I can’t help but think that it is an oddly ironic slogan to appear in an economic crisis. Is the Quaker Oatmeal guy trying to give us some socioeconomic encouragement? Is he trying to tell us to “get back into the game” and buy/consume more?
We all could use a cheerleader from time to time, right? When times get tough it’s nice to have someone on our side to rally us “into the game.” As time gets tough economically, who better than the Quaker Oatmeal guy, right?
However, traditional Quakers have strong beliefs in equality, simplicity and fairness. The way the “developed” world is consuming natural capital is hardly fair when our political and economic policies are easily placing the next there to four generations in debt. This “go go go” attitude is pushing us to build monstrous homes that people cannot afford and hit limits in everything we continue to enforce growth upon. As the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) says [emphasis added]:
According to data from the Global Footprint Network, the footprint of all nations exceeded the biological capacity of the planet in the mid- to late 1980s. Societies have been accumulating ecological debt by drawing down natural capital to keep the economy growing.
This is something a true Quaker would find contemptible, not admirable.
I say not “Go Humans Go,” but “Steady Humans Steady.” Don’t put the wagon before the horse there, kids, we’ve reached our limit! The economic downturn presents an opportunity for us to re-tool to a sustainable way of living: one that a Quaker would truly approve of and grandchildren will appreciate. Let’s support Steady State policies and push for a political change!