Economic Annals 2003 Volume 44, Issue 159, Pages: 131-146
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Social economic and ethical aspect of sustainable development

Malešević Krstan

Uncritical fostering of social development within the industrial paradigm often referred to as "unlimited growth", has caused so catastrophic effects that they could argumentatively be described as a real ecocide. This is not only reflected in the total pollution of environment, irrecoverable destruction of natural resources and non-renewable energy sources, but the very existence of elementary biological preconditions for survival of human and other life forms on Earth is endangered. Social development, perceived and applied as mere growth, has favored partial interests on behalf of those of the whole. It has also endorsed interests of present over future generations relying on partial, positivist knowledge against holism humanism and wisdom. These effects have contributed to the new knowledge of the necessity for radical change in dominant development paradigm. An alternative has been found by some authors in the concept of "sustainable development". This concept is based on the idea of adjustment of social growth and development to the natural adaptive capacities. The idea of sustainable development should represent a key for human duration in time and with this a concrete form of responsibility towards future generations. This strategy, now within the ecological paradigm, transcendent partiality of industrial paradigm and offers a uniquely new form for the rationalization of development. At the same time this strategy functions as a new form of ethics (biocentric instead of anthropocentric one) and as a new model for wisdom of living. The concept of sustainable development is also the only operative way for radical and permanent elimination of the deepest causes of ecological crises instead of periodical and partial healing of its consequences.

Keywords: sustainable development, ecological paradigm, industrial paradigm, anthropocentrism, bio-centrism, quality of life