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The Politics of Actually Existing UnsustainabilityHuman Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon Constrained World$
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John Barry

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695393.001.0001

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Green Political Economy II: Solidarity and Sharing

Green Political Economy II: Solidarity and Sharing

(p.180) 6 Green Political Economy II: Solidarity and Sharing
The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability

John Barry

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the importance of the values and practices of solidarity and sharing as a mode of economic production and consumption, often typically expressed in the ‘social economy’—in part anticipating the later discussion in chapter 8 on how a sustainable and resilient economy could be organized consistent with a green republican agenda. It outlines an ‘economy of sustainable desire’ which seeks to go beyond the usual descriptions of a resilient, green economy as one defined by ascetic puritanism, denial, and scarcity. In looking beyond the ‘scarcity principle’ as an ordering and organizing feature of orthodox (and some heterodox) economics, this chapter presents the type of economy and society consistent with the principles of green political economy as one of abundance. But if, and only if, we abandon conceptions of orthodox economic growth and consumerism, and replace these with meaningful free time, creativity, and the internal goods creative labour. And above all abandon the confusion and problems related to collapsing the distinction between ‘formally paid employment’ and ‘work’, including ‘socially necessary work’.

Keywords:   solidarity, sharing, social economy, desire, abundance, consumerism

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