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Scientific paper


The Labor(s) of Degrowth

Stefania Barca

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Scientific paper

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Capitalism Nature Socialism


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KEYWORDS: Degrowth, labor, alienation, ecofeminist political economy

ABSTRACT: The degrowth debate so far has lacked a clear vision of what social subjects, and which processes of political subjectivation, can turn its vision into a political strategy. In this contribution to the debate on degrowth and eco-socialism, I point to the place of labor in the politics of socio-ecological revolution, arguing that degrowth should aim for a truly democratic, workers’ controlled production system, where alienation is actively countered by a collective reappropriation of the products of labor and by a truly democratic decision-making process over the use of the surplus. Such strategy must be based on an extended concept of class relations that goes beyond the wage labor relation, and toward a broader conception of work as a (gendered and racialized) mediator of social metabolism. I conclude that ecosocialist degrowth should take the form of a struggle for dealienating both industrial and meta-industrial labor.

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