Building the U.S. Degrowth Movement
Formed in 2018, DegrowUS is a loose collective of activists, academics and advocates for degrowth from across the United States. We are a new and evolving project, growing organically out of the strengths of our organizers and the needs of our communities.
DegrowUS is part of a global movement for a voluntary transition towards a just, participatory, and ecologically sustainable society.
Our vision is broad and diverse, and our focus will continue to expand and shift according to where we can do the most good.
Degrowth is a movement that is first and foremost opposed to further economic growth as a priority or a “good” for our society and planet. We are in favor of the equitable and just downscaling of production and consumption in the economy, focusing economic activity less on profit and more on …
Degrowth is about living better on less - focusing on the things that genuinely give our lives meaning, purpose and beauty such as community, family, authentic experience and connection to the natural world. We believe it is possible to produce and consume substantially less, and that economic growth has led not only to no increase in human happiness, but a decrease in wellbeing. But to build a world in which everyone has the ability to live well requires a society built around …
A global capitalist system focused on economic growth has privileged the few at the expense of the many. Climate change will disproportionately impact the very people who bear the least culpability in bringing it about. We are not only about shrinking the economy; we are about building an entirely new kind of economy, one that meets the needs of those who participate within it, overturns entrenched hierarchies, gives voice to the oppressed, and power to the powerless. We believe this cannot be done without …
The sham of our “democratic” institutions is visible all around us. We believe that people genuinely can value leading the kind of life that can be lived sustainably on this earth, and will choose to do so if we are each and all given the freedom to make choices. Within our organizing structure and beyond it, we prioritize meeting the needs of our communities and taking power back from the forces that lord it over us. Our vision is a world of …
Degrowth is a movement for just transition, and that means, particularly, standing in solidarity with those whom our current system of exploitative, extractive values and practices have oppressed, marginalized, sidelined and brutalized. Our focus is on degrowing the bloated economies of the Global North to give our planet the chance to meet the needs of everyone. Because at the end of the day, our vision is one of …
Harmony between ourselves and the natural world, harmonies within and between our communities, and even harmonies born of free association between disparate viewpoints and ideals. We believe a harmonious world is possible, one in which humanity and nature can both live in tandem and assist in each other’s flourishing. But it comes from treating that relationship as an equal relationship of mutual aid (within humanity, and between humans and nature), rather than a relationship of extraction and domination.
Out of our inaugural gathering came a general sense of where we can fit ourselves in to the broader movement for just transition in the United States. Our role, so far, is to be a hub: to provide educational resources, spark conversations, build networks, and stand in solidarity with allies fighting the extractive, exploitative mentality of unchecked economic growth.
Our projects are new and will continue to evolve. For a current list of what we’re working on, see our list of Working Groups.
DegrowUS is internally structured like this: Everyone is President.
We believe that a just and democratic world can only be born from a just and democratic movement. We are committed to maintaining horizontality, direct democracy, and the empowerment of systemically disenfranchised voices within our collective.
Along with this, we act based on the following frameworks:
The do-ocracy: our goal is to utilize the strengths, interests and passions of those organizing with us in line with the needs of our communities. Rather than some members proscribing certain strategies and tactics that must be accomplished (so often by other members), we choose for our collective actions to emerge based on the decisions and energy of our individual organizers.
In a nutshell: If you think we should do it, then do it.
The pluriverse: in keeping with the multitude of needs within our communities, we operate assuming a multitude of strategies, tactics and focuses can be impactful. What works for someone may not work for someone else, and what falls flat in one community may revolutionize another.
In another nutshell: Just because it worked somewhere doesn’t mean it will work everywhere. Just because it doesn’t work everywhere doesn’t mean it won’t work somewhere.
If this sounds up your alley, you might want to consider joining DegrowUS.