Less Is More – How Degrowth Will Save The World by Jason Hickel

Brilliantly joining the dots in a post-capitalist world

Economic anthropologist Jason Hickel leaves no stone unturned in this visionary and sharp analysis. This is a book about the climate and ecological emergency and how to solve it.

The first half of the book is a detailed overview of everything that is wrong and the root causes. The origins of capitalism are explored, particularly during the few hundred years leading up to the Industrial Revolution – how it rose on the back of organised violence, mass impoverishment and “the systematic destruction of self-sufficient subsistence economies”. A world view that separated humans from nature helped economic growth to became more important than human or planetary needs. Since the 1980s, “growthism” in developed countries such as the UK and USA has gone completely crazy.

Part two is all about the solutions. Hickel looks at the unquestioned assumptions of so-called progress. After a certain point, increased economic growth corresponds with a large number of social problems such as rising inequality, political instability and the deterioration of people’s physical and mental health. Chapter 5 outlines steps we need to take in order to survive – “Once we understand that we can flourish without growth, our horizons suddenly open up”. Hickel suggests ending planned obsolescence, cutting advertising, a shift from ownership to usership, ending food waste, and scaling down ecologically destructive industries. He goes on to look at how capitalism is organised around the constant manufacturing of scarcity – degrowth calls for abundance in order to render growth unnecessary.

In the final chapter, “Everything Is Connected”, the author presents a deeper opportunity for healing and recovery from the mess we are in. Learning from indigenous communities, we can develop a genuinely ecological world view and way of being. Behave as if all of reality is intimately interconnected – because it is.

Interconnected – Tim Burness new CD and track listing

With the help of the usual suspects, I am extremely pleased to have recently finished Interconnected, a new studio album. It will be released on 12th November 2018 as a physical CD and digital download with free listening available at my Bandcamp site. Initially, perhaps permanently, it will not be available on the streaming sites.

Julian Tardo and myself have also made videos for three of the songs, two of them featuring the band. They will gradually be going up on my Youtube channel.

The songs are mostly a continuation of the range of styles and lyrical themes that were explored on 2017’s Whose Dream Are You Living?. The album starts and finishes on an upbeat note but there is a wide range of moods in between. Anyone who doesn’t like the Burness silly side had better pass on a couple of tracks! On the other hand, at least one song brings to mind an old T-shirt that an ex-girlfriend bought me: “Do Not Disturb – Already Disturbed”.

I feel extremely lucky to have been able to make this album, it has been hard work but also a joy and a privilege. Thanks largely to an unexpected inheritance, the last two years has been entirely free of the restrictions and distractions that have often hindered my efforts in the past. I hope I’ve made the most of the opportunity. There is arguably far too much music being made these days, so thank you so much to everyone who has supported or continues to support me. It means a great deal. Cheers.

Interconnected track listing:

  1. Electric Energy
  2. I Am Afraid (Saturn Conjunct Pluto)
  3. Freedom
  4. Dear Stranger
  5. This Is The Space
  6. A Shorter Space
  7. Making It Up
  8. Still Mumbling
  9. Ants
  10. Beautiful World
  11. One More Time    

Tim Burness Interconnected – due for release 12th November 2018

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