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In Defense of Degrowth


At Open Democracy, Andrea Grainger debunks some of the common myths about the “degrowth movement,” a current of activists and academics formulating strategies for removing our economy’s dependence on growth, thereby halting environmental devastation in the process. This will of course likely require a transition away from capitalism, which is why Grainger details various socialist strategies for planned degrowth. She also explains why degrowth will not lead to material deprivation – and will in fact increase overall happiness. Check out an excerpt from the piece below.

For richer nations GDP growth should no longer be a priority, and the focus should instead be reduced inequality, more leisure time, stronger community bonds, and workplace democracy. Many richer countries today are doing poorly in these areas. Fixing them could significantly increase happiness, and could offset the losses from some necessary degrowth …

It is likely that international politics would shift, as poorer nations recognise that they will never catch up with the imperial powers without taking their wealth from them. Politics within nations would also shift, as the idea that children will automatically be richer than their parents vanishes. A greater focus will emerge on reducing inequality and increasing social mobility.

Image via The Ecologist.