Degrowth

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  • #160063

    lownslow
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    @lownslow

     

    To sustain the natural basis of our life, we must slow down. We have to reduce the amount of extraction, pollution, and waste throughout our economy. This implies less production, less consumption, and probably also less work.

  • #160065

    lownslow
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    • Total Posts: 147
    @lownslow

    Sorry folks that was supposed to be a link on degrowth from naked capitalism i will try again soon i have never copied and pasted anything and im old 😆😆

    • #160088

      Cold Mountain Trail
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      • Total Posts: 4,900
      @coldmountaintrail

      Is this the one?

      Why Degrowth Is the Only Responsible Way Forward

      To sustain the natural basis of our life, we must slow down. We have to reduce the amount of extraction, pollution, and waste throughout our economy. This implies less production, less consumption, and probably also less work.

      The responsibility to do so must lie mainly on the rich, who currently enjoy a disproportionate share of our resources. But we should also do things differently, as much of today’s economic activity is of little benefit to human wellbeing. Imagine what could be if we organized democratically to produce what we actually need, distributed those resources fairly, and shared them in common. This, in a nutshell, is the vision of degrowth: a good life for all within planetary boundaries. And while this might seem utopian, there are already concrete policy ideas to start such a transformation.

      In a recent article, Leigh Phillips argues that this is a delusion. He brings forth three main critiques: degrowth is (1) not necessary, (2) unjust, and (3) marks the end of progress. He suggests that we should “take over the machine, not turn it off”, expressing his concern that an end to growth would mean an end to all the things that makes our lives so rich, like for example fridges. This reminds him of the likes of Malthus or Thatcher, whose ideologies have supported the imposition of unjust limits onto the poorer parts of society.

      In this response, we want to investigate the world-view behind Phillips’s critique and argue that degrowth is, in fact, very different than what he claims it is…

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/09/why-degrowth-is-the-only-responsible-way-forward.html

  • #160066

    carrotguy
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    @carrotguy

    it might still be plenty of work, just not the easy kind

  • #160069

    GZeusH
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    @gzeush

    If we work less, how will capitalists be able to capitalize on our productivity?

  • #160092

    lownslow
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    • Total Posts: 147
    @lownslow

    Thats the one. Much Thanks, Cold Mountain.

  • #160097

    ThouArtThat
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    • Total Posts: 1,344
    @thouartthat

    @lownslow

    Hi lns,

    Yep – an important discussion that few are willing to even consider and fewer still willing to have.  A realistic reading of Climate Change consequences leads  in one direction – fewer people and less consumption per person.  Thank you for sharing the article as part of the global conversation.

    TAT

    "They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
    Rather than truth as the authority."
    - Gerald Massey

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
    - Jiddu Krishnamurti

    “Wisdom tells me I am nothing.  Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows."
    - Nisargadatta Maharaj

  • #160156

    N2Doc
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    @n2doc

    We are going to get it, no matter if we plan it or not. Either we cut our net resource usage to below replenishment rates, or we will be limited by changes in the environment as the effects of our pillaging become deadly.

    The only question is, do we have the will to force the Oligarchs and their lackeys to do so, or will be just let ‘nature take its course’?

    • #160413

      Cold Mountain Trail
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      • Total Posts: 4,900
      @coldmountaintrail

      Personally, I think a lot of people would welcome a slower pace of life…under certain circumstances.

      Which would mean ‘letting nature take its course’ wouldn’t be an option.

       

  • #160159

    lownslow
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    • Total Posts: 147
    @lownslow

    Thank you for the kind words, ThouArtThat. Sometimes i feel a little too radical for ol Jackpine.  😉

    • #160181

      ThouArtThat
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      • Total Posts: 1,344
      @thouartthat

      @lownslow

      Hi lns,

      Well we can be radical together – left of the leftists.  Rest assured, some of us do understand the gravity of our collective situation all too well.  And it seems more are waking to that reality.  Just today, Greta Thunberg forcefully scolded world leadership at the UN.  You can find her heartfelt and real sentiment in the link below.

