- An end to exploitation. Thus a degrowth society would be egalitarian and classless.
- Direct democracy. Local, regional and national assemblies would deal with policy issues and administrative tasks according to the scale of the issues.
- Degrowth involves localised production.
- Sharing, a principle that goes with ‘reclaiming the Commons’. And including sharing work, public space, resources and expertise.
- A degrowth society would shift resources to the provision of ‘relational goods’. That is to say, that enable and support relationships within a society, like family.
- Unproductive expenditures and the concept of ‘depense’ are central to the pursuit of meaning and the production of a given social order. Waste is not bad per se; it’s only waste from the exploitation of other humans or the environment that’s bad. Everybody should, in effect, have the right to ‘be lazy’, not just the rich.
- Care. Care work should be revalued, and redistributed. It falls disproportionately on women, and immigrant women. This principle goes hand in hand with redistribution. Caring should extend to caring for the environment.
- Diverse. While the current economy is diverse, in a degrowth society the current hierarchy would be inverted. Unpaid care work, for example, would be valued, and non-profits would be the dominant producers of good and services.
- Finally, all his would result in a ‘decommodification’ of land, labour and value. So, for example, competitive sport would be deprofessionalised (imagine no more Dockers – at least as we know them!), and child care would be free.
By Michael Barker