Abstract: The history of GDP is that of the quest for power that continues to affect our political life nowadays. It was initially employed as ‘war machine’ in the Second World War and then used as a propaganda device during the bipolar rivalry between capitalism and the Soviet empire. At the political level, the power of GDP has impoverished democracy by glorifying the role of technocrats and business, turning politics into a matter for experts. This paper recounts the history of GDP to show its intimate connection with the power struggle of the 20th century.
Keywords: GDP; power; war; markets; economists; globalization.
This paper is part of the Special Session “Degrowth and History. Economics, Sustainability, Power”
This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Degrowth and history – Economics, sustainability, power” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.