Consumerism Is A Failure Of Imagination
What Greta Thunberg and XR Should Grasp And Fast!
Governments are unable to stop profit-seeking because they have been taken over by corporate lobbies. Lawmakers and CEOs love Greta Thunberg: they want us to consume ourselves into Oblivion under the banner of “green growth”. That is the new model they want to implement… but how smart, and harmful, is that?
The Conversation article was penned 5 years ago. It definitely delivers a rational glimpse at how a money-free society would operate for the betterment of all its individuals. Degrowing the economy is the only way to go to get there and operate a smooth transition.
Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it (2014)
THE CONVERSATION: Degrowth would liberate us from the burden of pursuing material excess. We simply don’t need so much stuff — certainly not if it comes at the cost of planetary health, social justice, and personal well-being. Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination, a debilitating addiction that degrades nature and doesn’t even satisfy the universal human craving for meaning.
Yes, consuming is addictive since the brain is wired to feel pleasure and empowerment when spending. Just look at the TV commercials; they all are about that: an impression of freedom associated with money itself.
This would be a way of life based on modest material and energy needs but nevertheless rich in other dimensions — a life of frugal abundance. It is about creating an economy based on sufficiency, knowing how much is enough to live well, and discovering that enough is plenty.
It will all come down to adapting our lifestyle to holistic science, and that can be taught in elementary schools already. Obesity rate and all other chronic diseases would for sure decrease drastically, because people would access top quality products and be so much more relaxed to handle all life matters.
We do not need to purchase so many new clothes. Let us mend or exchange the clothes we have, buy second-hand, or make our own. In a degrowth society, the fashion and marketing industries would quickly wither away. A new aesthetic of sufficiency would develop, where we creatively re-use and refashion the vast existing stock of clothing and materials, and explore less impactful ways of producing new clothes.
Hemp is back into the picture big time, and it is now possible to end all synthetic fabrics. That would free the low-wage labor working for the fast-fashion and textile industry alike, and thus would pave the way toward the end of all petroleum byproducts. As a matter of fact, hemp can also be used to create bioplastics and as a home construction material.
We would become radical recyclers and do-it-yourself experts. This would partly be driven by the fact that we would simply be living in an era of relative scarcity, with reduced discretionary income.
Monetarism drives scarcity. Ending money and abundance would ensue. Working less would imply plenty of time to learn new skills, or even go back to school.
Capitalism prevents that because everybody must stay on the “rail tracks” after 35 years of age, work, and consume.
On the other end, we’d all be living in well-insulated and comfortable housing. And most likely, big cities would become giant vertical farms because suburbs would expand and people prefer to have (or tend) a garden.