      [Video] – Rebel HQ – Greta Thunberg SCOLDS World Leaders To Their Faces

      In solidarity,

      TAT

      "They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
      Rather than truth as the authority."
      - Gerald Massey

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      “Wisdom tells me I am nothing.  Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows."
      - Nisargadatta Maharaj

      • #160484

        emme
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        • Total Posts: 239
        @emme

        A few years ago, I somehow found John Michael Greer’s blog, The Archdruid Report. It was an education.  He has always said the 1970s were our best window of opportunity to begin the process of degrowth and reduced resource usage.  And we started on that path;  had we stayed on it,  our transition to a more resource efficient, ecotechnic world would have been a bit easier and more comfortable.  But the US elected Reagan and  started guzzling resources like they were unlimited.  Because of this,  our slide to degrowth may not be real comfortable, or pleasant.

        After hearing some of Greta’s speech today,   she does appear to understand that totally.  And she is pissed.  I think Greer was also pissed when he was young;  eventually he channeled that into things like his ADR blog, and   what he dubbed green wizardry.  He focused on acquiring, and encouraging others to learn the skills,  needed to smooth their path to a world with fewer resources.  Incidentally, Greer also has Aspergers.

        He closed the ADR blog to start another, but the original is maintained on a mirror site, should one want to  check it out.  Alas, readers’ comments could not be saved, and those were often as interesting and educational as the posts themselves:

        http://archdruidmirror.blogspot.com/2017/06/2006.html

        Link is to the first year, 2006.  The blog ran until mid-2017.

        • #160611

          ThouArtThat
          Member
          • Total Posts: 1,344
          @thouartthat

          @emme

          Hi emme,

          Yep – ADR is a fantastic archive of wisdom and insight.  Have read every post over several years.  Highly recommended for those aspiring to expand their horizons and knowledge.

          Another blog one might consider pursuing is megacancer.  It looks at the human predicament from an evolutionary biology and neuroscience perspective.  Well worth the time to begin with post #1 and work through both the posts and all comments.

          http://megacancer.com/2015/07/

          TAT

          "They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
          Rather than truth as the authority."
          - Gerald Massey

          "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
          - Jiddu Krishnamurti

          “Wisdom tells me I am nothing.  Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows."
          - Nisargadatta Maharaj

    • #160277

      Passionate Progressive
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      @passionateprogressive

      Please don’t feel to radical – all have radical and less radical moments…..

      For me the basic questions raised in the article – how to break the linkages that connect gratification with consumption..

      ..This concept in the US as Naomi Klein recently pointed out as I paraphrase is sort of the antithesis of raison d’etre for the ‘New’ world of North America….founded by pilgrims/settlers expropriating land from indigenous people in order to expropriate resources that they had already exploited and run out of in the ‘Old’ world.  I mean John Locke in his Second Treatise argues that one would be a lackey if one didn’t make ‘his’ land profitable.  In other words the capitalist system is governed by privatization of property and not leaving it in its natural state…This is why Brazil’s Bolsinaro Govt among others wants to burn down the rain forest – more profit as a commodity than as the lungs for the commons.  For centuries the privatization of the commons has been the norm for the capitalist governments to the extent that the planet has now reached a tipping point…And it’s like once you let the water out of the bottle you can’t put it back.

      Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt......Sam Adams

  • #160162

    lownslow
    Member
    • Total Posts: 147
    @lownslow

    Yes N2Doc, Its gonna happen. If we do it soon, mabye we can make it into a smoother transition.

  • #160257

    Yanath
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    • Total Posts: 780
    @yanath

    There is no such thing as growth in this universe, only conversions, which never result in a net increase in anything. Growth is an illusion, supplied by our faulty perceptions of the universe.

    We need an economic ideology that is firmly grounded on the fundamental principles of science and logic.

    • #160280

      GZeusH
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      • Total Posts: 1,537
      @gzeush

      Amazing that physicists came up with all these conservation laws, but none of that logic ever spilled over into economics.  If we had Conservation of Resources and Conservation of People as guiding principles, we might not be in this pickle.

      • #160402

        Yanath
        Member
        • Total Posts: 780
        @yanath

        I think by the time most people have completed middle school, they have learned about the insuperable nature of the Laws of Thermodynamics, but at the same time, and throughout their lifetimes, they are bombarded daily with an ideological narrative that promotes the concept of unlimited economic growth (as if there are enough available resources and energy to enable everyone to be ‘rich’; sheer lunacy).

