Sources

In general terms Degrowth is grounded in a variety of areas. Following Fabrice Flipo, we refer to them as the sources of degrowth. Within anthropology, concerns have been raised regarding the commodification of human relations, cultural uniformization and criticism to development, both as  imaginary and socio-historical realities. Another concern relates to the meaning of life with the idea that non-material exchange and poetry of life are important. Degrowth also calls for a deepening (more direct and participative) and a widening of democracy. Ecology is an obvious source, which is linked to the direct destruction of ecosystems. Moreover, in the line of Georgescu-Roegen and ecological economics, another concern regards the fact that degrowth is inevitable (i.e. from peak oil to peak everything). Finally, Justice is a major concern for degrowth in its social and economic dimensions.

The review presented is not exhaustive. Other sources of inspiration could be mentioned such as (eco)feminism, political ecology and non violence. The point however, is to show the diversity of arguments that people deploy to argue in favour of degrowth, depending often on their socio-historical context and previous political experience. The diversity shows degrowth is far from an ideology.

1 Comment on Sources

  1. I am so happy to hear that other people share the concerns that I have had for years. I have no expertise in economics, but to me it is quite plain that we cannot have more and more people consuming more and more resources. I just heard the idea of de-growth linked to Malthus. The argument I heard was: Malthus turned out to be wrong, so also the idea of de-growth is wrong. I would turn this around: although in his estimates of growth in food production turned out to be mistaken, the growth of food production has been achieved at a terrible cost to the soil and to people who earn their living as farmers. So Malthus was basically right; and so also the idea of de-growth is basically right too. Thank you so much for working on this important topic.

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