Statement by Research & Degrowth on the current political situation in Catalonia – Research & Degrowth (R&D)

Having the epicenter of Research & Degrowth (R&D) in Barcelona, we feel the need not to remain silent about the events that we are living in Catalonia.

Aware of the complexities, subtleties and deep historical roots of Catalan independentism and republicanism, which make any simple interpretation misleading, our positions on this issue are diverse and evolving.

We all desire a Republic, for Catalonia or for Spain and for any other country.

We reject the violence of Spanish authorities, limitations to the rights of expression and the right to assembly, repression of direct democracy, and imprisonments for political reasons.

We are against the imminent shutdown of all mechanisms of democratic decision operating at Catalan level, either direct or representative.

We also encourage our friends everywhere to learn about the various faces of this conflict and to foster international mediation for a peaceful, open-minded and empathic solution.

Research & Degrowth


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R&D Newsletter October 2017 – Research & Degrowth

Newsletter of the Research & Degrowth Group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona

It never rains but it pours: next year we are going to have three Degrowth International Conferences and we are starting our own Master on Political ecology with a specialization in degrowth and environmental justice. In this newsletter we have also compiled some of the best ideas and articles we have produced during this summer including videos from the last two summer schools in ICTA and a new website section for degrowth videos and films. In the Academic publications section there is a heating debate about GMOs and degrowth, and not to miss in Degrowth in the News is the debate around degrowth that took place recently in the Catalan parliament.

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Micro energy commons as a transition strategy

Despite the sometimes old left language, this is an interesting look at a transition from capitalism to the “Commons“. We badly need more of these overviews and “manifestos” of this kind of alternative to our current fossil-fueled path to destruction in order to create the political climate that will be needed for its implementation.

by Patricia S. Mann,
September 12, 2017

The introduction below is my synthesis from her text.
Bob Thomson

The microproduction and sharing of renewable energy should become the foundational dynamic of a global struggle for a post-capitalist commons, a sustainable energy-based post-capitalist commons … creating a renewable energy grid capable of fueling sustainable agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, all off-of-any-capitalist grid.

The potentially transformative feature of the microproduction of renewable energy is that it is born, de novo, through the actions of an individual or group of individuals installing, for example, a solar panel, harnessing energy directly from the sun, outside of the capitalist system of markets and commercial enclosure. An individual who installs a solar panel, harnessing solar energy for her own use, or for the use of others with whom she may choose to share it, has contributed to a new energy commons.

A Left sustainability movement promoting the microproduction of renewable energy, as well as peer-to-peer energy sharing [and production & distribution] networks [supported by a partner, not capitalist, state] would address both daily needs for energy, as well as desires to participate in a global movement to save our dying planet.

A postcapitalist transition will also necessarily involve a reduction in wasteful forms of production and consumption, military weaponry [and selfie toasters] for example, and any struggle for a just and sustainable society must at the same time address a need for more [“development”] in the global South.

[Indeed the gross global inequality engendered by capitalism, not to mention drought, storms, resource wars, and cultural imperialism and their resultant refugee crises, both internal and international, makes the creation of local self reliances in a peer-to-peer framework of international cooperation, reciprocity and solidarity all the more essential to rebalance and generate the creativity needed to surpass this capitalist disaster. Fortunately P2P open source and fair use technology and production as well as Commons accounting experiences, already employ millions and make such networks more than a utopian pipe dream.]

See also

Commons Transition and P2P: A Primer

The dawn of commons politics

Peer-to-peer production and the partner state

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The dawn of commons politics | Red Pepper

As supporters of the new ‘commons politics’ win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going.

Without an apparent alternative, political engagement can seem limited to a pointless choice: scramble on loose rocks over the familiar but shifting ground of globalised capitalism, or hitch one’s wagon to a careening carload of 21st century hubris, i.e. Brexit, Trumpism, the alt- or far-right.

This article describes an attempt to reimagine our political systems emancipated from rollercoaster markets and bureaucracies. Based in existing, effective political movements that have been winning elections in a variety of locations, this is an account of radical innovations in governance, production, care work, the stewardship of our cultural, digital and natural heritage, and of a politics that lays a bedrock for bottom-up system rebuilding. This is the politics of the commons and peer to peer (P2P), an expansion on the shared creation and management of common resources, and its recent successful eruption in municipal governments.

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The great nutrient collapse

nothing my dear Bob,we are all sometimes captured by the current imaginary so it is good that we all carehave iof each other narrative

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El sáb., sept. 16, 2017 a 14:23, Bob Thomson
<> escribió:

Thanks for that. Very true. I’ve changed “degrowth” to decline.

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The great nutrient collapse

Thanks for that. Very true. I’ve changed “degrowth” to decline.

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The great nutrient collapse

Hi Bobthanks for the news.
But I have a remark, we should never use degrowth in the sense of worse otherwise we participate to a common sense that we want to subvert.

all the best

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El sáb., sept. 16, 2017 a 7:21, Bob Thomson
<> escribió:

A very important article about research which raises the role of climate change (more CO2 in the atmosphere) in causing food crops to grow faster and uptake fewer nutrients in the process, leaving us with fewer vitamins, iron, etc. – i.e. growth of food linked to degrowth of health.

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