I fell in Degrowth… as some fall in love!

I fell in Degrowth… as some fall in love, just a matter of fact. From one day to the next, no more compromise… Even if I have been a fervent ecologist for ever, falling in Degrowth means seeing again, at once, all the contradictions of my personal, professional, and social life choices…

From that moment, I embarked on the transition, with more or less difficulties, which painfully remains exalting and fulfilling. What I am certain of is that I don’t know what will be left in the end.

Falling in Degrowth is like mourning slowly, suddenly even, for a societal vision in which we did create ourselves, and projected our future… and being suddenly faced with a feeling of abyssal powerlessness that pushes us to go and meet those who have already embraced it, with the same bulimic fervor sometimes (quite paradoxically!), as if to fill this abrupt “conceptual void”…

Falling in Degrowth is to accept that our dreams and reflections become radicalised… for a while or along time. Sometimes our positions shut down in an obstinate manner on everything that constituted “before”, without out any indulgence for the others, even less towards ourselves… This kind of radicalisation brings about its share of fractures and misunderstandings with our close, sceptical family members, and creates a feeling of lack of flexibility… real, for a while, or a long time… The risks of withdrawal and a reliance on a one-sided collective can be great… and yet…

Falling in Degrowth
is, foremost, not to reproduce the individualistic and egoistical models offered by the capitalist society. It is about inventing new archetypes. In my opinion, it is a profoundly intimate and humanistic experience… proposing new, differently respectful of, and concerned with the others, without loosing touch with our contemporaries by reneging our appurtenance to a social body, or by nurturing secessionist behaviours, hateful even. To become radical by defending ideas such as the ones advocated by Degrowth, is, above all, to look after the others, by granting them their importance, since they are imbued with sharing, solidarity, and conviviality…

From this starting point, how can we not adopt a radical ecologic position, from an environmental and social standpoint? How can we give due respect to humans if we support an exponential exploitation of the planet’s resources, polluting, making people sick, killing, destroying the future generations’ inheritance and changing human relations profoundly. The arable lands and the farmers are disappearing at a frightening pace. The equivalent of a department [French shire, France is made of 96 metropolitan departments] disappears every 7-10 years, covered by bitumen or concrete! On the remaining arable land, they practice a chemical-intensive agriculture in the name of the sacrosanct productivity. How can we support civil and military nuclear power, the exploitation of shale oil, military armament, the erosion of public services, and the disrespect of fundamental human rights?

Falling in Degrowth is as much a reflective approach as it is an active one. The words, reflections, would amount to nothing without the practical experiments, at individual or collective levels… falling in Degrowth is also to accept that transition will take time, and admitting that we could even fall a little bit deeper that we hoped for… and realise that we are not alone.

what should one do?

Create spaces where we can imagine possibilities, lives, autonomies, re-appropriations, inventions, re-inventions, free usage, exchanges, creations, localisations… writing to expose our analyses and diagnostics. Re-conquer the city by inventing new political and citizens’ scapes. Re-connect with our neighbourhoods’ life, our local, regional identity, at home … re-root our life and our consumption within our territory, reconnect with the land, here, at home…, offer convivial and sharing spaces; where, together, in our diversities, we expand the fields of possibilities and propose new paradigms for tomorrow’s society.

Some say it is utopia…. But isn’t utopia what has not been realised yet, and not, the un-realisable, as Théodor Monod suggested!

Petei Sapiri, 21 September 2012

If you are not convinced yet, here are some points worth reflecting upon:

Here are the Top five regrets of the dying, according to a study in The Guardian:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

Some pathways to go further:

  1. Join Alter Tour during summer, to visit all the alternatives already set up by travelling around our beautiful French country in good company.
  2. Read “10 advices to become a resistant through Degrowth
  3. To keep an eye on the project: “Let’s transform our territories”: a project from the Movement Colibri initiated by Pierre Rabhi
  4. Get informed on the Transition Town France and eventually watch the movies “In Transition 1.0” & “In Transition 2.0
  5. Read Allons faire Ailleurs (Let’s do Somewhere-Else)
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