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Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth



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Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth

  1. 1. Session # 1166 | Sponsors: CMS, ONE, SIM Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM
  2. 2. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM Robert Perey UTS Sydney Paul Adler USC Marshall John Jermier U South Florida Hugh Willmott City U London André Reichel Karlshochschule Mark Starik American U
  3. 3. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM Robert Perey UTS Sydney
  5. 5. Re-organisation of work, well-being and prosperity 5
  6. 6. Limits to Growth 6
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. Lethargy of Privilege 8 Story of Stuff – social pursuit of consumption gives meaning to the economic system – ecological interaction is externalised Capitalism’s logic of surplus value is measured in products and consumption – decoupling isn't working Culture of Narcissism is now widespread and this feeds consumption and growth – crisis of identity
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. Social Impact 10 “Our brains and backs are tense and tired, our minds shattered and nerves shot by increasing demands by managers to do the impossible: increase our productivity, when what is produced is less necessary and of worse quality than before.” (JD Taylor 2014. “Spent? Capitalism’s growing problem with anxiety’. Roar Magazine) In the DSM 5th ed we now have ”Generalised Anxiety Disorder”
  11. 11. We’re here, because we’re here, because we’re here, because we’re here… 11 • Growing unemployment and under employment. • Ecological systems that have collapsed or are on the verge of collapse. • Socio-political systems that are incapable of responding appropriately to these crises. As in the trenches of Flanders there is wide-spread recognition of being in the midst of crises and being powerless to escape.
  12. 12. Seduction of Baubles 12 We have created a society that has improved the well-being of many and is capable of extending this to all. At the same time we have created a society that cannot support the well- being of many let alone the well-being of all. The trinkets of well-being are measured by growth of consumption and ignores the growth of waste – social and environmental. A measure of this tension is the increase in anxiety in developed economies. Attempts to resolve this anxiety creates further anxiety – until we abandon our baubles we will remain caught in this self reinforcing loop.
  13. 13. Meaningful contribution to society needs to change 13 Work has and will always be important but this is changing and the alternatives emerging: provision of services, are not valued contributions in society. The services nature provides to support our societies are currently externalised – emotionally we are incapable of valuing these contributions. Acquisition of possessions reach a peak of diminishing return. Need to redefine prosperity in terms that do not rely on assumptions about consumption growth
  14. 14. Degrowth… 14 Downscaling of production and consumption to operate within the ecological limits of the Earth. Degrowth is a call for a radical break from traditional growth-based models. • Increases human well-being • Enhances ecological conditions and equity • Open, localised economies • New forms of democratic institutions Degrowth is not an attempt to stimulate negative growth or static growth but a move to replace growth both conceptually and materially with different language and assumptions about what constitutes a good life, business practices and societal measures of well-being and success.
  15. 15. …Degrowth 15 - Quality of life measured in human relationships immersed in a culture of conviviality not life measured in the quantity of consumer capital. - Prioritising the local in everything. This includes decision-making, the provision of energy, food and the disposal/reuse/recycling of waste. The aim is a high level of community self-sufficiency. - Reducing working hours and implementing a social wage to guarantee income to everyone. Associated with a guaranteed income is an expansion of community defined volunteer work. - Allocating resources democratically within and across communities. - Revitalising political life by extending the practices of direct democracy at the community level and extending this into the organisation.
  16. 16. Socio-political imperative 16 The conclusion of many, including the advocates of de-growth (for example Swift 2014), is that capitalism is broken and at best in need of repair, but more than likely will need to be replaced. “..three key macro-economic interventions needed to achieve ecological and economic stability in the new economy are quite specific: • Structural transition to service based activities • Investment in ecological assets • Working time policy as a stabilising mechanism” The new economy will be less capitalistic because of the greater role of government – because of the need to revitalise the notion of public goods Tim Jackson (2015) Prosperity Beyond Growth
  17. 17. Flourishing and the Academy 17 Flourishing – what it means to prosper needs “… a range of bounded capabilities to live well – within certain clearly defined limits. What is our role in shaping public debate and policy creation in these key areas? • Establishing the limits • Fixing the economic model • Changing the social logic
