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Why You Should Embrace the “Degrowth” Movement

Why You Should Embrace the “Degrowth” Movement | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Democratic societies face two options in the post-Snowden era.
Artur Alves's insight:

Evgeny Morozov on the merits of rethinking the information economy as the engine of the economy.

 

«The parallels to those parts of the economy not yet subsumed under the capacious umbrella of “information” are illuminating. For a very long time, the assumption of infinite growth—with GDP as the sole benchmark for assessing government policy—has ruled supreme here as well. The first dissident voices in the early 1970s quickly drowned in the free-market sloganeering of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, but the critical questioning of growth as the sole focus of economic activity resumed during the last decade, driven by concerns over global warming.

Today, this critical agenda is being pursued by the adherents of the “degrowth” movement—popular in Europe but enjoying very little traction in the United States. The goal of this movement is not just to scrutinize the ecological wisdom of continuing in the current pro-growth mode but also to question the wisdom of using indicators like the GDP to assess and formulate public policy. As Yves-Marie Abraham, a Canadian sociologist and one of the proponents of the degrowth agenda, puts it, “[T]his is not [about] the decline of GDP, but the end of GDP and all other quantitative measures used as indicators of well being.”«

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The feudal information age

"When it comes to our data on the internet, we’re serfs again, working land we’ll never own the rights to. I don’t think there’s anything inherently corrupt about electronic communication—no need to abandon the internet, folks—but I do think we’re at a point of transition here. What is the equivalent of a middle class in this situation? It may still be just out of the reach of our imaginations, but a solid place to start is learning what we can about the dependencies already in place."

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