Ion Pohoata, Vladimir Mihai Crupenschi, Delia Elena Diaconasu


Sustainability is usually constructed in terms of environmental preservation or of replicating a certain output level. To challenge the status-quo, we argue that it is a matter of preserving a certain version of social order, which can only be replicated by a trickle-down pattern of conspicuous consumption enforced by the efficiency gains and productivity achievements of the given socio-economic system. We also present a different view on the relation between sustainability and time by conceiving longevity as a measure of the physical changes that the system undergoes rather than the classical acceptation of a period determined by two temporal coordinates. This allows us to propose a classification of time, distinguishing between cyclical and chronological time based on the physical changes required to create the sense of progression, in each of the two cases. We relate our theoretical propositions to anthropological, sociological and historical facts, culminating in a short exposition of the way in which sustainability has been transformed from a matter of survival to one of ever increasing consumption and expanding output.


sustainability; conspicuous consumption; social symbolism; social order; longevity


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