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Degrowth Is Punk as Fuck


Degrowth Is Punk as Fuck

Aaron Vansintjan

Very serious people often tell us that the word “degrowth” is too negative. People like happy, positive, nice things. Sure, the economy is systematically destroying life on earth. But nobody wants to degrow it.


If Trump can get elected POTUS don't count on "Goldman Sachs not being able to co-opt degrowth if they figure they can make a buck off it. 21st century Murka is a parallel universe.


Sophomoric gimmick; when these punks see some growth, they may find an audience for their important message.


Are you saying that we are already experiencing de-growth, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45997.htm


The word degrowth is most often used by economists. A musician might think more in terms of building a transformation from cacophony to a crescendo describing good health and fun. Directing more life energy in ways other than financial seems like degrowth mostly to those who view society as an economy ripe for harvesting as in a monopoly game.

Those obsessed with economic growth at a time when the world economy requires 1.5 Earths are afflicted with insatiable want. They are willing to sacrifice their own children to environmental collapse in order to become even more wealthy. Such people gravitate to power in the manner that some pyromaniacs gravitate to fire departments.

Using more than one Earth for a financialized economy is the reason life on Earth is dying. Humanity is under austerity in order to squeeze more financial growth at a time when environmental collapse is causing degrowth due to frictions such as easy to extract resources already used.

If everyone lived like the US, the world economy would require almost five Earths for replenishment of aquifers, forests, fish stocks, erosion and pollution recycling.

Constructing a way of life that uses less than one Earth to provide space for the diverse forms of life that manufacture the atmosphere is a way more interesting project than degrowth. Fascism equals corporatism. Corporations want to build robots and cars that drive themselves so they can still be in business after mortal shoppers are gone. Corporatists who deny science and do not believe life makes the air they breath are definitely not degrowthers.


Nothing against the word degrowth---but I think the Commons is a word that needs to be used a lot more.

In Calif we are in a drought,we are told to conserve water, yet all kinds of building goes on as other structures stand empty and abandoned---what a strange culture??????


While I support the idea of degrowth, the tendency of the authors to co-opt other movements and groups is inappropriate. It is one thing to argue that these movements have common goals and to offer possibilities for coalition building, but it is another to sweep all of these people under your umbrella, as if they have agreed to your premises. For example, there are undoubtedly many nurses and farmers who would wholeheartedly disagree with your premise and your inclusion of them as one of your "punks." Even amongst those who would agree with the degrowth concept, many people don't have the privilege to take on this "punk" approach as you have, and to deride them for sticking with the system is dismissive of this important reality. This cooption is all the more inappropriate when it comes to the minority groups, such as the Standing Rock Sioux or the queer community. While efforts to move towards a degrowth system may be admirable, your decision to be an outcast to status quo economics is in no way equatable to these peoples' fight against their oppression. In the end, you chose this, and you can chose to shed your "punk" identity if it doesn't work out. The efforts and achievements of the Standing Rock Sioux are not yours to claim. Especially, given that many of the strategies and messages of the Standing Rock Sioux are precisely opposite of the exclusive "my way, or the highway" message of this piece. As I member of the queer community, I do not appreciate being trotted out at the end of the article as some totem to show that you are "the good guys", as if the queer community is some monolith of "punks" you can claim to be on your side. In fact, many people in the queer community are precisely those serious, suited-up folks whom you mock. Again, it is one thing to note similar themes amongst movements, highlight common enemies, and suggest possibilities for coalition-building, it is another to lump these people in with your "degrowth punks" and act as if you stand for them, as if their struggle is the same as yours, as if their victories are your victories. They aren't.


You present a good cautionary critique - but I'd beg to differ with your closing assertion. In the spirit of King's observation that 'wherever anyone is oppressed, all of us are oppressed', we need to be assiduously attentive to ALL THE SMALL VICTORIES as well as any 'blow-back''. Our victories are theirs and visa versa. No single one of us can be totally aware of the full breadth of diversity in the struggle for justice, wellbeing and equilibrium, which, to me, is why being attentive to expansion and flexing of and in our respective communities might be good.


This is beautiful. Loved it <3


Industrial wind power is a prime example of ugly, unsustainable development posing as sustainable. I hope it crashes, big time. The barrage of excuses made for its landscape desecration, noise and bird/bat kills are classic corporate greenwashing. One of the most common rationalizations is that wind power is fine if carefully sited, but the evidence shows that it really can’t be (too big, too many, widely protested).

More environmentalists seem to be catching on to the ruse, but not fast enough. Guys like Bill McKibben need to stop selling out and obsessing over climate as the “only” problem worth serious action. He penned a book with a dead bird on the cover and still misses the irony!