discussion for society class 2 : Solution Essays

  • What is the “culture of capitalism,” and what are its components? How is the culture of capitalism a “society of perpetual growth”?
  • What is a commodity? What is commodification, and, as discussed in the textbook’s assigned chapter, why is commodification essential to the culture of capitalism (that is, to the “society of perpetual growth”)? How is “debt money” represent a “magical principle” that is essential to the culture of capitalism and society of perpetual growth?
  • Describe water as an example of commodification and its environmental and social repercussions, as conceptualized in “The story of stuff” and discussed in this week’s “water” assignments.
  • How did profit become the measure of progress? What is the critique of GDP, and how does it pertain to the idea of profit as the measure of progress? How do profit as a measure of progress and the critique of GDP pertain to “The story of stuff,” “The litter myth,” “The constant consumer,” “Affluenza,” and the assigned textbook chapter?
  • How is the “Genuine Progress Indicator” (GPI) arguably a better alternative to GDP and profit as the measure of progress? What are the component indicators of the GPI?

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  1. GPCC, Part One, “Introduction: The Consumer, the Laborer, the Capitalist, and the Nation-State in the Society of Perpetual Growth”
  2. What is “commodification”? (Links to an external site.) (scroll to the definition)  
  3. The story of water (Links to an external site.)
  4. How the commodification of water for profit fuels a global crisis (Links to an external site.)
  5. How profit became the measure of progress (Links to an external site.)
  6. Does High GDP Mean Economic Prosperity (Links to an external site.)


  1. Genuine Progress Indicator

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