Review by Arturo Escobar
In Defense of Degrowth vividly demonstrates why the civilizational obsession with growth, fueled by economic theories that have become outdated, must come to an end. It raises the most pressing question confronting scholarly and activist practices alike: How can we live and organize societies otherwise, so that finally the elusive goal of building genuinely sustainable and just economies becomes tangible and doable? In this movingly persuasive ‘ABC of Degrowth,’ the reader will find user-friendly and compelling explanations for the emerging categories that will surely become the pillars of the lexicon for a new era, such as ‘prosperity without growth,’ conviviality, nowtopias, the commons, universal basic income, and sustainable degrowth itself. Very importantly, readers will be equipped with incontrovertible arguments for why the solutions on offer from the powers that be, such as ‘sustainable development’ and allegedly green technologies, will not work. There are momentous lessons for the Left from these notions that the author cogently illustrates with his situated analyses of the unprecedented turmoil in Southern Europe in the most recent years. In Defense of Degrowth also shows why its author, and the Barcelona group to which he belongs, have become the indisputable world leaders in the vital project of crafting novel economic imaginaries and feasible frameworks for an age where, literally, everything has to change.