Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 14, No 3 (2018)

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Degrowth: Technoscience and the Existential Stakes of a Political Heresy

Michel Weber


Three main questions are in order to probe the issue of degrowth. First, we have to make clear that, in the current political context, degrowth is nothing less than a complete heresy. Meadows and Whitehead are precious to specify its weak and strong concepts. On the one hand, degrowth is shown to be inevitable on a finite planet; on the other, technoscience lured by capitalism is necessarily alienating, as it prevents individuation, solidarity, and culture. Second, two forgotten political exemplifications are helpful to picture the critical practicalities: Cuba's "special period," and the Mansholt Commission. Third, the status of technoscience being, arguably, at the very core of the (obvious) vices and (alleged) virtues of the growth religion, a brief Huxleyan speculation on its axiological neutrality helps us to conclude.

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