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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The world has finally awoken to the reality of climate breakdown and ecological collapse. Now we must face up to its primary cause. Capitalism demands perpetual expansion, which is devastating the living world. There is only one solution that will lead to meaningful and immediate change: degrowth.

If we want to have a shot at halting the crisis, we need to restore the balance. We need to change how we see nature and our place in it, shifting from a philosophy of domination and extraction to one that's rooted in reciprocity and regeneration. We need to evolve beyond the dogmas of capitalism to a new system that is fit for the 21st century. But what does such a society look like? What about jobs? What about health? What about progress?

This audiobook tackles these questions and traces a clear pathway to a post-capitalist economy. An economy that's more just, more caring and more fun. An economy that enables human flourishing while reversing ecological breakdown. An economy that will not only lift us out of our current crisis, but restore our sense of connection to a world that's brimming with life. By taking less, we can become more.

 PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Jason Hickel (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.

TL:DR; This book is a rantathon for people who the type of people who fail the Gapminder test (most people sadly). If you fail the gapminder test, don't buy this book as it will only worsen your already overly-negative view of the world. Instead but go and research until you pass it, maybe try Pinker's Enlightenment Now, or just relax and read something funny. I tried to read this as a nice chap I met through solar-charity-investment recommended it. But try as I might I can't get through it. Hickel is definitely very hateful and despising of 'capitalism'. No doubt in any civilisation from the Sumarians, to the Mongols to the Ottomans, a Hickel would have been there railing against the treatment of the poor and lambasting the riches of the rich. In the two chapters I managed to read of this book I understand Hickel has no universal sense of empathy, where he is able to understand how all humans work together in societies and buy and sell goods and services and improve each other's lot. Rather he is convinced it's a stitch up and he only ever uses his empathy and sympathy for those he considers down-trodden. For instance, he mentions pre-medieval life expectancy was 43 and after 'enclosures' of agricultural lands in Europe is dove down to 31. Now, I'm not going to go and research those particular medieval stats, but what is certainly true today is that global life-expectancy has shot-up over the last hundred years in every nation and the average is 72 and rising. So we're all doing super-duper thank you very much, but Hickel wants the system that delivered this to be ripped apart. Another example I was shocked to hear was that Henry VIII created the Vagabond Act and after destituting all these subjects of his, he had 75,000 of them executed. What a terrible person! Except when I researched this, that 75,000 figure seems to come from one reference from a French Catholic history, who weren't to impressed at Henry's Roman Catholic Brexit. Serious analysis of this period suggests Henry VIII can barely have ordered the executions of more than a few hundred individuals. I could go on, but I shan't waste my saliva. So rather than give it to you straight Hickel would rather have you think and feel that 'the rich', 'the 1%, 'the elites' only sequester money (he posits no reason why or where they put it) and do this by oppressing the poor who in his view in a capitalist society do nothing but lose. Again, in the majority of agricultural history leaders, kings, and monarchs have been in a difficult situation of strike or be struck, Money generally has had to go back into investments in infrastructure, soldier's wages, and defenses. And whilst it can buy the largest and most diverse set of fineries for the uber-rich of any age, they are beholden to the overall conditions of the time. Take Queen Anne, who had 18 children, none of whom made it to adulthood, most of which were stillborn, some died of smallpox, and others survived just long enough to be baptised. Or all the way to 1927 when the most powerful man the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge watched inept as his son died from a blister he got from playing tennis. Today almost every child in the world has access to antibiotics. Thanks society. Thanks 'capitalism'. Hickel may have some important information and arguments, but if he has they are wrapped in a thick smear of misplaced bitterness.

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We are only part of the nature, nothing more.

Humanity can only survive if post-capitalism profits will be used for mother earth recovery. This book is a masterpiece.

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worth it for thehistory of capitalism bits

on first listen was really impressed by the history of capitalism bits and felt the solutions were a bit less clearly presented. for.obcious reasons I guess in that he's talking about possibilities as opposed to historical events. still think arguments could have been better argued towards the end of the book. would recommend

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Excellent read

Loved this book. Not my normal read but decided to read something new. No regrets as it was very much a brain exerciser.

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Everyone should read this book

Please read this book and then ask yourself how can you be part of solution

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Outstanding, amazing informative read

Finally a book that explains in plain words and backed by history and facts that the way to live sustainably and save the planet is only via letting go of capitalism and going back to political systems where wealth is redistributed equitably, production is reduced, people work less days and live their life and hobbies and work therefore is distributed amongst ppl that would be otherwise displaced , caping consumption and regulating the life span of objects. THIS is what will save the planet and diminish poverty, not solar pannels and wind farms owned by the oil and gas companies anyway and not the electrical cars without any means of batery disposal.

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A positive future is possible.

A comprehensive review of how we got here. Why current growth, green or otherwise, cannot possibly be successful. Neatly brings many ideas together as a set of solutions. Finishes with a treatise on looking at our place in the world as we are all in it together rather having dominion over “nature”. Excellent

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Superb. Essential reading for 2020

This book gave me a fresh perspective on Capitalism itself. It'll make you angry, but importantly it will leave you with a sense of hope for what can and indeed must come next.

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A hopefully life changing audiobook

This book is engrossing and difficult to pin down in a review. It’s about humans, humanity, nature, the economy, destruction, evolution, religion and much more. Ultimately it’s about hope and how to live well. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will read and listen again.