The notion that wealthy countries have "achieved" growth while poor countries "haven't" erases both colonial history and neo-colonial forms of power. In reality the former have grown rich by exploiting the latter, and they continue to do so.
The West's economic rise depended on silver and gold plundered from the Andes; cotton and sugar grown by enslaved Africans on land stolen from Indigenous Americans; plus rubber, grain, timber etc appropriated from Africa, India and other colonized territories.
After independence, governments across the South focused on progressive economic reforms to boost wages, public services and domestic industries. These efforts were quashed and reversed by structural adjustment programs imposed by the World Bank and the IMF from the 1980s onward.
Today, high-income countries continue to rely on a large *net* appropriation from the global South, including:

-10.1 billion tons of raw materials
-379 billion hours of human labour
-22.7 Exajoules of energy
-800 million hectares of land

*Per year*.…

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More from @jasonhickel

11 Feb
I really enjoyed this discussion with @sjmmcd. It gave us a chance to reflect on degrowth beyond the usual introductory ideas. See what you think:…
"Degrowth adds an anti-imperialist ethic to ecosocialism. The call for degrowth in the global North is not just about ecology. It is also a call for decolonization in the global South. Ecosocialism without anti-imperialism is not an ecosocialism worth having."
"It was once thought that we shouldn’t use the word degrowth, for fear of turning people off. I’ve found the opposite; people find it intuitive and refreshing. It makes no sense to patronize people. Appeal to their intellect, their humanity, their sense of care and solidarity."
Read 5 tweets
9 Feb
The People's Agreement of Cochabamba is the single most powerful, holistic statement on climate that I am aware of. Read it, assign it to your students, send it to your politicians, and make sure it's on the table at any citizens assembly:…
"Humanity confronts a great dilemma: to continue on the path of capitalism, depredation, and death, or to choose the path of harmony with nature and respect for life."
"It is imperative that we forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. And in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings."
Read 10 tweets
1 Feb
@pierreaussi @LMdiplo @Leigh_Phillips @mdiplo Thanks, Pierre (and Leigh). It seems to me that these arguments are a bit old now. The debate has advanced quite a lot from this representation of it.
@pierreaussi @LMdiplo @Leigh_Phillips @mdiplo First, the ozone thing is a false analogy. Capitalist growth does not require CFCs in order to work; it does however require energy and material resources. This has been pointed out a number of times before.
@pierreaussi @LMdiplo @Leigh_Phillips @mdiplo Second, the Malthus thing is an old scare tactic. Kallis wrote a book on this, showing that Malthus was a prophet not of limits but of growthism. Degrowth scholarship explicitly rejects Malthusian ideas.
Read 6 tweets
30 Jan
Many scientists believe that the rise of novel viruses like SARS-CoV-2 is being driven by rising resource extraction. If that's the case, we will likely see many more pandemics in the years to come, until we flatten the resource use curve.
Look at the rate of resource use growth and ask yourself whether vaccinations are going to solve this problem. If we want to avoid living in pandemic misery for the rest of the century, we need degrowth.
We should think of degrowth as a public health intervention.
Read 7 tweets
30 Jan
Some questions for Transparency International:

1. If you *know* your methodology is flawed (i.e., it ignores corporate corruption enabled by rich nations), why do you keep using it? Fix it, and until then stop publishing your misleading index. #CPI2020
2. You claim that "private sector corruption" is different from public sector corruption. But if private corruption is *enabled* by government policy (which you acknowledge), then why should governments not be held accountable in your index? #CPI2020
3. Are tax havens private entities or public? If they are public (which they are), then why are the biggest tax havens (i.e., the US, UK and their territories, plus Switzerland Luxembourg, etc.) not punished in your index accordingly? #CPI2020
Read 8 tweets
29 Jan
Transparency International has just released its corruption report for 2020. Once again it paints rich nations as innocent, ignoring their role in illicit financial flows, secrecy jurisdictions, arms trading, covert interventions, and self-dealing at the WB and IMF. #CPI2020
Corporations and financial institutions in rich nations are responsible for the vast majority of money that's lost to corruption in the global economy each year. We need to set the record straight. I've written about this here:…
And I joined @CitationsPod for an in-depth discussion of this issue here:…
Read 5 tweets

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