Interview with Ole Bjerg

Ole Bjerg is associate professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He writes for the ephemera Journal and is one of the organizers of the conference “Organizing for the post-growth economy”. He gave us a short interview for the Stream towards Degrowth.  

Imagine we’re living in the future, say in the year 2030, in a time of well-being. Humanity
enjoys a good life beyond economic growth. Let’s look back at the last few decades.

1. In what respect did society depend on growth?
Society depends on the growth of living organisms, plants and animals. However, this kind of growth is taking place within a natural cycle of life and death so that nothing grows infinitely.

2.What obstacles impeded a turning away from economic growth?
The major obstacle was the creation of money by banks as interest bearing debt. As soon as this obstacle was overcome through a monetary reform the need for perpetual economic growth became obsolete.

3. How did your actions contribute to a society beyond growth?
Through my writing and teaching I played an active role in raising the awareness of the detrimental effects of the past monetary system and the benefits of the implementation of a new system based on full reserve banking.

4. From your point of view, what does well-being imply in a society that consciously chose low production and consumption levels?
Freedom in the sense of being in control and in contact with the means of one’s own subsistence.

5. Which signs for a world beyond growth did you already notice in 2013?
That the dollar is approaching its collapse, which will force a reconfiguration of our systems of money, finance and banking.