What does “sustainable wellbeing economy for all” require?

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After many years of reading and research, sometimes more sometimes less intensive since 2013, including my PhD thesis in economy & ecology (2018-2021), I can summarize basic requirements of the transition from “exploitative GDP growth economy” to “sustainable wellbeing economy for all” (including future generations) in eleven bullet points.

Comments, critiques and suggestions are welcome if you have different opinions (see contact).

  1. GDP degrowth economy instead of GDP growth economy (see Less Is More by Jason Hickel for more information)
  2. Stopping military & industrial arms races (e.g. industrial fishing/agriculture/healthcare); I don’t believe, any serious social or ecological problem of humanity (including climate crisis and pandemics like covid-19) can be solved without stopping these destructive arms races that push economies toward centralisation, exploitation and destruction.
  3. Decentralization (localization) of economy; increasing local self-sufficiency in every aspect of life (e.g. food, shelter, health, recreation)
  4. Rethinking Economics & Development: End of mainstream (neoclassical/neoliberal) economics; its ideology of progress & development, technology fetishism and consumption culture
  5. Ecological lifestyle & education (philosophy, ecology, music, literature, fine arts, science, learning by doing & experiencing) instead of industrial lifestyle & education (Western ideology of progress, consumption culture and techno-science) that typically produce narrow-minded and tamed technicians for the corporate and state bureaucracy, who don’t ask inconvenient questions like “what am I working for, what is the meaning of my work, what is the ultimate purpose?” (see the case of Adolf Eichmann, the evil of mediocrity – Hannah Arendt)
  6. Protecting nature & bio-diversity along with the rights of indigenous societies
  7. Focusing on fundamental human needs like healthy environment, food & water; reducing wasteful and harmful consumption
  8. Stopping parasitic earnings that steal wealth from local communities and future generations (see Ecosystem Mutilation & Patching Business)
  9. Reclaiming the commons and Rewilding
  10. Transition from unsustainable & unhealthy industrial farming based on unsustainable monocultures (e.g. wheat, maize, rice, soybean, cotton, potato), GMOs, chemical fertilizers and pesticides to ecological farming based on sustainable & healthy polycultures
  11. Transition from fossil and nuclear energy to renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind) in parallel to GDP degrowth economy that reduce waste and consumption

Written by Tunç Ali Kütükçüoğlu, 26 March 2021

Some selected pictures of relevant sections from my PhD thesis (why does mainstream economics ignore ecology?):

About tuncali

I began keeping aquariums as early as I was nine years old. Since then, I kept many aquariums and lots of fish, plant and invertebrate species. My favorite fish family is of course cichlids with their fascinating behaviors. My relatively new area of interest is low-tech natural aquariums as almost self-sufficient ecosystems that are I think ideal models for sustainable life.
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3 Responses to What does “sustainable wellbeing economy for all” require?

  1. tuncali says:

    Another bullet point that should actually be added to the top of the list:
    12) Local and global democratic organisations for social, environmental and economic justice that can overcome the power of big money.

  2. tuncali says:

    It is essential to have some knowledge in human history, ecology, philosophy and political economy to differentiate real/honest Green Transformation (aiming sustainable wellbeing for all) from Green Washing and image polishing (aiming stable or more profit for Big Money).

    This means, an average graduate of modern industrial education, which is typically poor in holistic thinking, philosophy, ecology and human history, can easily be deceived by the Green Washing propaganda of business and state (e.g. technological fixes, Green Growth, Green Capitalism).

  3. tuncali says:

    Two important authors about the necessary social transformation:

    1) Erich Fromm (1900-1980), “Haben oder Sein” (book: to have or to be); away from the superficial, money & market oriented consumption culture

    Erich Fromm – Gespräch zu “Haben oder Sein” (youtube)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_2mn39AU0c

    2) Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) with his books like “The Culture of Narcissism”, “The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its critics” and “The Revolt of the Elites”

    A magnificent audiobook that I hear again and again:
    The Revolt of the Elites (youtube)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ_B1VPWniI

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