Rojava: A practical example of ecosocialism?

This article, submitted to C&C by the Make Rojava Green Again campaign, introduces an important attempt to build a democratic, feminist and ecologist society. We look forward to further discussion of the Rojava project.

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Limits: Why Malthus Was Wrong and Why Environmentalists Should Care

A book by Giorgos Kallis

Western culture is infatuated with the dream of going beyond, even as it is increasingly haunted by the specter of apocalypse: drought, famine, nuclear winter. How did we come to think of the planet and its limits as we do? This book reclaims, redefines, and makes an impassioned plea for limits—a notion central to environmentalism—clearing them from their association with Malthusianism and the ideology and politics that go along with it. Giorgos Kallis rereads reverend-economist Thomas Robert Malthus and his legacy, separating limits and scarcity, two notions that have long been conflated in both environmental and economic thought. Limits are not something out there, a property of nature to be deciphered by scientists, but a choice that confronts us, one that, paradoxically, is part and parcel of the pursuit of freedom. Taking us from ancient Greece to Malthus, from hunter-gatherers to the Romantics, from anarchist feminists to 1970s radical environmentalists, Limits shows us how an institutionalized culture of sharing can make possible the collective self-limitation we so urgently need.

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Climate action lawsuits against governments and corporations have spread across 28 countries

Climate action lawsuits against governments and corporations have spread across 28 countries, according to a new analysis. The study reveals that more than 1,300 legal actions concerning climate change have been brought since 1990. While the US – with 1,023 cases – remains the leader in climate litigation, other countries are increasingly seeing individuals, charities and states take action.

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Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Finance Movement

Book Review: For those of us working to build the co-op economy in the U.S., Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, are strategically vital players in making more cooperation happen. While being keenly aware of the importance of CDFIs, I had only the barest inkling of their origins, and so I was thrilled to recently have the opportunity to read Clifford N. Rothensal’s newly published Democratizing Finance: Origins of the Community Development Finance Movement.

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“Wellbeing Economy Governments” (WEGo)

From: Martin Oetting, Omnipolis <martin, Berlin

Last November, the governments of Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland publicly launched the “Wellbeing Economy Governments“ initiative (short: “WEGo“) at an OECD forum in South Korea. The idea of the project: governments collaborating on policy approaches that see national success as being defined by the quality of life of citizens rather than the growth rate of the respective countries’ GDPs.

In the past months, two interesting things happened there — the New York Times reported about New Zealand’s first „Wellbeing Budget“, and the Policy Lab of the WEGo came together for the first time to start their actual collaboration. At this first Policy Lab, the two government heads of Scotland and Iceland made some very “Beyond GDP” interesting statements in their opening speeches. I have summarised these developments in a brief blog post on the website of our film project about Wellbeing Governments, which some of you may hopefully find interesting:

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Degrowth vs. the Green New Deal – Briarpatch Magazine

The May/June 2019 issue of Briarpatch is an excellent compilation of articles on a Just Transition. I highly recommend it. Subscribe at or call 1-866-431-577

By Aaron Vansintjan
The Green New Deal has gone mainstream. The idea is to combine a massive federal job creation program with bold action to rapidly shift away from fossil fuels and protect Indigenous rights. Long a buzzword in the U.S. Green Party, a Green New Deal resolution was introduced in February by insurgent Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’ve solidified its scope and demands. Now, Canadian leftist organizations like Courage are presenting their own proposals for a “Green New Deal of the North.” And in March, federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh began voicing support for the Green New Deal idea.

But some are wary of proposals like the Green New Deal – they say that it only “greens” the capitalist imperative of perpetual economic growth, which is the true cause of environmental destruction. These critics – degrowthers – believe that to reduce our environmental impacts, we need to scale down energy and material use throughout the economy. This will likely lead to a downturn in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, so we need to restructure the economy so it doesn’t rely on economic growth as an indicator for well-being.

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The Green New Deal: Whither Capitalism?

Socialist Project Toronto, Developing Economics Blog, UK, New School for Social Research, New York,
June 7, 2019

Excerpts from a longer read by Güney Işıkara and Ying Chen

To Grow or Degrow? Or Is There a Third Way?

The way Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and many others phrase the problem in the broader context of social, economic, and environmental grievances caused by capitalism is crucial for setting the terms of debate and struggle. This opens up space the left can use to address such issues in a systematic way rather than being content with symptomal healing. In fact, countless contributions have already been made on theoretical and tactical grounds.1

In this piece, we build on those contributions, and unpack the dynamics inherent to the capitalist system that would need to be addressed in the ongoing discussions. We also shed light on the limitations of a market-based and growth-centered approach to tackling climate destabilization, while offering other domains of political intervention such as property relations and demarketization of subsistence….

The problem asserts itself as a political question insofar as both growth and degrowth are necessary for different domains, industries, social classes, and countries in a differentiated and selective way….

Today, the U.S. holds sufficient economic surplus to support a GND. The real problem lies in that the surplus-owning class refusing to invest into the crucial domain that helps sustain the very ecosystem we currently inhabit, which is as essential as food, clothing, shelter and transportation, if not more so….

One example would be Cuba, which ranks among the top countries according to the human development index as calculated by the UN, mostly contributed by high life expectancy and literacy rate rather than GDP per capita, and still has one of the lowest per-capita ecological footprints globally….

The fact that the living standard of wage labourers has been delinked from GDP growth has an important implication: their well-being can be substantially increased under circumstances of a constant, or even shrinking GDP….

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. What is to be done? Interrupting the Logic of Capitalism…

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