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.
The Museum of Capitalism
(This pop-up closed in August, 2017)
If you think that’s a good idea, you should visit the Museum of Capitalism (MOC) in Oakland, California.
Some might object that this is an outlandish idea, that capitalism is hardly material for a museum in the way communism or apartheid may be.
Scientists sometimes design a research project to study one thing only to discover something unexpected. Primatologists studying animal behavior may not have been expecting to find that captive apes are more creative than their cousins in the wild, but in fact, that is exactly what they did discover.
The first thing that needs to be cleared from the decks is all the bullshit about the motives of the white working class (WWC). Beyond the fact that it is a dubious term, I have no idea why people voted the way they did, beyond the most obvious assumptions.
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.
- 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.
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.
“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.
Pre-industrial European societies, for the most part, didn’t conceive of time in the abstract as a scarce commodity that indicated when to work and when not, but as an elastic measure embedded in social relations. The seasons determined work: as daylight waned in winter so too did toil.