Economic growth isn’t working, and it cannot be made to work. Offering a counter-history of how economic growth emerged in the context of colonialism, fossil-fueled industrialization, and capitalist modernity, The Future Is Degrowth argues that the ideology of growth conceals the rising inequalities and ecological destructions associated with capitalism, and points to desirable alternatives to it.
Not only in society at large, but also on the left, we are held captive by the hegemony of growth. Even proposals for emancipatory Green New Deals or postcapitalism base their utopian hopes on the development of productive forces, on redistributing the fruits of economic growth and technological progress. Yet growing evidence shows that continued economic growth cannot be made compatible with sustaining life and is not necessary for a good life for all.
This book provides a vision for postcapitalism beyond growth. Building on a vibrant field of research, it discusses the political economy and the politics of a non-growing economy. It charts a path forward through policies that democratise the economy, “now-topias” that create free spaces for experimentation, and counter-hegemonic movements that make it possible to break with the logic of growth. Degrowth perspectives offer a way to step off the treadmill of an alienating, expansionist, and hierarchical system.
A handbook and a manifesto, The Future Is Degrowth is a must-read for all interested in charting a way beyond the current crises.
“A most comprehensive analysis of the different trends converging in the degrowth movement, showing its capacity to both subvert the logic of capitalism and project visions of social justice. A book that powerfully challenges any reductive views of degrowth.”
“The Future Is Degrowth - A Guide to a World beyond Capitalism offers a sober presentation of the futility of the ideology and pursuit of infinite growth on a finite planet. Current multiple crises, including the unfolding catastrophic global heating, ought to force humans to pull the brakes on current fatal pathways. However, myopia has locked humans in a fatal pursuit of wealth, power and externalizations built on the platform of oppression, colonial exploitation, ecological despoliation and barbaric economic supremacy made possible by militarism, cultural manipulations, delineation of sacrificial zones and acceptance of enforcement of sacred or untouchable zones to sustain unquenchable consumption and wasteful appetites. This book presents a call for a world in which, through sober acceptance of having toed highly destructive growth, consumption and developmental paths, human beings understand and respect the ecological limits of Mother Earth her and regain both their humanity and place in the communities of other beings.”
“In economics, 'growth' implies a malignancy absent in nature: perpetual expansion and extraction. This book rigorously demolishes a concept that is the intellectual foundation of today's economics profession, a central pillar of capitalism and the source of ecological depletion.”
“A radical critique of capitalist growth and a powerful vision for a more just and ecological future. Don't miss this book.”
“This book is to degrowth what the IPCC is to climate science: the best available literature review on the topic.”
“If you are looking for a clear, comprehensive, scholarly but practical overview, then I'd recommend The Future is Degrowth.”
“This book is a great handbook of ideas to help spread the word.”
“An excellent introduction to the degrowth agenda written in plain language. It shifts the burden of proof concerning solutions to climate and social crises to optimist eco-modernists from all political backgrounds.”
“Degrowth gains ground.”
“Magnificent. The Future is Degrowth is arguably one of the most complete works on the concept of degrowth. This book is essential reading for both actors within civil society movements and policymakers, as it manages to be extremely ambitious in its goals while remaining realistic.”