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Notes on the Occupation – Occupy Melbourne

This post is a continuation of the last one – but this time with the benefit of lived experience. Here are my thoughts on the experience so far. (For my 4,000 word defence of the movement, please click here: Ignite.) For the purpose of ‘occupying Melbourne’ in solidarity with the global movement, I headed down to City Square in Melbourne this weekend, arriving on Saturday morning before the start of... read more

Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Melbourne: Are We the People We Have Been Waiting For?

(A PDF of my 4,000 word defence of Occupy Melbourne can be downloaded here: Ignite.) I presume you have all heard about the occupation of Wall Street that began a few weeks ago in New York? Thousands of people have been staging an extended protest – an occupation – of Wall Street, voicing their diverse objections to a global financial system that has gone amuck. It may well be, however, that some of... read more

Voluntary Simplicity as an Aesthetics of Existence

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve drafted a new paper on voluntary simplicity. It’s a bit more philosophical than my recent writing (and it’s rather long) but I hope that the title might tempt some of you to take a look. In a sentence, the argument I make is that living simply in a consumer society is an intensely creative challenge, one that is similar to the creative challenge of... read more

Guerrilla Gardening: Things Are Getting Serious

Since I became a guerrilla gardener a month or so ago, I’ve been living in the mountains (not really, but let’s run with this narrative). I’ve only been entering civil society to do my work, and busy I have been. Then I escape back into the mountains where I plan my next move. My code name is “Che Guava.” I reported on my previous operations here and here. Since then, things... read more

Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth

[This is the transcript of my online presentation delivered today for the Wild Law Conference] The PDF of this presentation can be downloaded here: Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth A slightly revised article with more references can be downloaded here: Peak Oil and the Twilight of Growth (New) 1. Introduction Good afternoon everyone, I’m sorry I can’t be with you today but I’m very grateful for... read more

Viva La Resistance!

No, this isn’t the same citrus tree that I planted and posted about a couple of weeks  ago. Although I do look very fondly upon that citrus tree, and check upon it morning  and night, I wouldn’t bother you again with more details were it not for the fact that  another tree has mysteriously appeared, this time on my neighbour’s nature strip. It  looks quite fine, I must say. Whoever could have put... read more

Free Money Day

Free Money Day? What the… I’m not sure about you, but Free Money Day sounds like absolute madness to me. What is the meaning of it all? I was contacted by the Post-Growth Institute recently who asked me if I would write a theme song for Free Money Day – the day people give out free money to complete strangers. “Free money to absolute strangers!” I said. “What the…... read more

Guerrilla Gardening and the Relocalization of Food Production

Relocalizing food production is one of the most important steps on the path to a sustainable society, and in times of  great economic uncertainty, relocalizing food production is just plain sensible. It should bother us, therefore, when we see good land in our neighbourhoods sitting dormant and uncultivated, especially when it is right outside our own doorsteps. Such thoughts crossed my mind every time I... read more

Is this the most beautiful film ever made?

“Home” is a uniquely beautiful film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, made in 2009. I’m sure some of you will have seen it, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend spending an hour and a half absorbing this masterpiece. It is a truly magnificent work of art – one utterly beyond the capacity of words to describe. Make some time one evening; turn your phone off; turn the lights out;... read more

God’s Away on Business: The Spiritual Significance of Voluntary Simplicity

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,’... read more

Just Enough is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics (Audio Lecture and E-Book)

I’ve recently started teaching a Masters of Environment course called, “Consumerism and Sustainability,” through the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Last night I was privileged enough to deliver a lecture on Thoreau, and I have attached an audio file of part of that lecture if anyone would like to have a listen. I have also attached an e-book called ‘Just... read more

Looking Backward from the Year 2099: Ecozoic Reflections on the Future

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... read more

Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture

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... read more

Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of Law: Degrowth from the Grassroots Up

The inner crisis of our civilization must be resolved if the outer crisis is to be effectively met. – Lewis Mumford Building upon the arguments presented in the previous post, this post consists of another working paper for a journal, this time focusing on the relationship between voluntary simplicity and degrowth. The paper is entitled ‘Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of... read more

Planned Economic Contraction? The Emerging Case for Degrowth

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... read more
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