Wednesday 13 September 2017
The perpetual quest for growth drives our economics. That’s why our environment and financial system lurch from crisis to crisis. Under the neoliberal theory of the financial system, there cannot be a problem. It postulates that as long as environmental goods are correctly priced, neither planning nor regulation is required. Any attempt by governments or citizens to change the likely course of events is unwarranted and misguided. But there’s a flaw. Hurricanes do not respond to market signals. The plastic fibres in our oceans, food and drinking water do not respond to market signals. Nor does the collapse of insect populations, or coral reefs, or the extirpation of orangutans from Borneo. The unregulated market is as powerless in the face of these forces as the people in Florida who resolved to fight Hurricane Irma by shooting it. It is the wrong tool, the wrong approach, the wrong system.
An event in London UK next Monday Sept 18
After 40 years of neoliberalization, the promised end of history has led to a decomposition of established hierarchical systems, including politics. This process has culminated in Brexit and Trump. While there are strong reactions against these, the current of political change cannot be rewound back towards neoliberalism. However, alternatives based on the logic of networks and Peer to Peer are emerging and gaining attention.
An interesting plug for Degrowth in a 2 minute subtitled BBC video, and a conservative rejoinder.
From: federico demaria
Sent: Mon, 04 Sep 2017
Degrowth at BBC news : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HckWP75yk9g
Jason Hickel: ‘Our addiction to economic growth is killing us’ – Viewsnight
In this Viewsnight, anthropologist Jason Hickel asks if economic growth really makes our lives better. He is the author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and It’s Solutions
RESPONSE by conservative US newspaper
The far-left has an idiotic new craze: reduce economic growth
From their perspective, government shouldn’t simply control the means of economic production, it should actively work to reduce GDP.
New scientific research is quietly rewriting the fundamentals of economics. The new economic science shows decisively that the age of endlessly growing industrial capitalism, premised on abundant fossil fuel supplies, is over.
The long-decline of capitalism-as-we-know-it, the new science shows, began some decades ago, and is on track to accelerate well before the end of the 21st century.
With capitalism-as-we-know it in inexorable decline, the urgent task ahead is to rewrite economics to fit the real-world: and, accordingly, to redesign our concepts of value and prosperity, precisely to rebuild our societies with a view of adapting to this extraordinary age of transition.
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
August 27, 2017
What would it mean to go beyond the traditional models of the state, including the redistributionist welfare state, to a state that could create the conditions for the creative autonomy of citizens to play a far greater role in their collective flourishing? The social knowledge economy, rooted in an already-existing socio-economic practice – that of commons-based peer production – could be one model.
Peer production is on the rise as a new pathway of value creation, where peer-to-peer infrastructures allow people to communicate, self-organise and co-create digital commons of knowledge, software and design. Think of the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, the myriad of free and open-source projects such as Linux, or open design and hardware communities such as Wikihouse, L’Atelier Paysan, Sensorica or Farmhack.
When we present humanity as a hopeless victim of climate change, we are less likely to act because the ending seems inevitable… In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement, city leaders publicly committed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Their determination provided the foundation for an optimistic conversation about climate change solutions despite national inaction.
Commons include not only the gifts of nature, like water and land, but also shared assets or creative work, such as cultural and knowledge artifacts. Commons are a shared resource, co-governed by its user community, according to the norms of that community. Considering the historical depths of the Commons, it’s difficult to agree on one definition that encompasses its full potential for social, economic, cultural and political change. The Commons is not the resource, the community that gathers around it, or the rules of how is is managed, it’s the evolving interaction between all these things. Why is the Commons steadily gathering attention as a concept and practice? And what happens next?