Less Is More

How Degrowth Will Save the World

320 pages

English language

Published Jan. 18, 2021 by Penguin Random House.

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5 stars (12 reviews)

The world has finally awoken to the reality of climate breakdown and ecological collapse. Now we must face up to its primary cause: capitalism. Our economic system is based on perpetual expansion, which is devastating the living world. There is only one solution that will lead to meaningful and immediate change: degrowth.

If we want to have a shot at surviving the Anthropocene, we need to restore the balance. We need to change how we see the world and our place within it, shifting from a philosophy of domination and extraction to one that’s rooted in reciprocity with our planet’s ecology. We need to evolve beyond the dusty dogmas of capitalism to a new system that’s fit for the twenty-first century.

But what about jobs? What about health? What about progress? This book tackles these questions and offers an inspiring vision for what a post-capitalist economy could look like. An …

4 editions

Salvemos el mundo. Léelo para dar los primeros pasos en el Decrecimiento

4 stars

Creo que este libro hace un buen resumen del trabajo de mucha gente, haciendo una buena labor de divulgación, accesible, hilando cosas y dándoles un orden, así que muy recomendable para que lo lea todo el mundo. Ya estoy pensando en personas a las que se lo puedo regalar.

Como puntos negativos, me hubiera gustado que tuviera más peso en las explicaciones el punto de vista de las mujeres. Por ejemplo nombra a Silvia Federici y se apoya en su trabajo de "caliban y la bruja", pero no he notado que haya permeado mucho el mensaje feminista, y me da pena que esa parte no la haya incluido tan bien como otras. Además, pone mucho peso del libro en la parte de generación de urgencia, para conseguir explicar un cambio de punto de vista a partir del cual se precipitan rápidamente una serie de soluciones, que son detalladas, pero en …

reviewed Less Is More by Jason Hickel

Stick to Your Thesis

3 stars

This book, ostensibly, argues that capital's endless pursuit of growth will only end in ecological catastrophe and that only by rejecting perpetual growth, and by extension capital, can we live truly fulfilling lives. I have no problem with this, and actually support this thesis. The problem arises when the author attempts to try his hand at history and bourgeois philosophy. As I've said previously, he attributes outright malevolence to actions that could easily be explained by trying to do well within imperialist/colonialist systems. Furthermore, it's painfully clear that the author has only read the wikipedia articles on the philosophies he critiques. This is doubly unfortunate because I actually agree with his conclusions regarding bourgeois philosophy and how it has historically been used. The analysis is just not up to snuff unfortunately. With a little more time and effort, this could have been great. As it is, it's just okay.

Might even be six stars

5 stars

Really readable introduction to degrowth. Covers the current state of climate change (which is, inevitably, pretty grim, but nowhere near Wallace-Wells), mentions the Anthropocene but then makes it clear that the term is misleading as it suggests we're all equally to blame. This segues into a history of capitalism through enclosure and colonialism which I found much more understandable than my previous attempts to read up on this. There's so much great stuff in here -- not necessarily new, but just well written -- about artificial scarcity and the growth imperative and the failings of GDP and so on. Also a nice discussion of ontology and the shift from animism to dualism, and how that makes exploiting the natural world seem, well, natural. The chapter on technology includes a disquieting explanation of BECCS and how that's the basis for so many mitigation plans, and also covers the problems of just …

Review of 'Less Is More' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

“We are not the defenders of the river. We are the river.”
— Fisherman, Magdalena River, Colombia

Core idea of capitalism: one not only has to always profit but also do it in an accelerating way. When one does not grow enough, it's an economic crisis. The movement of degrowth raises the arguments against this social imaginary. Always growing is irrational, with no basis, but more importantly it is fatally dangerous. Earth is a balanced system; humanity is one of the cogs and by massively exploiting the Earth's resources the balance is no more and the system collapses.Degrowth is about scaling down world production, as it's the only way to prevent the aforementioned environmental collapse. There are several pathways:1. End planned obsolescence. The lightbulb's life is the most famous example.2. Advertising. Manipulating people to make irrational purchases does increase the GDP yet it doesn't improve our well-being.3. Usership. Not every …

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