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Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World

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It's not just the kind of abstract and sometimes metaphysical philosophising that you often read in degrowth books, especially French ones. Hickel είναι ένας οικονομικός ανθρωπολόγος που βλέπει ότι το περιβάλλον και ο άνθρωπος είναι ένα ενιαίο σύστημα που δεν είναι ξεκομμένο απ' την οικονομία. For years, I (and many others, I suspect) have been feeling this small tug in my head - a slight force that would pull me out of reality for a second. He also links economic inequality and ecological destruction: “any policy that reduces the incomes of the very rich will have a positive ecological benefit” (p. Capitalism is organized around exchange-value rather than use-value, and profit (M’) becomes capital.

These books did not prepare me for exactly how searing Jason Hickel's assessment of capitalism and ecological destruction would be. All products are made to be sold, and when a company figures out how to make a product better/faster, they simply want to sell MORE of it. As their size grows, so does their influence - politicians scramble to reduce taxes and minimize regulation, under the direct influence of money (lobbying) or indirect support in the form of the ability to create jobs in their constituencies. This book is a great companion book to the one I've mentioned before "The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible" by Charles Eisenstein.Hickels also thoroughly explores our childish expectation that technology in "clean" energy will save us. A system that has taught us to assign value to a thing not based on utility, but based on how hard it is to get, on scarcity, on how it makes people look at us, on how much we can get for it when we sell it. It is definitely an eye-opener which has caused me to reconsider how I live in my life and what I should work towards in the future. i) Liberal technocracy baggage: “degrowth” is close to the “Limits to Growth” MIT technocrats of the 1970's, who combined useful systems science (which eventually evolved into Earth System Science) with reductionist “overpopulation” analyses mentioned above. To breathe, to pause;To pause; perchance to dream: aye, there's the hope;For in that breath of hope what dreams may comeWhen we have shuffled off this monstrous myth,Must give us pause.

Because after the brilliantly constructed 164 pages of explaining why capitalism doesn’t work and won’t work, surely he’s not just going to suggest MORE CAPITALISM BUT BETTER, right? In Plato’s Republic “the true state” was one in which people ate moderate vegetarian meals, “not begetting offspring beyond their means lest they fall into poverty or war” (see Republic 372).The history of capitalism is marked by material productivity and by famines and economic impoverishment. Or perhaps the lesson is that we should try to reduce human population, a subject which he doesn’t directly address? But in 2016, two American scientists published an article in the journal Nature pointing out that it may well happen a lot faster. We need to change how we see nature and our place in it, shifting from a philosophy of domination and extraction to one that’s rooted in reciprocity and regeneration. This is a problem, because taller ice cliffs can't support their own weight: once they're exposed they begin to buckle, one after the other, in a domino effect, like skyscrapers collapsing.

The first two chapters provide an easy-to-understand “creation story” of capitalism that is in line with the tradition of dialectics. Cea mai interesantă parte este punerea în context, ce s-a întâmplat pe acest drum de la feudalism la capitalism, în ultimii 500 de ani, de-am reușit să ne separăm cu totul de natură și să îi privim chiar și pe cei mai mulți dintre semenii noștri ca pe niște suboameni. When I was reading about why capitalism is destructive for the world (climate change, the sixth extinction) there is always a "but"? ii) History: Vijay Prashad: The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, Washington Bullets: A History of the CIA, Coups, and Assassinations, etc.and Mark Jacobson, Gail Tverberg’s blog Our Finite World, the recent book Bright Green Lies, and others. If we’re willing to imagine speculative science-fiction fairy tales to keep the existing economy chugging along, why not just imagine a different kind of economy altogether? The second book was "The Divide" by the same author as "Less is More" that showed me how the core of the wealth of the rich countries was built in an almost zero-sum game.

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