the "degrowth" movement grows

the “degrowth” movement grows

Degrowth is not so much a concept as a call to arms, the initiation of a cultural counter current. It is not a concept but a keyword to provide space for discourse. There is no textbook on degrowth. It is not the antithesis of “growth,” as communism is simplistically portrayed as the opposite of capitalism. Proponents reject polarised perspectives.

Leave it to the Europeans to start just the movement I was hoping for: the Degrowth Movement.

The Degrowth movement was proposed in the 1970’s by the Club of Rome, and their report, The Limits to Growth, warned about the ecological and social impact of unprecedented economic growth (check out an awesome MIT computer modeling project based on the report) More than thirty years later, as we live out the consequences of overconsumption, social isolation caused by capitalism, and ecological pressures on our natural resources, this movement has caught wind again and it’s ideas are catching on quickly.

This fascinating article from Degrowth Magazine explains the premise of the movement’s resurgence in strong and clear terms.

…Degrowth enables us to examine different ways of doing things, placing different emphases on what is important to us as humans and as society. It does not attempt to be a one size fits all prescription like capitalism, socialism or any other -ism. It is rather the promotion of a non-destructive, humanistic economy and society.

More than anything else, the Degrowth Movement emphasizes “putting a human face” on our transactions and interactions–an essential foundation for community. They describe it as “reclaiming humanity.”

Though the degrowth movement is not without it’s critics, I do believe it is worth exploring new economic models that not only continue our existence but focus on sustaining it long term into the future.