Thursday, September 22, 2011

Poverty, Property and Profit

The scam of the slogan People, Planet and Profit

I was writing an article about sustainability and the Green Economy, and then I wrote People, Planet, Profit a common way of explaining both the concept of sustainability and the so called Triple Bottom Line
Some examples of the use
People Planet Profit
Green & Sustainable Business News | Triple Pundit
People, Planet and Profit - Special Report - CNBC

BUT WAIT A SECOND!!!! Look at it once more, what are the three words,  
People, Planet and Profit
Doesn't Profit stick out on a totally different level than the two others. People and Planet are BIG things, it is about the World, the Meaning of Life, Eternity etc. Profit is just a little mechanism in our society. A mechanism that has almost no role in the history of mankind, only the last 200 years it has been lifted to some organisational principle for a lot of things. And still it is not at all what drives most of human enterprise. It is not want want us to rise in the morning, to take care of our children or to love. So frankly speaking it is absurd to put Profit as a word on the same level as People and Planet. If the word had been Love, I would buy it.  Or if the word had been Prosperity, I would see it as at least a lot better.

The use of formulas like People, Planet and Profit is really a very seductive way of spreading a vision of that profit is a noble thing, the ideology of capitalism.

No profit belongs to another triad, Poverty, Property and Profit

Having said that, I want to underline, again and again, that it is very good if companies shift their production from dirty and brown to green and clean. That is not what I take issue with. The issue here is that slogans like this makes us believe that we can solve most of our problems by applying the same principle that actually created the problems in the first place. Green Economy, Green production and Green Consumption are all good - I coincidentally earn my living from them as well. But it must be repeated again and again. They are hardly THE SOLUTION.

Some related posts
Which values do we support with our slogans?
Green Economy a win-win-win?
Beyond Sustainability

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