In the mathematical models proposed by the economic sciences, the market is depicted as a closed circular flow between production and consumption. In this system, every part serves a function; every element has a purpose. Most importantly, in this system, growth is limitless. Economists know the model has no basis in reality, yet they continue to posit it - as if willingly blinded by the elegance of their own creation. But the responsibility for this view is not attributable to economists alone: the fact is people want to believe it.
Although Virtuous Circle I and Virtuous Circle II participate in this delusion, we did make modest attempts to navigate away from the status quo. Our initial interest was to explore the relationship between economic growth and biological development. We wondered whether increases in economic activity necessarily resulted in death and decay. This line of thought led us to link the desire for economic growth to the construction of “the developing world,” and to suggest new indicators to explain social and economic development. Despite an arbitrary appearance, these indicators are the result of extensive research into the inhibited forces that fuel the capitalist obsession with progress, where every movement forward is the negation of a corresponding fear of spiralling into barbarism.
Virtuous Circle I and Virtuous Circle II (2009)