The Commons at the Core of Degrowth

Degrowth VOcabulary for a New EraWhere to start praising this book? Degrowth A Vocabulary for a New Era: by the sheer list of those (non-authors) who already did? Silvia Federici, David Graeber, Manuel Castells, Alberto Acosta, Wolfgang Sachs, Richard Noorgaard, Massimo de Angelis, Herman Daly, James Gustave Speth, Deepak Malghan… and the list goes on and on. Sounds like the best of degrowth-research with many commoners among them.

Let me just quote one of them, Wolfgang Sachs:

„What a splendid vocabulary! A range of international authors brilliantly surveys the emerging field of an economics which bids farewell to the obsession of growth. The entries are compact, yet eloquent, learned yet action-oriented. In the new style of economic thought, ideas like sharing, debt-free money, demateralization, and digital commons play a leading role. Whoever wants to know about an economy of permanence for the 21th century should reach for this book.“

Or by it’s table of content? A superb outline of what will matter in the-day-after-tomorrow-economy. Starting with LINES OF THOUGHT (Part 1) – I’ve only read two of them so far: But I can tell you, if you want to find an entry point to, say, Currents of Environmentalism, just read the dense, short and well written piece by Joan Martínez Alier.  Part II is called the CORE. What does the core vocabularly in a degrowth era look like, both in terms of threats to and building blocks for the new: Autonomy, Capitalism, Care, Commodification, Commodity frontiers, Commons (yeah), Conviviality (yeah), Dematerialization, Dépense, Depoliticization, Pedagogy of Disaster (sic!), Entropy (no way, we need to understand it), Emergy (I am learning…), Gross Domestic Product, Growth, Happiness, Decolonization of Imaginary (Decommodification of Imaginary – I would add), Jevons‘ Paradox, Neo-Malthusians (that’s a bit weird, because there are plenty of Neo’s out there that could have been considered), Peak-Oil, Simplicity, Social Limits of Growth.

Needless to say that I am very proud that our contribution made it into the Core of the ‚Vocabulary for a New Era‘.

Part III is called ACTION, a contribution by Mayo Fuster on the Digital Commons is part of it. And Part IV is dedicated to the ALLIANCES, where I think our article should have been placed first, but then the editors moved us to the Core of the debate. Well done!

Well, I simply start praising the book via this promo-video. It’s fun!

Is there a ‚but‘, You might ask? Yes, there is: copyright issues and the prize of the book. We, as well as Mayo Fuster asked for a COPYLEFT licence, a matter of credibility for commoners. After all, it’s our knowledge and effort, and we want it to be shared as widely as possible. Copyleft was conceeded to these two articles. By Routledge! To be honest, I can only hardly understand why other authors – especially those who write about a new era – don’t push into the same direction. Publishing culture will change, that’s for sure and we need to help paving the way to make our common knowledge a true common.
Information about the book and how to purchase it is available at this website. Order it, share the information, use #degrowthvocabulary on twitter, and read our essay on the commons tomorrow, here on the commonsblog.

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