PPLD (Parti Pour La Decroissance – Degrowth Party)‘s position for the 2012 presidential elections

Dear growth objectors,

Last June we launched our appeal: Degrowth Appeal – Presidential Elections 2012 i

  • To open the debate on Degrowth and propose pathways to get out of the growth society as well as to decide what kind of Degrowth societies we can build together.
  • To critic showbiz politics and personalisation of politics sanctified by the presidential institution, which has become a monarchic caricature of the oligarchy at the service of the rich and which does not convince many anymore.
  • To create the opportunity for the growth objectors to meet in order to reclaim life choices.

The ongoing debates are not up to the anthropological crisis engendered by the growth society. The campaign is ongoing and some growth objectors have publicly declared their support to a political partyii. It goes without saying that these choices are personal.

The National council of the PPLD will not express any preferential vote for the next presidential elections.

None of the candidates offer a platform, which is at once both anti-productivist and anti-capitalist. That is a platform based upon conviviality, open relocalisation and the unconditional autonomy allowance linked to an income ceiling: a project able to prepare for the post-oil era and the exit from nuclear power in order to overcome the environmental and social crises in the best conditions for all.

Nevertheless we consider that it would be a mistake not to vote and to think that all politicians are to be put in the same basket. We make a special mention in our convergence strategy of the anti-capitalist left parties around anti-productivism about those leaning in our direction, whilst remaining critic of our differencesiii.

We trust our members and friends to chose the least distant political programme from what we are seeking: an “emancipatory Degrowth”. Each is free to express his/her preference; this keeps enriching the debate and it remains a personal opinion. Voting is a personal choice.

So, we wish you all a “good reflection” and we invite you to get engaged in all the political fields, at

the four levelsiv, because democracy is not just about electionsv and the changes we are seeking won’t eventuate from elections alone, far from it.

National Council PPLD


i Throughout the campaign we will develop our main themes:

  • For a democratic transition towards sustainable societies based on Degrowth. The first item must be the reduction of inequalities. This is why we propose a redistribution of resources through the creation of the UAA: Unconditional Autonomy Allowance (DIA: Dotation Inconditionnelle d’Autonomie) necessarily coupled with a fixed maximum income. The allowance is designed to re-localise the economy whilst preserving national and international solidarities, to gain emancipation from the central value of “work” associated with capitalism, in order to achieve self-management, food and energy self-sufficiencies by getting out of the dependence onto non-renewable resources, mainly oil, and to re-engage citizens’ participation in politics. This allowance would apply from birth to death unconditionally, it covers free use of energy, water and food, free access (food, education, health, transport) and the creation of local currencies with a local and national monetary values.
  • For a de-colonisation of our imagination, towards a society of the good life: it is time to get out of our toxic dependence on consumption and chose the qualitative over the quantitative. Work less to produce less but better, to consume less but, above all, to have a better quality of life: by privileging culture, conviviality, sharing and solidarity rather than economic competition and the “always more”. To gain emancipation from wars triggered by economistic logic, and identity withdrawals, or even from frustrations created by the advertising industry.

  • To set up a constitutional assembly for a true democracy. It is time to dismantle the Institutions of the Fifth Republique in order to reengage citizens into politics through local decision-making entities and to increase participation across genders. The transformation is not a top-down process but a bottom up one. It is up to us to create it.



ii http://www.placeaupeuple2012.fr/antiproductivistes/

Some Antiproductivists’ and Growth Objectors’ appeal to vote for Jean-Luc Melenchon.

