The Ecological Citizen: A peer-reviewed ecocentric journal


Long article

Green republican political economy: Towards the liberation from economic growth and work as disutility

John Barry

The Ecological Citizen Vol 3 Suppl B 2020: 67–76

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First published: 21 February 2020  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


Abstract

This article focuses on green non-ecological critiques of orthodox economic growth and offers a distinctive green republican political economy argument in favour of democratizing production as part of the 'just transition' to a sustainable, regenerative economy. Democratizing production could, by enabling the realization of some of the internal goods of work, reduce ecologically damaging orthodox economic growth. The article then proceeds to critically analyse the dominant conception of 'work as disutility' within both the history of modern political economy and more importantly within neoclassical economics. This (mis)conception of work is one that neglects to recognize the internal values of work, and frames a view of human labour which is used to justify despotic workplace management practices. Hence liberating the macro economy from the imperative of endless growth, and at the micro economic/workplace level liberating production from capitalist productivity, could simultaneously enhance human freedom and flourishing and ecological sustainability.

 

Keywords

Ecological economics, Eco-socialism, Limits, Sustainability, Techno-fixes

 


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