harmful.
Are there ways to either - eschew growth in favour of something better
- constrain and direct growth in a way that is culturally and environmentally sensitive?