  18. 18. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM Paul Adler USC Marshall John Jermier U South Florida
  19. 19. Degrowth means replacing markets with democratic-socialist* planning Paul S. Adler, University of Southern California & John Jermier University of South Florida Contribution to AOM Symposium on “Re-Imagining and Re- Organizing Economic Action for Degrowth” * correcting a typo 19
  20. 20. Key points • Degrowth is urgent as a response to the confluence of many crisis tendencies • Let’s focus on degrowth as a solution to the global climate change (GCC) crisis: what would degrowth need to look like? • GCC has gone far further than we’d like to think – Environmentalists have been under-stating things to avoid creating paralyzing anxiety – But let’s not fool ourselves: let’s talk honestly about the tasks and options ahead • For GCC mitigation: Green capitalism is far too slow and incremental. • For GCC adaptation: Green capitalism will not be an option • Conclusion: Democratic-socialist planning is the only viable model for GCC mitigation or adaptation • We have a few ideas about how that might work, but a lot will need to be developed through experimentation. 20
  21. 21. To avoid the 2o Celsius limit, cuts to GHGs emissions need to be far more drastic than commonly stated Source: Kevin Anderson
  22. 22. In the rich countries, we should have already reduced GHG emission to zero Source: Kevin Anderson
  23. 23. Two scenarios for GCC • Either we can get ahead of climate change (aka mitigation): – It may already be too late – But if it’s not too late, the target for rich countries would need to be to reduce GHGs by 90% in 5 years max • Or we don’t manage to mitigate sufficiently, and we have to deal with chaos (aka adaptation): – Hundreds of millions fleeing coastal zones – Epidemics – Food failures, water shortages 23
  24. 24. Mitigation: Three possible paths forward • Ethical capitalism – Can the conscience of consumers, investors, executives lead companies to prioritize people and planet over profits? – Sure, let’s encourage conscience – But no, the market for virtue is far too weak and too slow (Vogel) • Regulated capitalism – Can we overcome the political weight of business to enact regulation that is rigorous enough? – Sure, we can do better than now – But no, so long as the primary wealth-generating mechanism is capitalist, government’s power is severely limited – esp in a globalized economic and financial system (Polanyi) – So progress via this path will be too limited and too slow • Democratic socialist planning – For rapid and dramatic transformation and degrowth in rich countries – For rapid transition in developing countries – For international trade to facilitate global transition 24
  25. 25. Adaptation: Two paths backward, one path forward • Devolution – At best: dispersed solidaristic survivalist communities – At worst: war-lordism • Despotism – War-capitalism, national-socialism • Democratic-socialism – With all its uncertainties • Conclusion: We have little choice but to find a way to make the democratic-socialist option work 25
  26. 26. Some basic parameters of democratic- socialist planning – and some handholds • Socialize ownership of (major) firms and banks – investors compensated with government bonds – Greatly facilitated by increasing concentration of industry structures • Implement a democratic economic planning system – Create democratic economic planning boards at enterprise, local, national, and international levels – Adapt planning techniques from firms like Walmart; scale up techniques like city-level participatory budgeting • Assure employees a majority on enterprise boards – Other stakeholders (local community, etc.) hold board positions too – Experience to leverage: Mondragon • Socialize investment – Don’t break up the too-big-to-fail banks—socialize them! – Create national and state banks alongside democratically governed cooperative credit unions, insurance cooperatives – Direct credit to high-performing firms and priority projects defined by planning boards and socialist triple-bottom-line – Here too can adapt investment planning techniques of TBL companies 26
  27. 27. Democratic-socialist planning can be more centralized or more decentralized -- but can and must be democratic David Laibman, “Multilevel Democratic Iterative Coordination” Centralized Decentralized New Socialism – Cockshott and Contrell Early Soviet (pre 1968) Political command – Keeran and Kenny Market socialism – Schweickhart MDIC – Laibman and late Soviet Negotiated coordination – Devine Market socialism – Roemer Participatory economy – Albert and Hahnel Anarchist communes Quantified Qualitative 27
  28. 28. 28 David Laibman, “Multilevel Democratic Iterative Coordination” (2015)
  29. 29. Hasn’t this been tried before…with disastrous results? Ulm 1592, B. Brecht Said the Tailor to the Bishop: Believe me, I can fly. Watch me while I try. And he stood with things That looked like wings On the great church roof That is quite absurd A wicked, foolish lie, For man will never fly, A man is not a bird, Said the Bishop to the Tailor. Said the People to the Bishop: The Tailor is quite dead, He was a stupid head. His wings are rumpled And he lies all crumpled On the hard church square. The bells ring out in praise That man is not a bird It was a wicked, foolish lie, Mankind will never fly, Said the Bishop to the People.
