Degrowth Considered: a vision of an ecological society

A book review of “In Defence of Degrowth”

Since the chimera of sustainable development is an alibi for permanent growth, degrowth is meant to grab hold of the dominant discourse of growth, envelop it and its apologists, and in fact take on fundamentalism where one must: at the roots. The idea of degrowth, this book included, is meant as invitation to debate. Degrowth is not meant to replace communism, anarchism, or democratic socialism as horizons for human hope, and it is certainly not a recipe for disregarding class struggle.

I hope I have presented Kallis’s ideas fairly. I strongly agree with the socio-ecological orientation he sketches. So, I would raise the first of my objections this way: There is an unnecessary spartanness in how he (and perhaps the degrowthers more broadly?) imagines the degrowth transition and horizon. In a rationally and collectively planned economy, people must attend to the effects of production and consumption on the biosphere.

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