Many people think of degrowth as just a dream, an unattainable project. The movement advocates building a society based on principles that seem out of reach: simple living, environmental and social justice, participatory democracy, care, liberation, and sustainability.
“Degrowth is appealing, but how do we get there?” is a common criticism. If that goal cannot be achieved, there is no point in fighting for it.
In contrast to this view, I would like readers to look at degrowth, which we all already practice. Seen from this perspective, degrowth is not a distant dream, but something that exists in abundance in the present.
in his energy The political economy of degrowthTimothy Parikh argues that degrowth ultimately involves “de-economy,” or “reducing the importance of economist ideas and practices in social life” in order to restore “the economy and its ideas.” It is claimed that […] in proportion to the social and ecological host. ”
Economic thinking and practices include pursuing profit, having a cost-benefit mindset, and working towards producing and consuming more.Humans in this context behave as follows homo economicusselfish beings who act optimally to become more economically and socially powerful.
Economist ideas and practices predominate in most parts of the world. As a result, environmental, social, cultural, and spiritual goals that are inconsistent with the economy and its ideas cannot be realized.
Most modern problems, such as the destruction of ecosystems and the exploitation of workers, are a direct result of economic domination. It has also created, as sociologist Max Weber put it, a “disillusioned world” in which the things that give meaning to life are lost.
In contrast, degrowth theory advocates reducing the importance and frequency of economist ideas and practices to make room for other purposes. It means that there will be degrowth in everything favorable to the environmental, social, cultural and spiritual spheres of life.
Viewed from this perspective, degrowth is seen in many cases. Find it in cheerful moments, like sharing a meal or dancing together. We find it when we cooperate or act for the benefit of others beyond (economic) reasons. Find it when you repair it instead of throwing it away. We find it when we grow our food and support local farmers instead of buying it at the supermarket. We find it when we protect natural habitats.
Of course, many of these ways of living and thinking may include economic goals as well as non-economic ones, so they are not completely anti-economic. Sometimes it may even strengthen the economic system.
For example, feminist scholars have argued that a mother who genuinely cares for her children beyond economic reasons simultaneously engages both economic and patriarchal institutions by enabling the existence of a future workforce through her nurturing activities. It teaches us that there is potential to strengthen the current situation. Mothers may also encourage their children to become businessmen, thinking that this is how they will be valued in society.