|The Bull-Leaping Fresco | Palace at Knossos | Heraklion Archaeological Museum | c1450 BC
Stucco panel with scene in relief | 78.2 cm × 104.5 cm
…. We can take this observation one step further. It is important to recognize that the word ‘growth’ has
become a kind of propaganda term. In reality, what is going on is a process of elite accumulation, the
commodiﬁcation of commons, and the appropriation of human labour and natural resources — a process
that is quite often colonial in character. This process, which is generally destructive to human commu-
nities and to ecology, is glossed as growth. Growth sounds natural and positive (who could possibly be
against growth?) so people are easily persuaded to buy into it, and to back policies that will generate more
of it, when otherwise they might not. Growth is the ideology of capitalism, in the Gramscian sense. It is
the core tenet of capitalism’s cultural hegemony. The word degrowth is powerful and effective because it
identiﬁes this trick, and rejects it. Degrowth calls for the reversal of the processes that lie behind growth: it
calls for disaccumulation, decommodiﬁcation, and decolonization.
Jason Hickel | @jasonhickel
|rig pa rang shar | self cognizing primordial wisdom | all 30 x 22 inches|
|Iconometry of the buddha body of emmanation according to the Tantra of the Emergence of Cakrasaṃvara (scale :120 sor)|
|Iconometry of the standing bodhisattva Mahākāruṇika|
|Iconometry of Vajrabhairava|
|Iconometry of the wrathful Cakrasaṃvara (scale: 125 sor)|
|All images from The Treasury of Knowledge : Indo-Tibetan Classical Learning & Buddhist Phenomenology by Jamgön Kongtrul|
“Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation.
Now, it’s long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it’s possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an inﬁnite garbage-can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control.
As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to he avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.”