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Aug 17, 2011
Economic growth is the secular religion of advancing industrial nations. - Daniel Bell
In December 2009 I addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions on the subject of the spiritual significance of voluntary simplicity. I would never hold myself out as an authority on this matter, I hasten to add – it seems to me a rather too personal subject for there to be ‘experts,’ as...
Jul 30, 2011
This is the last essay in the July series, and I think it may be the most interesting. Recently published in the Earth Jurisprudence and Environmental Justice Journal, this essay looks back upon the world from the vantage point of the year 2099. The futuristic reflections detailed in this essay review how attitudes toward consumption and economic growth underwent a radical shift over the course of the...
Jul 19, 2011
Continuing the July series of publications, this post consists of an essay called “The Voluntary Simplicity Movement: Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture,’ which is soon to be published in the peer-reviewed, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. This essay, which is based on a collection of earlier posts on this website, is...
Jul 1, 2011
I’ve recently drafted a paper on ‘degrowth’ for the journal Environmental Politics (forthcoming) which I’ve summarised below. The full paper can be downloaded here: Planned Economic Contraction: The Emerging Case for Degrowth
Abstract: This article outlines the sociological, ecological, and economic foundations of a macroeconomics ‘beyond growth,’ focusing on the idea of...
Jun 28, 2011
Something a little different today – free music!
After a silent hiatus of several years without composing a note – justifying my musical alias “Samuel de Silentio” – over the last few weekends I’ve written and recorded (at home) a short album and posted it online for free download. Most of the songs are ‘simplicity’ related, so I thought some of you might be interested in a listen. Music is...
Jun 20, 2011
Ted Trainer is one of the wisest, boldest, and most dedicated advocates of The Simpler Way. In 2010 he published a book called, The Transition to a Sustainable and Just World, and I have to say that it is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. If you only have time to read one more book in your life, consider reading this one. It speaks directly to our global situation and condition, and it...
Jun 6, 2011
My essay, ‘Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For,’ is about to be published in the Concord Saunterer: The Journal of Thoreau Studies. I sent out a draft to some of you a few months ago but have been given generous permission to post the final version here (see link below).
The essay gives an account of the two years just past that I spent living in a small, self-constructed, inner...
May 31, 2011
There are now many credible scientific studies establishing that the global economy is exceeding, by some way, the regenerative and absorptive capacities of Earth’s ecosystems. One way to understand this defining problem of our age, and perhaps move towards its resolution, is to look at the problem of overpopulation. The planet is in such a dire situation, it can be argued, because there are just too...
May 19, 2011
Over the last four years I’ve been working on my doctoral thesis, which I submitted for examination in January this year and which has recently been passed. The thesis, entitled ‘Property beyond Growth: Toward a Politics of Voluntary Simplicity,’ explores the notion of a private property / market system ‘beyond growth’ and argues that any such system will depend for its realization upon the...
May 8, 2011
Let me define a machine very broadly as something incapable of thought that reacts predictably to a given stimulus. Take a vending machine, for example. Someone puts money in, pushes certain buttons, and without thinking about it, the machine distributes the goods selected.
Now imagine another type of machine – a robot. Suppose every time this robot has an opportunity to acquire money it does so and then...
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