To a poor man, more is better, and all humans throughout history were poor compared to the wealth we enjoy. Now that we have lived in the fossil-fuel window for longer than anyone can remember, we live in comfort our ancestors could not have imagined, yet we keep pursuing more.
Economic growth is closely linked to increases in production, consumption and resource use and has detrimental effects on the natural environment and human health.
So ironically, perhaps the only chance for a truly liberal politics of friends and not enemies now lies in reconstructing a vaishya localism. But perhaps I’m being too pessimistic…?
Richard Heinberg talks about local options for getting off fossil fuels on this episode of the Simpler Living Podcast.
From February to December 2017, the grounds of Compton Verney Art Gallery hosted a collaborative artwork by Alex Hartley and Tom James (who published part of his Future Manual here two years ago). Inspired by the utopian communities of the 1960s, the Clearing is a geodesic dome constructed from reclaimed materials on the shore of a lake, and occupied year-round by a succession of ‘caretakers’ – an evolving experiment in reskilling and living off grid, ‘a reconstruction of the future as it might be.’
If we want to wean ourselves off consumer culture and learn to practice simple living, where might we find inspiration?