Degrowth as a Concrete Utopia

By Riccardo Mastini, openDemocracy

The emergence of interest in degrowth can be traced back to the 1st International Degrowth Conference organized in Paris in 2008. At this conference, degrowth was defined as a “voluntary transition towards a just, participatory, and ecologically sustainable society,” so challenging the dogma of economic growth. Another five international conferences were organized between 2010 and 2018, with the latest in Malmo in August. This year also saw the publication of Giorgos Kallis’ landmark book Degrowth,which opens with three bold statements. First, the global economy should slow down to avert the destruction of Earth’s life support systems, because a higher rate of production and consumption will run parallel to higher rates of damage to the environment. Hence, we should extract, produce and consume less, and we should do it all differently. Since growth-based economies collapse without growth we have to establish a radically different economic system and way of living in order to prosper in the future. Second, economic growth...

Cooperation Jackson

Kali Akuno on Imagination and “The Ways We Can and Must Resist”

By Rob Hopkins, Kali Akuno, Rob Hopkins blog

As one of the co-founders and now Executive Director of the non-profit division of Cooperation Jackson, Kali Akuno is working to transform the city into ‘a beacon of radical politics’. For the uninitiated, Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi, with a population of around 200,000 people, its 80% black population making it one of the blackest cities in the US, and with 60% of people living below the poverty line. Cooperation Jackson is working, in a context of colonialism, white supremacy and patriarchy, to upend these dynamics through the building of a solidarity economy, to, as he puts it, “transform the material circumstances of the people living in Jackson”. This work has been aided by the election, in Jackson, of a number of radical and progressive politicians, including Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who died in 2014, and more recently his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba. What’s happening in Jackson is a story that has...