Economic growth is not fundamentally important. For example, perfect egalitarian societies like many hunter-gatherer clans or the Hakka societies occupying the Fujian Tulou could experience zero economic growth and still be absolutely fine as long as they maintain the same standard of living from year to year.
Economic growth becomes far more important for backward societies that function off of hypocritical elitism, oppression, enforced poverty, and some form of forced labour. These are the qualities of inverse civilization which includes all slave-making civilizations.
Within slave-making societies, the easiest and most convenient position is to be a slave-maker. As long as you force others to work and constantly keep others busy and oppressed, you get to climb to elite ranks, don’t have to do much work yourself and can get away with it because everybody else is so tired and desperate for any crumb you throw at them that they can’t rebel against you.
Inverse civilization is as old as civilization itself. The characteristic traits of inverse civilization are detailed in The Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Gilgamesh, two-thirds god and one-third man, is oppressing his people, who cry out to the gods for help. For the young women of Uruk this oppression takes the form of a droit du seigneur — or “lord’s right” to sleep with brides on their wedding night. For the young men (the tablet is damaged at this point) it is conjectured that Gilgamesh exhausts them through games, tests of strength, or perhaps forced labour on building projects.”