This is what jobs do to you, you can only do one thing whereas if you go back, even fifty years, then most people could fix things, most people could mend things around the house, they knew how to grow food, they knew how to do all sorts of things, they could fix engines, they could fix bikes, that kind of thing. We've forgotten how to do all of these things. People made their own clothes and that was normal.
So yeah this idea of having this bank of skills and this bank of things you can offer, yeah, that sounds to me to be perfectly normal. And that's something we should definitely be headed towards.
R.K.: Okay, well you just brought up clothing. You write about the purpose of fashion, fashion beyond clothing, nature and fashion, what are some of your thoughts there?
K.F.: Fashion is a, the nature of fashion is that it constantly changes. It makes you desire replacement. It makes you look forward to change. It's something that is, a disease effectively. It's a cultural disease, this idea that things become obsolete. The idea that things become out of date and unfashionable, it's about creating demand for consumer products and that's all there is to it. The fashion industry is an industry because it creates demand for new things and I can't see anything good about that.
R.K.: What about fashion beyond clothing?
K.F.: Again, I would say exactly the same. Things are fashionable-
R.K.: Like having the latest iPhone would be the latest example.
K.F.: Again, I can't see anything to recommend that whatsoever. If you have got something that is perfectly serviceable, and believe me, I've got some real old things knocking around that I still use. I have got a phone that, my kids think is embarrassing and they're relatively, they're relatively non-inculcated into the civilized way of life but they see things as being fashionable and not fashionable.
And technology, goodness me, I mean it was bad enough in itself to not need replacing constantly and so the idea that an iPhone becomes, well, I made this analogy, I talked about the founder of Apple who died while I was actually writing a chapter and section on fashion and I said, well wouldn't it be ironic, wouldn't it be justifiable almost if in a few weeks times no one would remember him because he was out of fashion? Because he created this demand, he created this desire to keep changing. It's not clever, it's just destructive.
R.K.: Okay. So, you have some ideas about what are the most important beliefs to undermine.
K.F.: Yeah. Okay. This is something, I mean I haven't quite put it in these exact terms.
R.K.: Yeah you have, it's in your book.
K.F.: Okay, as I said, I have given away all copies of the book, this is the thing. I actually have this fund to allow me to post them to everyone so I got a lot of copies and I just gave them away so I am getting on a bit, I forget things as well. I even forget what I've written which is terrible, really. I mean if you wanted to get rid of something, if we had to get rid of certain ideas, the idea that we have to keep progressing as civilized people, we have to keep, the fundamental idea we need to get rid of is this idea that economic growth is a good thing.
Economic growth can never be a good thing but every single item on the news that mentions the economy, that mentions finance in any way has been framed within the idea that economic growth is good, not having economic growth is bad. You need to turn that on it's head. Economic growth is destruction. Economic growth means people are being exploited. Means forests are being cut down. Means water is being polluted. It means all of the things, all of the terrible things that civilization does.
There is nothing good about economic growth except it perpetuates the system, and wonderfully at that. If you don't have an economic growth of around 3%, then the economy starts to collapse. And this is what we saw, it was teetering on the edge in 2008, there's been this recovery, largely based on things like fracking, largely based on making people get rid of their savings and buy consumer goods, largely based on lending as much as possible creating new money, but it's really on the edge.
And if you don't get this 3% growth constantly then things start to break down again. It's actually really easy to cause an economic catastrophe.