  30. 30. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM Hugh Willmott City U London
  31. 31. The ‘Spiritual’ Dimension of De-growth Hugh Willmott Cass Business School and Cardiff Business School
  32. 32. De-growth and Materialism • Growth as a product of the practical philosophy of materialism – informed by the assumption that human fulfillment, flourishing, etc. is realized by generating and acquiring having more “stuff” – capitalism is the exemplar of this materialism: the systematic accumulation of personal wealth • the device of the (limited liability) corporation as the principle means of accelerating growth
  33. 33. Beyond Rational Calculation • Mounting evidence of unsustainablility – data on greenhouse gas emissions – Anticipation of consequences – migration, food failure, water shortage – global dislocation • Nonetheless, despite the evidence, limited efforts to reduce ‘growth’ as means of reducing emissions and so ensuring sustainability • What are the conditions of possibility of increasing those efforts?
  34. 34. Anthropocentricism as Alienation • Disconnectedness reflects anthropocentric orientation – manifest in anxiety and depression (meaninglessness; deadness; narcissism); escape from ‘now’ • Conception of human beings as masters, rather than stewards, of Nature. Exploiters, not guardians • Shift to ecocentric orientation; radical relationality – Pleasure / meaning from “simple” activities and carbon neutral technologies – Nature as co-enactor , not resource – Logic of appreciation and conviviality rather than exploitation and manipulation
  35. 35. Re-orientation of Economic Activity: Refashioning Moral Order • Promote a content and form of economic activity that fosters appreciation and recognition – facilitate increased participation / “industrial democracy” • Requires development of (spiritual) capacities that make de- growth relevant, appealing and practical; and impedes corruption of collective ethos • Invites different conception(s) of “the corporation” – reinvention of cooperatives, development of social enterprises, etc. Collective flourishing, not personal accumulation – Increased spiritual maturity as a condition( and consequence) of the practical realization of de-growth • Re-orientation of business education towards ecocentrism • Radical reformulation of the practice of “mindfulness” – Meditation as praxis articulated as different “choices” – “right livelihood”
  36. 36. Conclusion : The Nurturing of Quality not the Maxing-Out of Quantity ‘By choosing to do without the superfluous material wealth we will be rewarded with more time, more freedom, more community, more health, more connection with nature, more meaning, and more justice. In short, degrowth is predicated on a new form of flourishing, where paradoxically we decrease our material standards of living but actually increase our quality of life…We should explore alternatives not because we are ecologically compelled to live differently – although we are – but because we are human and deserve the opportunity to flourish in dignity, within sustainable bounds.’ Samuel Alexander (2015) ‘What is Degrowth? Envisioning a Prosperous Descent envisioning-a-prosperous-decenst (emphasis added)
  37. 37. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM Mark Starik American U
  38. 38. NEW MODELS OF TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION:THE CASE OF THE ILFI Mark Starik,American University,Washington, D.C. Re-Imagining and Re-Organizing EconomicAction for Degrowth Academy of Management Symposium,August 8, 2016
  39. 39. What NeedsTo “DeGrow” or “Re- Balance”? • Environmentally: Human consumption impacts of energy, water, and eco-system habitat appear to need to be slowed, neutralized, and even reversed as soon as possible (211,000 more of us every day to nearly a 7.5 billion total today/10 billion soon). • Soci0-economically: Reductions in human wealth and income inequality, debilitating poverty and disease, and human conflict appear to need to be matched by increases in social justice, human satisfaction, and psycho-emotional benefits (Only 1 in 3 Americans are “very happy”; 1 billion in world live on less than $1/day, are illiterate, and do not have access to clean drinking water.)
  40. 40. Several InterestingApparentlyTransformative Movements• Permaculture (28 “Diplomats” at the Permaculture Inst.) • TransitionTowns (At least 480 worldwide) • CommunityTime Banks (At least 300 just in U.S.) • Community Solar Gardens (8-12 U.S. States) • The “Slow” Movement (83K members in 30 nations) • Future Earth (5 Global Hubs, 5 Regional Centres) • (At least 269 GroupsWorldwide) • Gross National Happiness (At leat 5 GDP Alternatives) • U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (17 goals, 169 targets, and 304 Indicators) • (Tiny Houses/LOHAS 40 million) • Circular Economy/Blue Economy/Waste Is Food
  41. 41. International Living Futures Institute • Standalone non-profit organization based in Portland, OR, USA (with offices in Seattle &Vancouver, BC) • Several dozen staff members in a handful of departments and programs • Network of members and volunteers • Mission: “Work toward a future that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.” • Reducing (negative) footprints and increasing (positive) handprints in both environmental and socio- economic sustainability
