Most importantly, we need to shift our personal and societal imaginaries of ‘the good life’ from that of ever-increasing consumption and material wealth to cherishing sufficiency, fulfilling basic needs, and respecting a vivid and vibrant web of life.
In Bookchin’s view, freedom wasn’t about doing whatever the heck we want and letting others clean up the mess. Real freedom was the freedom to collectively determine how to satisfy our needs in a precious and finite world.
After thirty years of ineffective climate politics, finally a new idea makes it to the top of the pile. Instead of bickering about decoupling, passively waiting for a quasi-magical greening of GDP, we can finally switch to Plan B.
This presentation gives an overview of Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy of sufficiency, which he developed and practised during his famous simple living experiment at Walden Pond (1845-47). Dr Alexander uses Thoreau’s life story to explore the question: How much is enough?
Owing to the limits of eco-efficiency and the need to liberate environmental space for the global poor,, new policy instruments should be designed to bring about ecological fair sharing between countries and a new economy based on the concept of sufficiency.
When our book Post-Growth Society was published in 2010 in German, the term was entirely unheard of.
Uncivilising ourselves from our destructive civilisation and building something new is the great, undefined, creative challenge we face in coming decades – which is a challenge both of opposition and renewal.