Degrowth (in French: décroissance, in Spanish: decrecimiento, in Italian: decrescita) is a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics and anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas. It is also considered an essential economic strategy responding to the limits-to-growth dilemma (see The Path to Degrowth in Overdeveloped Countries and Post growth). Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption—the contraction of economies—arguing that overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. Rather, 'degrowthists' aim to maximize happiness and well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community. Background Resource depletion  Serge Latouche
Related: sustainable social structures
Richard G. WilkinsonRichard Gerald Wilkinson (born 1943) is a British social epidemiologist, author and advocate. He is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, having retired in 2008. He is also Honorary Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London and Visiting Professor at University of York. He is best known for his book with Kate Pickett The Spirit Level, first published in 2009, which claims that societies with more equal distribution of incomes have better health, fewer social problems such as violence, drug abuse, teenage births, mental illness, obesity, and others, and are more cohesive than ones in which the gap between the rich and poor is greater. Background Career Wilkinson's first book, Poverty and Progress was published by Methuen in 1973. On 16 December 1976, his article entitled 'Dear David Ennals' was published in New Society; at that time, David Ennals was Secretary of State for Social Services. Books
Charles EisensteinCharles Eisenstein is an author and public speaker, and self-described "degrowth activist". He is the author of several books including The Ascent of Humanity (2007), Sacred Economics (2011), and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (2013). Life Born in 1967 to parents of Jewish descent, Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. Eisenstein now frequently travels to speak and share his work at conferences and other events. Since 2010, he has spoken over three hundred times in over one hundred cities in US and elsewhere. Writings Books Eisenstein has written at least 6 books since 2001. The Ascent of Humanity The Ascent of Humanity, published in 2007, is a large book which draws together Eisenstein's thoughts on many topics. Sacred Economics The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible Articles Charles also writes a regular blog for the website Reality Sandwich.
Andy Burgess Wood Sculptor | Wood SculptorSustainable Society IndexAbstract When we were looking for a suitable yardstick to measure the level of sustainability of a country a suitable instrument could not be found. Although the main existing indexes were examined we had to conclude that none of them seem to fit our needs completely. The main shortcomings are a limited definition of sustainability, a lack of transparency or high complexity and an absence of regular updates. For this reason, a new index – the Sustainable Society Index (SSI) – has been developed. Using data from public sources, the SSI was initially developed for 150 countries and published in 2006. The underlying data, some of which are included in this article, allow in-depth analysis of the differences between countries. This article outlines the development of the SSI and the calculation methodology and gives the main results. 1. Sustainability is very much in the spotlight these days. Section 6 outlines proposals for use of the SSI. A conclusion is given in section 8. 2. 3. 3.2. 3.3.
Two great new anthropology classes | The Do It Yourself ScholarMMW1 Prehistory and the Birth of Civilization (feed), Tara Carter, UC San Diego. UCSD is presenting three different versions of this course, but Carter’s is my hands-down favorite. She relates the story of hominid evolution and the birth of social organization with infectious enthusiasm. Models of Cultural Evolution (feed), Robert Boyd, UCLA. He presents lots of interesting examples, including the different physiological responses of two groups of men to the experience being insulted. A 2007 syllabus of the course is here.
Perpetual Peace Project | Drafting the Contemporary ManifestStructure of Kant's Essay Immanuel Kant's foundational essay Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795), which takes the form of an international treaty, serves as the starting point for the Perpetual Peace Project. Since Kant's essay takes the form of an international treaty, participants to the project will be encouraged to rewrite each article of the essay, revisiting Kant's founding manifesto for a new world order. Perpetual Peace consists of two sections. No conclusion of Peace shall be held to be valid as such, when it has been made with the secret reservation of the material for a future War. The Second Section contains the Definitive Articles of a Perpetual Peace between States: The Civil Constitution in every State shall be Republican. There are two supplements to the essay: Of the Guarantee of Perpetual Peace. The appendix, consisting of two sections, concludes the essay: On the Discordance between Morals and Politics in reference to Perpetual Peace. Selected Quotations
Naomi Klein: Green groups may be more damaging than climate change deniersCanadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it’s easy to forget that she is, above all, a first-rate reporter. I got a glimpse into her priorities as I was working on this interview. Klein told me she was worried that some of the things she had said would make it hard for her to land an interview with a president of the one of the Big Green groups (read below and you’ll see why). She was more interested in nabbing the story than being the story; her reporting trumped any opinion-making. Such focus is a hallmark of Klein’s career. Klein’s first book, No Logo, investigated how brand names manipulate public desires while exploiting the people who make their products. Klein’s books and articles have sought to articulate a counternarrative to the march of corporate globalization and government austerity. First, though, she has to finish the reporting. You know, The Shock Doctrine, my last book, ends with climate change. It was go along or get along.
Top 10 Strangest PhilosophiesDespite many believing philosophy is a “useless major” or a “waste of time,” it’s definitely a great way to boggle your mind by your own doing. It’s one thing to be confused by someone else, and a completely different feeling to confuse your own self. Who doesn’t enjoy perplexing themselves to no end, or thinking so hard your head literally hurts? I’m no philosopher, nor a philosophy major, but I can say in my time of reading works by some of the most famous philosophers to even some of the lesser known ones, and from browsing random books and websites, I’ve run across some extremely odd theories. 10. Idealist theory says that there are no foundational beliefs. 9. Innatism states that the mind is born and already loaded with ideas as well as knowledge. 8. Animism states that when looking at souls and spirits, the two not only exist in humans and animals, but they also exist in things such as rocks, plants, thunder, mountains, and other objects. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.