If you look at images of people taken before mid 20th century, you’ll notice that almost everybody was wearing hats. In those times, people would often wear top hats or bowler hats, but by the 1920s, everyone was wearing the ubiquitous Fedora hat, as you can see in any gangster movie set in the 1920s and 1930s.
On April 3 in the Guardian there was an article about Christine Lagarde of the IMF concerned that the growth of productivity in many “developed countries” has been falling. There is a problem for the finance sector if growth falls away since additional income is needed for people to be able to service and repay their debts. Without growth the finance sector is destabilised and, indeed, it has been necessary to bring down interest rates to manage the situation.
But the problem is not only a practical one. Growth of production is central to the core ideology of the current economic system, to the idea of “development” and “progress”. It is central to the legitimacy of the people who run the global economy. Without it there is a legitimacy crisis.