Nice introductury article in Popular Science on #degrowth . Great to see this slowly breaking into the mainstream.
@ttiurani Thanks for sharing this article, it was super interesting 👍
After reading it, I was thinking: do you know (or have you read) any good article that makes a comparison between degrowth and communism? I could definitely see some overlap, but I still need to keep investigating to understand better.
@etienne Great to hear!
Wrt communism, degrowth is not really comparable. Communism is (depending on who you ask) quite a specific social system, whereas degrowth research is investigating many different post-capitalist theories that have the possibilities to achieve sustainability. IIUC it is accepted that how to implement degrowth can be quite different in different rich countries, and also that the poorest countries will still need economic growth to meet basic human needs.
@ttiurani Thanks for your message.
One section of the book that I've been reading compares degrowth to communism, that made me think of this thread here 🙂
The author is not in favor of degrowth, as he believes degrowth only happens within the boundaries of capitalism, where growth and employment are really tied together.
So degrowth would be detrimental to people's resources (as unemployment would rise). However, communism would free people from this growth-income dependency.
@etienne That sounds like a misunderstanding. Trade (I sell you potatoes, you cut my hair), which is what economic growth should measure, is much older than capitalism. Degrowth is by definition anticapitalist (because when the economy doesn't grow, capital doesn't get you more capital) but it doesn't need to be anti-trade.
But modern communism, which IIUC is small scale, can IMO be compatible with degrowth. Just as long as it is growth-independent, i.e. respects planetary limits.
@etienne Now how work should be organized in postcapitalism is a subject of much research. Definitely UBI is one big part of it as is redistribution of wealth, but there is also (in the Global North) a need for much shorter work week, and much less non-essential consumption.
Communism in the small scale can IMO be one way to be ecologically sustainable, and I personally do support expanding it – alongside non-capitalist, growth-independent trade & market.
@ttiurani Thanks for your answer. I like that you seem to see communism and degrowth through the lens of ecological sustainability, that's how they should be approached.
Is there any literature on degrowth that you'd recommend. I read a short white paper written by Jason Hickel a while back, it was very good. I'd then be inclined in reading his latest book on that topic: "Less is More"
Do you know this book? Would you recommend it or any other book?
@etienne Less Is More is solid and pretty accessible, I liked it a lot. On my reading list are The Case for Degrowth by Kallis et al, which is likely more academic than Hickel's, and Post Growth – Life After Capitalism by Tim Jackson, which I understand is more poetic.
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