More than 1,000 experts call for Degrowth as a post-COVID-19 path

New Roots for the Economy: academics, experts, artists, activists and organizations from around the world demand a farewell to our economy’s growth dependency to avoid further crises.
In the turmoil of the crisis, our everyday lives are being shaken up. We need to reinvent, adapt, organize ourselves. This is also true for the degrowth movement: this crisis has driven us to connect, debate, and set up projects. Today, an open letter has emerged from this brainstorm of ideas, and is hopefully the beginning of many more collaborative projects.

https://www.degrowth.info/en/2020/05/more-than-1000-experts-call-for-degrowth-as-post-covid-19-path/#more-477479

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From Rebellion to Revolution | Progressive International – Kali Akuno

The Floyd rebellion is changing the world before our very eyes. What type of change and to what degree it will shift the balance of forces between rulers and ruled, haves and the have-nots remains to be seen. What is clear is that there is an active and open political contest to shape the outcome. For the moment, the right wing and the Republicans have been relatively sidelined in this debate. The real contest as it stands is between the liberals and Democrats on the one hand and the radical mass that has taken the streets all over the country and the world, which is increasingly examining and advancing critical left demands.

https://progressive.international/wire/2020-06-18-from-rebellion-to-revolution/en

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Constructive criticism of degrowth is NOT support for growth: a response to Forbes – Research and Degrowth (R&D)

In a recent article for Forbes, Corbin K Barthold makes several allegations against the idea of degrowth without having a clear understanding of the concept. He also includes some quotations – originally reported in a different article (by Aaron Timms) – from a vibrant classroom discussion which took place at the 2019 Degrowth Summer School hosted by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). Barthold presents the quotes completely out of context in order to support his own argument for growth-led economic thinking. Furthermore, he proves that his understanding of degrowth is not only limited, but deeply flawed, as he labels proponents of degrowth as “reactionaries” and “religious fanatics in a post-religious world”. As students of the Degrowth Summer School, and particularly as people living and studying in the Global South, we feel it is extremely important to clarify this wrongful representation of degrowth and our quotations. We want to correct this dishonest representation of our critical perspectives on degrowth, weaponized to serve the predefined agenda of a pro-growth thinker.

https://degrowth.org/2020/06/15/constructive-criticism-of-degrowth-is-not-support-for-growth-a-response-to-forbes/

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Is a Four-Day Work Week the Secret to Saving the Planet?

Perpetual economic growth is driving climate change and making us miserable. The degrowth movement offers a way out
by Brad Badelt
Illustration by Natalie Vineberg
Updated 17:06, Jun. 10, 2020 | Published 13:23, Jun. 10, 2020

Economic growth has long been considered a good thing. A booming economy has typically been associated with more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for all. But, in recent years, there has been increasing debate over the benefits and feasibility of perpetual economic growth. In 2018, more than 200 academics published a letter in the Guardian calling on governments to seriously consider degrowth to avoid environmental collapse. Other supporters include prominent environmentalists Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, and Canadian scientist Vaclav Smil, who recently told the Guardian: “Growth must come to an end. Our economist friends don’t seem to realise that.” Activist Greta Thunberg made a similar point when speaking at the United Nations last fall: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

https://thewalrus.ca/is-a-four-day-work-week-the-secret-to-saving-the-planet/

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Will this pandemic’s legacy be a universal basic income? – Macleans.ca

The Great Depression of the 1930s gave us the Bank of Canada, Employment Insurance (EI) and federal equalization payments. The Great Recession of 2008 produced a revolution in monetary policy and a legacy of concern about household debt.

Will the Great Lockdown of 2020 bequeath us guaranteed universal income?

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/will-this-pandemics-legacy-be-a-universal-basic-income/

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Naomi Klein: How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic

It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent pandemic shock doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the Screen New Deal. Far more hi-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent – and highly profitable – no-touch future.

It’s a future in which our homes are never again exclusively personal spaces, but are also, via high-speed digital connectivity, our schools, our doctor’s offices, our gyms, and, if determined by the state, our jails. Of course, for many of us, those same homes were already turning into our never-off workplaces and our primary entertainment venues before the pandemic, and surveillance incarceration “in the community” was already booming. But in the future that is hastily being constructed, all of these trends are poised for a warp-speed acceleration.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/may/13/naomi-klein-how-big-tech-plans-to-profit-from-coronavirus-pandemic

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The case for degrowth in a time of pandemic | openDemocracy

The time is ripe for us to refocus on what really matters: not GDP, but the health and wellbeing of our people and our planet.

he pandemic has lain bare the fragility of existing economic systems. Wealthy nations have more than enough resources to cover public health and basic needs during a crisis, and could weather declines in non-essential parts of the economy by reallocating work and resources to essential ones. Yet the way current economic systems are organized around constant circulation, any decline in market activity threatens systemic collapse, provoking generalized unemployment and impoverishment.

It doesn’t have to be this way. To be more resilient to crises – pandemic, climatic, financial, or political – we need to build systems capable of scaling back production in ways that do not cause loss of livelihood or life. We make the case for degrowth.

Conservative outlets such as Forbes, the Financial Times, or the Spectator, have been pronouncing that the coronavirus crisis reveals “the misery of degrowth”. But what is happening during the pandemic is not degrowth. Degrowth is a project of living meaningfully, enjoying simple pleasures, commoning, sharing and relating more with others, and working less, in more equal societies. The goal of degrowth is to purposefully slow things down in order to minimize harm to humans and earth systems and to reduce exploitation.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/case-degrowth-time-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR0NnK5uprqp7398RTUgWzbwQanPdEz9o_gSNmHElTX-gVt-s5hL_WJDLVo

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The Pandemic as a Catalyst for Institutional Innovation | P2P Foundation

As the pandemic continues, it is revealing just how deeply flawed our societal institutions really are. Government programs reward the affluent and punish the poor, and are often ineffectual or politically corrupted. The market/state order is so committed to promoting market growth and using centralized hierarchies to control life, that the resulting systems are fragile, clumsy, and non-resilient. And so on. It is increasingly evident that the problems we face are profoundly systemic.

https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/the-pandemic-as-a-catalyst-for-institutional-innovation/2020/05/26

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Airlines and oil giants could be about to die. We should let them!

This crisis is a chance to rebuild our economy for the good of humanity. Let’s bail out the living world, not its destroyers. Do not resuscitate. This tag should be attached to the oil, airline and car industries.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/29/airlines-oil-giants-government-economy

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Why universal basic income could help us fight the next wave of economic shocks

The “precariat” has suddenly expanded to denote a potentially universal condition. So, a familiar idea has once again returned: that of a universal basic income (or UBI), whereby all of us would be entitled to a regular payment from the state, enough to cover such basics as food and heating.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/03/universal-basic-income-coronavirus-shocks

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