After-progress: commoning in degrowth

Wittel, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-4680-6670 and Korczynski, M., 2023. After-progress: commoning in degrowth. The Commoner.

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What does it mean to live with the threat of extinction? We make a case that living with the threat of extinction logically can only mean that we have to abandon the modernist ideology of progress. We review ideas of societal progress and note the decline in arguments relating to progress in the writings of political and social commentators. However, alive and well, and hidden in plain sight, is the current dominant ideology of progress – the central policy goal of governments to achieve growth in Gross Domestic Product. We must abandon this twisted ideology of progress. We point to two interrelated elements of a political economy of after-progress – degrowth and commoning. Currently, there are rich and vital literatures on degrowth and on commoning, but rarely do writers in these fields come into explicit dialogue with each other to see and develop a shared logic. We outline a political economy of degrowth as one centred on sustaining the commons, and contrast this with current arguments for green capitalism, centred on the idea of a Green New Deal. Competitive individualism is the central social relationship of capitalism, and is a social relationship that leads to the destruction of the commons. By contrast, commoning should be seen as the central social relationship of a degrowth economy. It is simultaneously a social relationship and an ecological relationship. It is a social ecological relationship to sustain the commons within a degrowth economy.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: The Commoner
Creators: Wittel, A. and Korczynski, M.
Publisher: The Commoner
Date: 15 March 2023
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 23 Mar 2023 09:15
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2023 09:15

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