The ecological, social and political emergency forces us to talk, even if the Left Front’s (Front de Gauche) programme does not fully satisfy us….It does not offer a sufficient rupture. We: militants, growth objectors, antiproductivist, anticonsumerists, liberal “greenies”, Leftist supporters of Degrowth, endorse Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Front candidate and we invite him to engage the debate on 4 main themes:

  1. End poverty

Capitalist production and consumption methods are suicidal and are based on the exploitation of the Third World. Our wealth and lifestyles are responsible for the increase of their increasing impoverishment. This looting impacts on the rich countries, where the number of casualties keeps on rising. We are demanding “more” for the ones who have “less”. Let’s dare asking for the cancellation of the Third World’ debt. Let’s dare re-examining public debts

  1. Build a post-resources-extraction society

This oil-based economy is leading us into a wall. The poor will be the first victims. We advocate for energy savings and renewable energy sources, but we argue that it is not a matter of replacing oil and nuclear energy with a mix of energy sources with the view to safeguard our actual production methods and lifestyles. Together we must invent other life styles. Let’s dare relocalise industries. Let’s dare slow down, let’s dare ecological planning, lets’ dare cooperation, let’s dare say that to stick with the project: “Yasuni-ITT” means, for us as well, lo leave the scarcest and most dangerous resources in the ground.

  1. Exit capitalism

Left and Right share the same frightful environmental record. Both systems have pillaged the planet to feed the productivist machine. But if capitalism is intrinsically productivist, we can imagine a non-productivist socialism.

To achieve this we need a true ecological Left, one that must do away with the blind faith in economic and techno-scientific “progress”. Lets’ have a Left that can get back in touch with popular cultures and lifestyles. Let’s dare a class struggle in the consumption and production fields. Let’s go for a citizens’ science. Let’s multiple experimental social alternatives. Let’s invent a “ecolo-socialism” at the council level. Let’s reinvent a break away multi-platforms unionism. Let’s create a co-operative movement able to tackle the looming environmental collapse. Let’s invent new deliberative methods where well-informed citizens, free from compromises, would articulate what constitutes public interest and what is good for the overwhelming majority.

  1. Build a society of the Good-Living

We are attentive to all the new “big” words, which are popping up to express the need for emancipation: Buen-Vivir of the Amerindians, “eudemonia” of the Greeks, “the new happy days”, etc. Good-Living does not means wellbeing as defined by Western consumption society. Let’s dare reinvent our interactions with the others and ourselves. Lets’ change our interactions with nature. Since public services constitute the wealth of the poor, let’s make free access of an extended range of services our main platform: a economically, socially, culturally and politically conceived gratuitousness. Let’s dare say that we won’t ever be slaves to work and consumption until society guarantees to all enough to cover their basic needs in a frugal manner, admittedly, but totally secured and dignified. Let’s dare say that France and the whole planet are rich enough to look after all their children. Let’s dare say that it is not a matter of means (the size of the cake) but of political choices. Let’s dare say that it is not a matter of sharing the actual cake (GDP) since it is poisonous. Let’s dare say that the ecological crisis prevents us from pushing back the great historical question, which is that of sharing.

For these reasons and a thousand more, we want that our voice be heard during the united Left Front campaign…. We will be present with our specific views to defend our conception of an ecological Left, an anti-capitalist and anti-productivist Left, a Goog-Living Left. Our diversity is our greatest wealth.


Paul Aries: Chief Redactor of Le Sarkophage
Jacques Testart: biologist

iii Some tendencies leaning towards our ideas, whist remaining critic of our differences

Positive evolution

  • antiproductivism and ecological questions in the Left Party (Party de Gauche)
  • strong ecological propositions or the basic income and the phasing out of the nuclear industry in EELV ( Europe Ecologie Les Verts- Europe Ecology – The Greens)
  • no need for a power take-over as a prerequisite from the New Anticapitalist Party ( NPA-Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste)

Critics of our differences

  • Communist Party : still productivist and pro nuclear
  • The Alliance : Socialist Party –Europe Ecologie Les verts
  • The SMIG (minimum wage) at Euros 1 700 for the Nouveau Parti Anticommuniste, without questioning the consumerist society and all what it entails.

iv The four levels of the politics of Degrowth

  • The project level: for a transition and a reflection on the nature and shape of societies of degrowth

  • The collective level: setting up alternative scenarios/experiments.

  • The exposure level: organise debates-forums, demonstrations, media appearances and participate in elections without pursuing a purely electoralistic agenda.

  • The individual level: adopting benevolent simplicity and the decolonization of our imagination.

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