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Authors:Thomas Gröbly: Baden – Switzerland
Publication title:Everyday Life for an Ecologically and Socially Sustainable Future
Conference:Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009, Campus Norrköping, Sweden
Publication type: Abstract
Article No.:008
Abstract:We know what we have to do: smaller, closer, slower. If we lived these criteria daily, we would be near sustainability. We know the tips to save energy when building houses, when travelling or when consuming: use local, seasonal and organic food. Why we can’t do that? I will look at the deeper reasons for our difficulties and from it, try to develop a strategy out. The central problem is the economisation of all areas of our lives. However, it is presented as a solution. Economisation is based on the idea that only things with a price have value. Existential goods like air, water, biodiversity, soil, animals and plants have become the private possession of certain people. This privatisation and monetization have two dramatic consequences. First, democratic control is decreased and people are forced to pay the rich for common goods through interest. Second, economisation leads to an abstract distance to life-giving goods. If they are traded electronically or on the stock exchange, concern for them disappears and thus respect and responsibility. Suffering children, carbon dioxide in the air, depleted soil, polluted rivers or extinct species lose their dramatics either in price or as a statistic. Men and nature are colonised, and finally our brains also. If we want a sustainable society, we must reflect on our colonialist behaviour. Value and engagement do not develop from pleas, numbers or statistics, but from binding relationships between humans and between humans and other living creatures. If we want to resolve our crisis, then financial funds must serve the common good and the value of money should be reconsidered. It cannot be an end in itself. We need to strengthen the perspective of subsistence. The supply of existential goods to all people must be the centre of all economy and all our plans. This is the path each person can take. When doing my daily activities I must ask if they serve money or if they serve social and ecological sustainability. I must ask if my behaviour helps to decrease the structural violence of colonialism or if it makes it stronger. I’m convinced that this way will appeal to many people, enthuse them and give them courage.
No. of pages:1
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

Thomas Gröbly (2009). Everyday Life for an Ecologically and Socially Sustainable Future, Proceedings of the Sustaining Everyday Life Conference: April 22–24 2009, Campus Norrköping, Sweden;article=008 (accessed 4/24/2014)