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Living the Good Life in a Non-Growth World. Investigating the Role of Hierarchy

Blair Fix

No 2021/02, Working Papers on Capital as Power from Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism

Abstract: Humanity's most pressing need is to learn how to live within our planet's boundaries - something that likely means doing without economic growth. How, then, can we create a non-growth society that is both just and equitable? I attempt to address this question by looking at an aspect of sustainability (and equity) that is not often discussed: the growth of hierarchy. As societies consume more energy, they tend to become more hierarchical. At the same time, the growth of hierarchy also seems to be a key driver of income/resource inequality. In this essay, I review the evidence for the joint relation between energy, hierarchy and inequality. I then speculate about what it implies for achieving a sustainable and equitable future. NOTE: This essay was written for and supported by the Seoul Platform for Initiating Discourses on an Equitable and Resilient Society.

Keywords: hierarchy; energy; inequality; power; sustainability; wellbeing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D3 P16 Q4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-hme
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