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16, 자본주의의 교리

돈은 제국 건설과 과학 진흥에 필수적이었다. 하지만 돈이 이 모든 일의 궁극적 목표일까, 아니면 단지 위험한 필수품일 뿐일까? 근대사에서 경제의 진정한 역할을 파악하기는 쉽지 않다. 어떻게 돈이 국가를 세우고 망하게 하며, 새로운 지평선을 열고, 수백만 명을 노예로 만들고, 산업의 바퀴를 돌리고, 동식물 수백 종을 멸종으로 몰아갔는지에 대해 기술한 두꺼운 책은 많다. 하지만 근대 경제사를 알기 위해서 정말로 이해할 필요가 있는 단어는 하나밖에 없다. '성장growth'이란 단어다. 좋을 때나 나쁠 때나,아플 때나 건강할 때나, 근대 경제는 마치 호르몬이 넘쳐나는 십대처럼 성장해왔다. 찾을 수 있는 모든 것을 먹어치우고, 우리가 짐작하는 것보다 늘 몇 센티미터 더 많이 자랐다. 

 

16. the Capitalist Creed

MONEY HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL BOTH FOR building empires and for promoting science. But is money the ultimate goal of these undertakings, or perhaps just a dangerous necessity? It is not easy to grasp the true role of economics in modern history. Whole volumes have been written about how money founded states and ruined them, opened new horizons and enslaved millions, moved the wheels of industry and drove hundreds of species into extinction. Yet to understand modern economic history, you really need to understand just a single word. The word is growth. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, the modern economy has been growing like a hormone-soused teenager. It eats up everything it can find and puts on inches faster than you can count.

 

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