Douglas Rushkoff on How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity


In lieu of an episode of our podcast this week, (I’m still debating whether to post every week or every other week) I thought I’d point to this inspiring lecture by media thoughtstylist Douglas Rushkoff. You simply must listen to this talk, entitled “How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity,” and let us know what you think!

The lecture is an indictment of the cult of individualism, the false promises of the “sharing” economy and the extractive mentality of “platform monopolies” like Uber and Facebook. Rushkoff’s sincerity and enthusiasm is infectious. Speaking of the hyper-rich class of CEOs he says, “They’re doing evil in their companies so they can have a goat share and send their kids to Rudolf Steiner school. But why not make the world a place where you would want your kids to actually be?”

Rushkoff shows us how we can get out of this mess and into that world we want our kids to live in, though cooperation, by working on a small scale and through developing tools that use the promise of the sharing economy to lift all boats rather than make a few people in Silicon Valley rich.

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  1. Thank you for posting this! I loved the talk! Well well worth the time to hear what DR has to say on this topic. We need to hear more things like this instead of the usual blah, blah, blah.

  2. Not easy to understand/follow but what I did grasp was mindblowing. 18 minutes in before I started to get it. I think this could melt some of the polarization between fiscal right and left. We need this and it’s timely. Makes me want to read some more history as well.

    • Rushkoff’s books are also worth reading–they are well written and, over the years, I’ve come to trust his ideas and predictions. There’s also a Frontline episode he did a few years back worth viewing.

  3. I ended up listening to this twice through. Very insightful and exactly how I have been feeling about this so-called advanced world system that we live in. I don’t think we really understand or want to accept just how programed we have become in the past 50+ years. And it is so easy to fall for the rhetoric we have been handed ever since we were children. “Never leave your brains on the doorstep when you go someplace.” “Question everything.” Thank you for the link to this post.

  4. I’m familiar with Rushkoff’s work and quite intimate with the Google bus controversy since it continues to unfold right outside my front window here in San Francisco.

    In order for Rushkoff’s vision for a better world to materialize we (many millions of us individually) need to make radically different choices about where and how to live and how to organize our personal affairs. That’s a really high bar to clear.

    Waiting for the government or corporate America to transform into something substantialy different is a lost cause.

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