  42. 42. First (ofThree) Major Advocacy and Certification Programs of the ILFI – the Living Building Challenge • Founded in 2006 and now on version 3.1 with dozens of “Ambassadors” and more than 100 registered projects. • Certification program for builders, architects, and other professionals and building and property owners • Interested in the best, most resource-efficient approach to residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings to attain “net positive” levels of energy/water • Rigorous building performance standard including Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty • Must meet all performance standards after 12 months of operation to advance goals of resilience, equity, community, and a “living future”.
  43. 43. Second Major Advocacy and Certification Programs of the ILFI – the Living Community Challenge • Launched in 2014 to bring LBC to the community scale to promote net positive energy/water, biophilia, and community health values. • Same 7 major areas as the LBC above, but with an orientation to transition suburban areas to new urban areas with greater density or to be dismantled and repurposed as new rural zones for food production, habitat, and ecosystem services. • Generating their own energy, processing their own waste, operating on a human/local scale • Currently, 3 Registered Communities (including Normal, IL, shown on this slide), plus 6 additional Pilot Projects
  44. 44. Third Major Advocacy and Certification Program of ILFI – the Living Product Challenge 1.0 (2015) • Living Products are informed by biomimicry and biophilia; manufactured by processes powered only by renewable energy and within the water balance of the places they are made. • Living Products improve our quality of life and bring joy through their beauty and functionality. Imagine a Living Product whose very existence builds soil; creates habitat; nourishes the human spirit; and provides inspiration for personal, political and economic change • Pending example: Sirewall, which is a rammed- earth building construction process using sandstone to maximize the super-insulation of building walls for many types of buildings/climates
  45. 45. “DeGrowth”/Rebalance Lessons of the ILFI• Society, businesses, communities, and individuals can realize a wide range of vital, human values and goals both irrespective of and as multi-level antidotes to traditional economic growth with efforts such as those of the ILFI (and others) • Cognizance of both human and environmental requirements (and their interaction), developing strategies, implementing action plans, and certifying progress toward meeting those requirements flow throughout these and other ILFI programs • Such programs need more academic and practitioner attention, and, where warranted, support in the form of funding, marketing, research, and voluntary action by as many of us as possible as soon as possible
  46. 46. Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM André Reichel Karlshochschule
  47. 47. CONVIVIALITY Ivan Illich
  48. 48. CONVIVIALITY …autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man-made environment. I consider conviviality to be individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value. (Tools for Conviviality, p. 11)
  49. 49. CONVIVIALITY The criterion for the stopping point in the accumulation of relationships—and this is what will prevent the advent of a new, relational form of “capitalism”— will be similar to the one which, in the logic of Gandhi, puts a halt to the accumulation of goods and services: When the extension of relationships becomes a factor of heteronomy in a person’s life, i.e., when he or she starts to become an instrument “in the service” of his or her relationships or that others become a substitute for his or her own inner strength, then abundance mutates into scarcity for that person—a scarcity of “self,” a scarcity of vital space, a scarcity of AUTONOMY. nd_our_current_sustainability_crisis p. 6-7
  51. 51. CONVIVIALITY ... and the purpose of economic activity and business | providing tools, products and services for convival living | tools for self-production & self-empowerment including the ability to repair and re-use products (and/or create them in the first place) | design products so that they can be used self-reliantly and without over-dependence on large-scale infrastructures | critical question: does this product increase interdependent autonomy with others and the natural environment?
  52. 52. CONVIVIALITY ... and leadership in organizations | maximize autonomy of organizational members in mutual interdependence | open up decision processes to value creators (including active prosumers) | empower all value creators to actually take decisions that pay attention to all of our interdependencies | critical question: is our organization increasing interdependent autonomy with others and the natural environment?
  53. 53. CONVIVIALITY ... and CONVIVIAL MODERNITY | convivial modes of production: convivial capitalism? | convivial modes of decision making: convivial democracy? | convivial modes of living: convivial humanity?
  54. 54. Session # 1166 | Sponsors: CMS, ONE, SIM Re-imagining and Re-organizing Economic Action for Degrowth Welcome to our 6th Annual Degrowth Session @ AOM

