The (de)growth delusion | openDemocracy

The question of degrowth is no doubt tricky but the hatchet job here is puzzling. The essay requires additional study but the fist impression is one of theoretical incoherence. The association of growth, progress, and freedom is interesting but doesn’t make much sense.
The idea that growth and freedom are correlated just doesn’t seem right, although the essay may need another checkout. The idea is the old cliche about capitalism versus feudalism and slavery. Quite apart from the fact that capitalists quite liked slavery.

I lived through decades of American capitalist growth and don’t find the idea that its growth produced freedom to make any sense. If you make fifty thousand a year in current money then freedom of a sort emerges as consumerist euphoria. But the whole game is mesmerizing idiocy.
Perhaps the point made is that capitalism produced a kind of liberation via economic categories compared to feudalism. But that is mostly illusion. As an unemployed student of greek who spent forty years looking for a serious job, the whole game is a nightmare, if not a joke. Capitalism sucks. I could teach five branches of math, four languages, English, history, at five minutes’ notice, but was unemployable in the growth economy. I spent my relatives money learning C programming and was good at it. No jobs available. C was already out of date.
At one point you could make money driving a cab, but that got wrecked in transit. All the claptrap about freedom and growth is nuts.
These theory types can only deal with working-class types. Anyone out of the system, i.e. almost everyone, is lumpernprole, human trash by Marxist caste law. One could have joined the system that produced all that freedom, but those people all induce shudders. Free as Frankenstein.
The main option was to live in the streets. I keep thinking of the Buddhist sangha: a gang of mendicant beggars produced a far saner version of freedom. It is possible for societies to be at the level of beggars and thrive. I don’t recommend any of that, it is all in the past tense. But the outcome of capitalist commodity fetishism is not freedom. Idiots. Here the influence of Marx, as this essay shows is confusing. In the end, he is a capitalist at heart and the mode of production reigns, he seems to see that he is part of the capitalist regime. Fuck the means of production. The fetish of Marxist theory backfired. Historical materialism is a grotesque fiction worse than capitalist domination. Society has the means to support everyone, at a decent level, without growth, or capitalist regimentation.
But don’t let the Marxist Stalinists get wind of the idea. They will regiment everyone in bureaucratic state capitalism.
But I may have misunderstood this essay, which isn’t Marxist. I don’t think anyone knows whether degrowth can work. It is hard to see how growth can continue. But then economic categories are in burn out. The problem is that socialism has been delayed too long, or else turned into the grotesque by the Marx group.
Freedom comes from rights, not growth. A sane society in degrowth could be democratic, satisfy economic rights and fundamentals, etc…It is hard to see how growth can continue. Growth may cease to be an option.
People could meditate. Mass produce begging bowls. It takes a good thirty years for meditation to mature, so plenty of time is needed, for that.
People could renounce the world and live in the streets. Or they can invent a form of socialism that solves such simple problems, given goodwill. At least in capitalism you could ride freight trains. With Marxists, it would be shoot on sight. I think this essay is cuckoo.


To abandon growth is to declare an end to progress. Socialists must reject the politics of eco-Thatcherism.

Source: The degrowth delusion | openDemocracy

Toward historical sanity on the left: beyond the idiocy of historical materialism

Decoding_World_History version 2x
We have a new version of Decoding World History as the book nears a first complete version.

Speaking from the left we have criticized historical materialism and the economic version of history. Marxism has run out of gas and is not taken seriously by anyone anymore.
The approach to world history in this new account points to a simple substitute for Marxist confusion over history, and should appeal to mon-marxists as well. The book explores the eonic effect, but beyond that, the method is useful: no theories, instead simple outlines and chronologies. The outline of history approach is far superior to the idiocy of Marx’s theory of history. But the strength of that dated corpus has turned anyone with common sense into a heretic confronting Marxist proto-Stalinists. Maybe they can’t spare a bullet.

Just observing world history is enough. And to reduce it to economic categories is not helpful.
The model of the eonic effect stands beyond dogmatic theories, wastes no time on ‘materialism versus idealism’, allows the study of economies empirically instead of in the fallacious /feudalism/capitalism/communism/ model.
The eonic model takes in everything in one form or another and is far more useful at the point of socialist transition because
it can deal with all the categories of human culture, isn’t glued to crackpot scientism, actually discusses free will,
and has a cornucopia of potential categories. In a kind of default form, it simply points to default historical data.

But is it useless to deal with Marxists. They are trained in a curious kind of stupidity that has made a religious of economic issues and forces of production theory, a notably bad form of social theory.

 Hey wait a minute: we’re all (neo-)Commies here, Trump et al.  _should_ be afraid, very afraid…

Hallucinating communism at this point in WH is not surprising for these reactionaries: their future is the stuff of bad dreams, n’est-ce-pas.

Reactionary leaders are invoking communism as a way of attacking the left, says author and activist Richard Seymour Source: Why is the nationalist right hallucinating a ‘communist enemy’? | Richard…

Source: Why is the nationalist right hallucinating a ‘communist enemy’?  – 1848+: The End(s) of History

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