7 July 2009

It's coming

"A graphic designer wearing a handmade sweater is drinking a fruity cocktail with some friends on the terrace of an 'ethnic' café. They’re chatty and cordial, they joke around a bit, they make sure not to be too loud or too quiet, they smile at each other, a little blissfully: we are so civilized. Afterwards, some of them will go work in the neighborhood community garden, while others will dabble in pottery, some Zen Buddhism, or in the making of an animated film. They find communion in the smug feeling that they constitute a new humanity, wiser and more refined than the previous one. And they are right. There is a curious agreement between Apple and the degrowth movement about the civilization of the future. Some people’s idea of returning to the economy of yesteryear offers others the convenient screen behind which a great technological leap forward can be launched. For in history there is no going back. Any exhortation to return to the past is only the expression of one form of consciousness of the present, and rarely the least modern. It is not by chance that degrowth is the banner of the dissident advertisers of the magazine Casseurs de Pub. The inventors of zero growth-the Club of Rome in 1972-were themselves a group of industrialists and bureaucrats who relied on a research paper written by cyberneticians at MIT."

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