Essays

The Plague of Economics

In Search of the Metrics of the Imagination

Disaster stalks us. The news seems to about nothing else. Serial killers, poisoned food and new “Super Bug” viruses are today’s headlines as I scan the internet. In our personal lives, lost opportunities for education, employment or, worst of all, intimate relations abound.

Degrowth and its Discontents: Part Three

  • Romano’s thesis regarding dépense is ambiguous. He mentions that Bataille, starting in the 30s, reformulated the concept over the subsequent decades and that Bataille related dépense to the bountiful energy of the sun. Solar energy, Bataille noted, is not completely absorbed by earth’s natural processes and circulates “aimlessly in the environment up until the point where it extinguishes itself.” (All quotes are from Romano’s essay on dépense in Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era.) One is at a loss to understand the exact meaning of this statement.

Degrowth and its Discontents: Part Two

Last year, a compilation of degrowth perspectives appeared in the form of a modest encyclopedia of sorts, titled Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era. The short essays in this book define a number of degrowth-related terms, some easily recognized as universal concepts familiar to activists across the world, like the commons, environmental justice, and peak-oil, and others that may puzzle: conviviality, anti-utilitarianism, and post-normal science.

Degrowth and its Discontents: Part One

“No modern solutions to modern problems” – B dS Santos

Hardly a week goes by without another dire warning about climate change. Whether the alarm comes from a university, an animal protection outfit, a human rights NGO or an intrepid TV journalist warily broadcasting in the front of a melting iceberg, their message of impending catastrophe hardly registers amongst the other debilitating news of terrorist bombings and police violence.

Homo Faber or Homo Ludens?

In Search for a Better Life

There is a widely held assumption about the economy: it must keep expanding or we are in trouble. When questioned those holding this view are less assured that growth can go on indefinitely. So, while continued growth of the economy amounts to “common sense” for many, there is considerable hesitancy to believe this without qualifications.