Revised 24 May 2019

Over the past 100 years, economic growth as measured by GDP in the developed countries has grown at a faster rate than growth in population. The growth in GDP per capita has been due to a universal conviction that growth and expansion has a positive value. The profit motive, the protestant work ethic, and a capitalist system has enabled a unified effort in bringing together resources for a maximum rate of economic growth. Mutual co-operation, a self-interaction process, has enabled super-accelerated growth. 

Figure 6: Super-accelerated growth. (Odum & Odum, 1976, p69)

Growth is faster with self-interaction pumping than with ordinary Malthusian feedback pumping. The A+B curve is the super-accelerated growth that has been made possible. A system that is able to accelerate its growth faster than another system is able to capture the energy source flows from other systems. A system with super-accelerated growth survives at the expense of another system. 

Figure 7: Competitive exclusion. (Odum & Odum, 1976, p71)