By Serge Latouche
Such a lot people who stay within the North and the West eat a ways an excessive amount of – an excessive amount of meat, an excessive amount of fats, an excessive amount of sugar, an excessive amount of salt. we're prone to wear an excessive amount of weight than to move hungry. we are living in a society that's heading for a crash. we're conscious of what's taking place and but we refuse to take it absolutely into consideration. exceptionally we refuse to deal with the problem that lies on the center of our difficulties – specifically, the truth that our societies are in keeping with an economic climate whose merely aim is progress for growth’s sake.
Serge Latouche argues that we have to reconsider from the very foundations the concept our societies could be in accordance with progress. He bargains an intensive substitute – a society of ‘de-growth’. De-growth isn't the related factor as adverse progress. we must always be speaking approximately ‘a-growth’, within the experience within which we converse of ‘a-theism’. And we do certainly need to abandon a religion or faith – that of the economic system, growth and development—and reject the irrational and quasi-idolatrous cult of development for growth’s sake.
While many detect that that the endless pursuit of progress is incompatible with a finite planet, we've but to return to phrases with the results of this – the necessity to produce much less and devour much less. but when we don't swap direction, we're heading for an ecological and human catastrophe. there's nonetheless time to visualize, particularly frivolously, a procedure dependent upon a unique common sense, and to plot for a ‘de-growth society’.
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Extra resources for Farewell to Growth
Some regions (Upper Austria, Tuscany and even Poland) have decided to reject GM crops. ) account for a significant proportion of A Concrete Utopia Si public spending (12% of GDP in France), and can therefore be used to popularize the idea of converting the whole economy to ecology. Adapting their terms and conditions would be enough to encourage their beneficiaries to adopt good environmental practices (Canfin 2006: 72). Local authorities can ensure that the establishments under their control rely primarily on local firms and suppliers (Chambéry), insist that public canteens and restaurants use biological agricultural produce (Lorinet, Pamiers), use mechanical or thermal weeding techniques, and not pesticides, to maintain public spaces (roadside verges and green spaces), as they have done in Rennes, Grenoble and Muihouse, and use compost instead of chemical fertilizers (Hulot 2006: 170).
The desire to travel and a taste for adventure are no doubt part of human nature. They are a source of enrichment that must not be allowed to dry up, but the tourist industry has transformed legitimate curiosity and educational inquisitiveness into a consumerist consumption that destroys the environment, culture and social fabric of the A Concrete Utopia 39 'target' countries. ling further and further, faster and faster, and more and more often (and always for less) is a largely artificial need that has been created by 'supermodern' life, exacerbated by the media and stimulated by travel agencies and tour operators, and it must be revised downwards.
When it comes to 'consumption', the dividing line between an instrumental usage that respects individuals and an instrumentalization that does not is both tenuous and problematic. The existence of efficient forms of reciprocity marks all the difference between the two forms. This is one of the many challenges that a democratic society always has to face. Hence the importance of conviviality. Conviviality, which Ivan Illich (1972) borrows from the great eighteenth-century French gourmet Brillat-Savarin,'° is designed to reknit the social bond that has been unravelled by what Arthur Rimbaud called the 'horrors of economics'.