Degrowth, with justice

ideas

The dominant economic system today has one special characteristic that is used to justify all sorts of terrible things. Growth.

Without even the smallest amount of growth the whole system falls into a state of stagnation, or collapse, known as a recession. This is what we saw happen with the 2008 financial crisis when millions of people were thrown out of the system into unemployment, and worse.

But there is a positive side to this too. As was seen in 2008 when major polluters went bankrupt, economic growth slowed and the growth in greenhouse gas emissions dropped significantly for the first time in decades. In fact, the only two times this has happened in the last 40 years happened as a result of uncontrolled economic degrowth. When the system that drives climate change crashes, the planet gets to take a breather.

So, what if instead of chasing economic growth forever, or trying to get this insane economic system that is causing climate change back up on its feet – we let it fail, and crash, deliberately? History shows us that this would be a great thing for the climate and there is a wealth of evidence showing that increased growth doesn’t make people any happier anyway.

Rather than waiting until capitalism falls over a cliff again, as it does every now and then anyway, advocates of Degrowth suggest we should be seeking out and implementing solutions that provide a way out of this economic system and into one based on mutual cooperation and ecological stability instead.

The solutions on this website are examples of solutions that could work well in a world of degrowth, with justice.

 


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