Re: cars – what’s the big deal?
Evolution is random mutations filtered by natural selection. These things do not apply to the economy.
People can profit emotionally but I’m talking about physical profit. If a company (or an individual) makes a profit (that is, takes in more than the cost of production – including resource costs, labour costs, taxes, operating costs, etc), then that profit will be spent on something eventually (otherwise there is absolutely no point in making that profit). This translates to growth.
Every living thing does not have to make a profit to survive. If I expend more than the energy I take in, I die. If it’s the other way round, I get very fat and then probably die. A balance is the key. Growth is unsustainable. If people could actually understand this, we could actually start to move towards sustainability.
Our currently constructed free market cannot possibly avoid collapse unless it morphs to something that avoids growth and avoids consumption of resources beyond renewal rates. That you can’t imagine a society that can avoid collapse doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. It will certainly be highly localised and almost certainly more equitable. More akin to the gift economies of hunter/gatherers, I suspect.