Coronavirus, the letter of experts and activists: “Degrowth against the crisis and for a sustainable society”


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They claim that the crisis has highlighted the structural weaknesses of a’capitalist economy “Obsessed with growth”, a health system paralyzed by years of austerity, a philosophy that believed in green growth and “decoupling”, in the illusory possibility of unlimited development without ecological degradation. Concerned about phase two in which attempts are being made to return to a normality that was in reality already a crisis, a thousand experts and activists from over 66 organizations from different countries, including the captain Carola Rackete, but also George Monbiot, Jason Hickel, Ugo Bardi, Paolo Cacciari, Mauro Bonaiuti, have published an open letter – which you can sign here – in which it is asked to adopt the degrowth paradigm to face the virus-induced crisis and build a more just and sustainable society.

“The coronavirus it was only an accelerator of a systemic crisis, that is ecological, social, of justice global and transgenerational “, he explains Michel Cardito, young doctor and co-president of Movement Italian for happy degrowth. “True, it has allowed for a broad reflection by some sections of the population and a small part of thepolitical establishment on the need for a new one approach, but unfortunately what we have been seeing in recent weeks is an invitation to resume it as soon as possible previous situation, that was of crisis, to increase production and the pil, forgetting again that health comes first. ”

Five are the points that the letter highlights, in order to reimagine the future after the crisis of coronavirus and start a transition to one society radically different, where at the center there are people and the planet before business. First point: put life at the center of ours systems economic: “Fossil fuels, army, advertising are sectors that must be abandoned, in favor of health, education, renewable energy, ecological agriculture”. Then reassess how much and what work is needed for one good life for all: “We need to give more emphasis to care work and allow workers in the destructive industries to access training for new types of regenerative and clean work. ” Overall, it is necessary to “reduce working hours”.

Third point: organize the society around the supply of goods is services essential. “If on the one hand we have to reduce the waste and travel, primary human needs – the right to food, housing, education – must be guaranteed to everyone through universal basic services or universal basic income schemes “. It’s still, democratize the company: “Allowing all people to participate in decisions that affect their lives, especially groups marginalized by society. The sectors related to basic needs go demercificati is definanzializzati, while the power of multinationals global he was born in sector financial“. Finally, last point: to base political and economic systems on the principle of solidarity. “There redistribution and justice must be the basis for reconciliation between current and future generations, social groups between countries and between countries in the south and north of the world. Climate justice must be the guiding principle for rapid socio-ecological transformation. ”

“To put it in synthesis, we should start again working on the concept of “humus”, earth, which is all that can strengthen the roots so that the plant does not collapse in the first storm “, he comments Lucia Cuffaro, the other co-founder of Movement, expert of self and writer. “We realized we have roots fragile, the economic system itself has fragile roots, so it is necessary to start again from what it can give us solidity. For example improve your own self-sufficiency at the food level, work on prevention, eat food not fruit of farms and intensive agriculture. On the other hand, even those who have money today have understood that the Welfare of the relations is a priority ataccumulation“. “There pandemic, however painful, it is only a symptom of a system ill, just think of the much more serious crisis climate is environmental. This is why the current crisis is an opportunity that should not be wasted to have a better and fairer future “, he concludes Karl Krähmer, member of the board of the Italian happy degrowth movement.

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