An Economy of Degrowth

David Trammel's picture

This is a great article which I feel sums up the kind of economy and future we here at Green Wizards would like to see:

"When one first hears calls for degrowth, it is easy to think that this new economic vision must be about hardship and deprivation; that it means going back to the stone age, resigning ourselves to a stagnant culture, or being anti-progress. Not so.

Degrowth would liberate us from the burden of pursuing material excess. We simply don’t need so much stuff – certainly not if it comes at the cost of planetary health, social justice, and personal well-being. Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination, a debilitating addiction that degrades nature and doesn’t even satisfy the universal human craving for meaning.

Degrowth, by contrast, would involve embracing what has been termed the “simpler way” – producing and consuming less.

This would be a way of life based on modest material and energy needs but nevertheless rich in other dimensions – a life of frugal abundance. It is about creating an economy based on sufficiency, knowing how much is enough to live well, and discovering that enough is plenty."

So the author of this piece, Samuel Alexander, will scrub his own toilet?
Pick cabbage worms off his brassicas on his knees while swatting mosquitos?
Fix his own roof with salvaged roofing material?

My mother's family were peasants in the same tiny Bavarian village for 800 years, according to parish records. It's hard work. I don't believe many of the people discussing 'we'll all be happy living on less' actually plan to do it themselves.

In my very limited experience, the people most likely to live on less are the least likely to pontificate lyrically on the subject. They just go ahead and do it.

ClareBroommaker's picture

I haven't watched this youtube video, but I think it is of the author and his partner.

David Trammel's picture

I can pontify with the best and I know which end of a toilet brush to use, lol.

You are right though, some of the people waxing poetically about the joy of living with less, are the least likely to do it themselves, but there are many who also walk the talk. I'm just glad that the idea of LESS as Greer frames it, is getting into the mainstream conversation.