It is incumbant on society to re-think our concept of value and move towards the concept of a De-Growth Economy. The first North American “Degrowth Conference” was held right here in Vancouver: http://www.de-growth.com/vancouver/. Currently, in the capitalist economic manifestation, we have an economy which is psychopathically based on hyper-consumption rather than integration within the planet’s ecosphere. The capitalist economy is solely based on the concept of unlimited expansion. Within the context of a finite planet this concept is logically ludicrous. A concrete example of this hyper-consumptive narcissism is the current inevitable collapse of the world’s fisheries as outlined in a great documentary by CBC’s “The Passionate Eye”: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/passionateeyeshowcase/2009/endoftheline/. Of course the Capitalist Aristocracy will argue that you shouldn’t worry, technology will save us and make us more efficient. This is absolutely farcical and is proved by all statistics relating to consumption. Our narcissistic lust for “things”, perpetuated and fostered by the Aristocrat’s Capitalist Machine, has caused us to use more and more and more resources despite capitalism’s supposed “efficiency”. Efficiency, within the capitalist hyper-consumptive model, only furthers our narcissistic drive to consume more and attain more “wealth”, “capital”, “profit”.
The De-Growth concept of an economy allows us to re-establish value in family, community, culture and, most importantly, our ecology. The idea is to build an economy which establishes an intrinsic happiness amongst humanity rather than a perpetual differed happiness through infinite consumption. Rather than having an economy based on consumption, it would be based on sustenance: physically, spiritually, socially and ecologically. Moreover, the economy itself would not be dependant on “growth” and “consumerism” but rather a complete integration into the planet’s ecology. So rather than the premise being, “how do we dominate nature”, we would have, “how do we integrate with nature”.
For some more information on the history and some concepts around De-Growth visit:
This sign was taken down on July 21st, 2010. Just under a week. In truth, longer than I expected but obviously somebody did not like it.