        • #160476

          Cold Mountain Trail
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          • Total Posts: 4,900
          @coldmountaintrail

          as though it’s even possible to be ‘rich’ unless other persons are ‘poor’ or to be ‘great’ unless others are ‘small’.  In language as in the rest of the universe, things go together.

           

  • #160488

    Cold Mountain Trail
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    • Total Posts: 4,900
    @coldmountaintrail

    Capital is the entity with an absolute requirement for growth; it’s baked into that whole picture.  And it’s the reason most people are already in a process of forced ‘degrowth’ — so that capital can keep increasing its cut.

    Why Branko Milanovic is wrong about de-growth

    “Milanovic rejects degrowth because he believes it is unfeasible.  He notes, correctly, that if we were to cap global GDP at its present level then the only way to eradicate poverty would be through redistribution: reduce the income share of the richest and shift it to the poorest.  He thinks this is a terrible idea.  If we bring all of the poorest up to $5,500 per person per year (the global mean income), then in order to stay within the GDP cap everyone above this level (almost all of whom live in the West) will have to take an income cut, with the richest taking the biggest hit.  This would also require “gradual and sustained reduction of production” in rich nations, with economic activity slashed to one-third of its present size.

    Milanovic calls this “the immiseration of the West,” and he dismisses it as “not even vaguely likely to find any political support anywhere.”  Forget about it, he says; we need growth.  Let’s focus instead on reducing our consumption of emissions-intensive goods and services by taxing them, and “think about how new technologies can be harnessed to make the world more environmentally friendly…”

    1. Degrowth does not call for immiseration.

    Milanovic’s argument is levelled against a straw man.  If he had read the literature on degrowth, he would know that it does not call for immiseration.

    Imagine cutting the GDP per capita of the US down to less than half its present size, in real terms.  This might sound horrible on the face of it, but it would be equivalent to US GDP per capita in the 1970s.  Folks who lived through the 70s remember them as heady days.  And the poverty rate was lower back then – and happiness levels higher – than now.  Real wages were higher, too.  The only difference is that people consumed less unnecessary stuff.  It’s not clear why Milanovic considers this to be so dreadful…

    Milanovic rejects degrowth and claims that we should stick with the existing plan for eradicating poverty: more growth.  But he hasn’t thought through the implications of this.

    We need to remember that the existing distribution of global growth is skewed heavily toward the rich.  David Woodward points out that even during the most equitable period of the past few decades, only 5% of new income from annual global growth went to the poorest 60% of humanity.  At this rate of trickle-down, it will take more than 100 years to get everyone above $1.25 per day, and 207 years to get everyone above $5 per day.  And in order to get there we will have to grow the global economy to 175 times its present size…

    https://www.jasonhickel.org/blog/2017/11/19/why-branko-milanovic-is-wrong-about-de-growth

  • #160622

    Electrolyte Orchestra
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    @electrolyteorchestra

  • #160692

    FloridaProg
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    • Total Posts: 175
    @floridaprog

    Fat chance.

    I see these kids doing the climate change protests, and yet I bet most of them are only doing it in order to skip school and to be viewed as cool by their peers. How many of them would show up the day after Thanksgiving when there’s no school that day anyway and they’re missing out on the release of all the new toys? Hardly any.

    Why so pessimistic, you ask? Because I see the way they live on normal days.

    They want every room in their school to have air condition. They want a TV in every room. Their classes are all computerized. They are on their cell phones virtually 24/7. When they’re not, their entertainment is video games. They consume fast food. They don’t walk or ride their bikes to school or anywhere, but rather they travel in autos which further clog up already congested streets. They are the biggest consumers of manufactured goods ever. They update perfectly good luxury items just in order to stay trendy. I could go on.

    Turn off the air conditioning. Walk or bike to school. Switch off your devices and read a book. Make a sandwich. At least make some type of significant outward sign that you mean what you claim to believe. Otherwise, it will be taken as it appears; a lot of feel good talk and then it’s back to texting.

    The Greta young lady can speak and attempt to scold all she likes. But from the evidence I’m seeing, even the overwhelming number of her own peers are just giving lip service. They are not changing. In fact, they want more of the same except better.

  • #161065

    lownslow
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    • Total Posts: 147
    @lownslow

    Great comments and suggestions for further avenues of research

    Thanks and solidarity to all😉

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