Editor's Notes

  • We realize that many astute critics are concerned that the confluence of ecological, social and economic crises in modern capitalism is threatening human civilization. Climate change is emblematic of these broader trends and is one of the most pressing crisis points facing humanity. For this reason, we focus our analysis in this presentation on developing systemic responses to climate change but see the need to address a broader array of interrelated problems through radical restructuring of culture (the ideology of growth) and relations of power embedded in the institutional framework of the market economy.
  • Annex 1:
    Australia; Austria; Belarus a/; Belgium; Bulgaria a/; Canada; Croatia*; Czech Republic a/ *; Denmark; European Union; Estonia a/; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary a/; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Latvia a/; Liechtenstein*; Lithuania a/; Luxembourg; Monaco*; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland a/; Portugal; Romania a/; Russian Federation a/; Slovakia a/*; Slovenia a/*; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine a/; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; United States of America;
  • If there is still time to take seriously approaches to mitigation, how far can we go with capitalism? Some scholars and activists think ethical capitalism holds promise… Others contend that regulated capitalism provides avenues for serious mitigation using tools such as rigorous regulation, substantial carbon taxes, stringent cap and trade policies, etc.

    BUT, could a rigorously regulated capitalism—a renewed social-democracy—counterbalance the dynamism of the market with social and environmental priorities? Clearly, if we could enact strong enough regulations, we could dramatically mitigate our environmental crisis as well as the various social crises we face. And I see efforts in that direction as very worthwhile. But we should be honest with ourselves about the limits of such a model. This option presupposes that even in a society whose economy is driven by competition between large, capitalist firms, democracy can prevail over the economic interests of these firms, and legislators can enact and enforce new regulations that are far, far more rigorous than we currently see. While on many issues we might expect to find some firms eager for stronger regulation (for example: solar companies are eager to see CO2 emissions taxed heavily), on most of the critical issues that we face today the vast majority of firms and industries will be strongly opposed (for example: raising taxes on CO2 emissions, on inherited wealth, on corporate profits, or raising the minimum wage). In a capitalist society, one where society’s wealth is generated by a capitalist business sector, it is very hard to see how any government can overrule successfully the combined interests of business. Where, as in the Nordic countries, unusual historical circumstances enabled the creation of strongly regulated social-democracies, these countries have been forced to weaken their regulatory regimes as their economies were progressively integrated into a world economy dominated by globalized capitalist financial markets (Huber & Stephens, 1998). So the regulated-capitalism model, too, appears to rest on wishful thinking.

  • Ivan Illich (/ɪˈvɑːn ˈɪlɪtʃ/;[1] 4 September 1926 – 2 December 2002) was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and "maverick social critic"[2] of the institutions of contemporary Western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development.

