Dr Mladen Domazet is a philosopher-physicist and Research Directorat the Institute for Political Ecology in Zagreb, Croatia. Institutefor Political Ecology (IPE) is a research andeducational organisation that designs alternative development modelsand innovative institutional frameworks for a democratic politicaland economic attainment of justice, equality and ecological stabilityin contemporary societies. Domazet was a member of the Organizing Team of 2016 InternationalDegrowth Conference in Budapest. His research focuseson degrowth-compatible common senses and social attitudes amongcontemporary populations, with special focus on the Europeansemiperiphery, and modernity’s cultural instruments thatcontributed to the hegemony of economic growth
Degrowth– a sobering vision for the 21st century
seminar with Mladen Domazet
February 14, 2019
You and I are not disinterested bystanders in the 6th massive planetaryextinction on the only habitable planet we have access to. Modern civilization will not be a self-destructive blip in the history oflife on Earth, nor a coldblooded destroyer of the majority of theworld's people in an attempt to bring a handful of high-impact lifestyles within the planetary boundaries. We are fed and have food to share, and can be reflective and informed. For these reasons weare able to see how degrowth and avoiding genocidal climate changeare intrinsically connected. Our fortunate vantage point of thinking through and discussing planetary climate stability provides us withthe tools to see beyond the blinding size of systemic globalinequalities and abrupt climate destabilization, by reshaping the myths through which we connect ourselves to the world. But what is that thing – degrowth?
On one side, degrowth is the reduction of energy and material through put, needed in order to face the existing biophysical constraints (in terms of amount of resources and potential to process waste). On the other side, degrowth is an attempt to challenge the omnipresence of market-based relations in society andthe growth-based roots of the social imaginary replacing them by the idea of frugal abundance. It is also a call for deeper democracy in multiple aspects of social life, from technology to dépense. Finally, degrowth implies an equitable redistribution of wealth within and across the Global North and South, as well as between present and future generations (Demaria et al. 2013).