Is it possible to live well with less? The degrowth movement says yes

The system’s pounding advertising machine has accustomed us to growth as a substantial economic axis. A linear and unlimited progression on a finite planet is, de facto, a destructive and irrational sequence.

Faced with this model, there are others that are silenced from the powers that be and that, however, correspond more to the possible and balanced nature between man and natural resources.
An alternative path is constituted by the closure of some sectors, such as the automobile industry, construction, the military, and advertising.

The thesis starts from the necessary catharsis in today’s society, from the predominance of social life over the primacy of production, consumption and competitiveness; creative leisure versus that linked to money; the distribution of work; the establishment of a basic income for citizens that will allow them to deal with the problems that may arise from the application of the new model. In short, it is about the recovery of annulled values, rescuing an individual submissive to savage capitalism, which has dismantled the welfare state and annihilated biodiversity, towards a new era.

The myth of unlimited development is based on the belief of eternal natural resources and the result is deforestation, desertification, global warming, acid rain and the situation of injustice and poverty in the world. The system, as a rule, as a foundation, is aggressive and ruthless with the individual who endangers its existence. The “Ecological Revolution” is necessary, which Raúl de la Rosa calls for in his book of the same title. According to the author, the pollution of the planet, that of our bodies and minds, is a consequence of what we consume. The current civilization appears to be the same as a cancer, since it tries to destroy the organism that sustains it and gives life, such as the planet itself, and it comes from unbridled and wrong consumption, generated by the pressure of information manipulated by the interests of a financial oligarchy.

I am going to tell you something about the phenomenon of some gentlemen, the declining ones -décroissants in French-, who are UP TO THE HEAD of so much consumption (and so much credit). And that they are more and more. They call themselves growth objectors and they are gaining strength – in relative, very relative terms – in European countries. Especially in France. They are convinced that infinite growth on a finite planet is not sustainable. They also believe that natural resources are running out and that the crisis we are experiencing is more than an appetizer for the great poisoned dish that will be served in 2050, the “great collapse”, the great crisis, derived from the confluence of the shortage of oil, the blows of climate change and other factors. The decreasing ones maintain that the human being lives for centuries outside of economism and the economy – the economy as a science dates from the 18th century – and that in the West we must stop consuming – even if this implies more unemployment and forces us to distribute the work – and thus allowing developing countries to continue spending to come closer to our living standards. His mantra is MORE DOES NOT EQUAL BETTER. I give them a few brushstrokes: the majority prefer to earn little money, the majority hate the large multinational chains, the majority hate energy waste, the majority prefer to live in slow, de-stressed cities…

Does this stream make sense? Doesn’t it have an apocalyptic whiff? Doesn’t he sin of little faith in technological progress and in the intelligence of the human being? I remind you that Malthus back in the 18th century said that there was not enough food in the world for so many mouths and then there were 700 million people and today there are almost 7,000 million. Another rhetorical question: Don’t millenarians always emerge in times of crisis? And another one: Is capitalism possible without consumption? And another one: Wouldn’t degrowth return us to primitive, closed, protectionist societies?

Source: Diario Ecologia by

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