Degrowth and Progress
L’Internationale Online launches its newest e-publication, Degrowth and Progress. Following the e-publication Austerity and Utopia, L’Internationale Online presents a second collection of interventions to think through two apparently distant concepts. Artists, thinkers and researchers were invited to reflect on a dissimilar pair of themes as fertile ground for thought and proposition. With this new issue of Degrowth and Progress, we would like to pursue a path of reflection to interrogate the ambivalence of a possible progression of degrowth, and attempt to stage a hybrid scenario of speculative thought and action. This collection draws upon the complexity of ethical, ecological and political frameworks and reveals other perspectives on the current crisis through critical essays, storytelling, science fiction, biomorphic design, audiovisual traces of artistic practices and allegorical maps.
Progress was the firstborn of modernity, a major promise of continuous development towards the perfection of ‘humankind’. But progress in whose name? To whose benefit? With the exclusion of whom? Progress towards what kind of model? The notion of progress, besides being Eurocentric and linked to colonialism, has been the ideological framework for liberalism itself. The ideal of a continuous, progressive and desirable advancement of civilisation has been reframed in recent decades with ‘sustainable development’. But isn’t sustainability a concept far too simplistic to be able to address real questions of poverty, exploitation, segregation, congestion, depletion of land, desertification, terraforming, or the mass extinction of species? Could we think in a different direction about progress?