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Apr 16, 2024

You can listen to the full episode "Degrowth vs Eco-Modernism" by subscribing to our Patreon here:

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Debates on the left can often seem overly dramatized or indulgent—the result of too much time spent in online rabbit holes or needlessly arguing over manufactured controversies. But this is not always the case. There are many important debates among the left and many internal contradictions which are not compatible—what dialectical materialists would refer to as antagonistic contradictions. In this episode, we're going to explore one of these seemingly irreconcilable differences. 

Degrowth is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of tendencies on the left which broadly proclaim the need to end or at least curtail economic growth. Degrowth thinkers include past guests like Max Ajl, Kai Heron, and Jason Hickel. Alternatively, left eco-modernism is a tendency on the left that argues the opposite: growth is not only necessary, but the assertion that we must end or curtail growth actually presents a barrier to our liberation. Left eco-modernists include past guests like Matt Huber. 

In this episode, we're doing something a bit different. We're going to explore the antagonism between these two broad tendencies by reading an article and interspersing it with our own real-time analysis. The article is a piece by Kai Heron published by Verso titled "Forget Eco-Modernism: Recent years have seen renewed debate on climate strategy on the left. Here, Kai Heron responds to the arguments of the proponents of a left ecomodernism, and argues that it risks reactionary political consequences."

Join Robert as he presents the text, unpacks its arguments and analyzes them in real time, and brings in commentary and thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to degrowth, climate change, Marxism, and much more. 

Further resources:

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