    The book that brought Ivan Illich to public attention was Deschooling Society (1971), a radical critical discourse on education as practised in "modern" economies. Giving examples of what he regards as the ineffectual nature of institutionalized education, Illich posited self-directed education, supported by intentional social relations, in fluid informal arrangements:
    »Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the style of present schools.
    The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.«

    Tools for Conviviality (1973) was published only two years after Deschooling Society. In this new work Illich generalized the themes that he had previously applied to the field of education: the institutionalization of specialized knowledge, the dominant role of technocratic elites in industrial society, and the need to develop new instruments for the reconquest of practical knowledge by the average citizen. He wrote that "[e]lite professional groups . . . have come to exert a 'radical monopoly' on such basic human activities as health, agriculture, home-building, and learning, leading to a 'war on subsistence' that robs peasant societies of their vital skills and know-how. The result of much economic development is very often not human flourishing but 'modernized poverty,' dependency, and an out-of-control system in which the humans become worn-down mechanical parts."[2] Illich proposed that we should "invert the present deep structure of tools" in order to "give people tools that guarantee their right to work with independent efficiency."[13]

  • Illich proposed conviviality as opposed to industrial productivity and the relentless drive to economic growth. For Illich there is a threshold of productivity in a society beyond which counterproductivity sets in and destroys all productivity gains. This notion is similar to that of »uneconomic growth« by Herman Daly. Counterproductivity can be seen e.g. by the decline of travel speed of cars within cities in the last 40 years due to the clogging of our streets with an overproduction of cars. It can be argued that uneconomic growth and counterproductivity have similar origins.

    However, Illich’s concept is bigger than economics. For him the threshold beyond a convivial society is reached when the autonomy of the productive individual is overtaken by the heteronomy of productivism. Being deprived of one’s own productivity by large-scale systems of productivism, individual autonomy and freedom is destroyed – and your personal humanity along with that:
    »People need not only to obtain things, they need above all the freedom to make things among which they can live, to give shape to them according to their own tastes, and to put them to use in caring for and about others. (ibid.)«

    Christian Arnsperger developed a wonderful paper on the anthropology of conviviality in which he connected the concept to sustainability. Sustainability, Arnsperger argues, is connected to production remaining non-productivist such that the threshold beyond which conviviality is destroyed is not reached. A sustainable society is a convival society. What I learned from this paper is a bit more complex, though.
  • Within the degrowth and décroissance movement, Illich is an important source for inspiration. Conviviality has especially significance to the discussion on the role of technology in a society beyond growth. The reception of Illich within degrowth often falls in line with a rejection of globalized capitalism, globalized chains of production and global business – the signifiers of productivism, counterproductivity and the heteronomic order of economic growth fetishism. Conviviality, especially convivial technology, is then seen as something more small-scale, local, and centered on human individuals in interaction with each other. This image of such a degrowth society is appealing to some, appalling to others. Illich himself however noted that small is not always beautiful. Moreover, heteronomic order not only lies at the market/capitalist end of conviviality but also on its social relationship side. Autonomy can also be in danger when one is too strongly entangled, relying on and exploiting social relations:

    Just as there is counterproductivity and productivism, there is »counterconformity« and »relationalism«. Beyond such a »connectionist travesty« as Arnsperger calls it, lies the true spirit of Ivan Illich and his thinking: the self-determined autonomy of the human individual. Not an autonomy beyond social relations, quite far from it. But an autonomy that is based on one’s inner strength stemming from being self-productive without over-reliance on either markets nor social relations – and therefore able to fully participate in society and social as well as economic exchange with others. At the heart of conviviality lies a very modern expression: individual freedom.
    Beyond fear and paranoia, growth and exploitation, retreat and conformity – there might be a convivial modernity as a new narrative for the postgrowth society.
  • Just as there is counterproductivity and productivism, there is »counterconformity« and »relationalism«.

    Beyond such a »connectionist travesty« as Arnsperger calls it, lies the true spirit of Ivan Illich and his thinking: the self-determined autonomy of the human individual. Not an autonomy beyond social relations, quite far from it. But an autonomy that is based on one’s inner strength stemming from being self-productive without over-reliance on either markets nor social relations – and therefore able to fully participate in society and social as well as economic exchange with others. At the heart of conviviality lies a very modern expression: individual freedom.

    Beyond fear and paranoia, growth and exploitation, retreat and conformity – there might be a convivial modernity as a new narrative for the postgrowth society.
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