“Now the economy bloats… If it is not to jeopardize the lives of our grandkids, its growth must taper off… This will require nothing less than a revolution, a social revolution to match the academic revolution of ecological economics. The total revolution may be called the steady state revolution…
“The goal of the steady state revolution is to establish a steady state economy for the purpose of providing the grandkids (and their grandkids as well) a well-endowed natural environment conducive to health, happiness, and their own economic opportunities.”
We need a new Revolution to change our course from its current spiraling out of control into a sustainable, peaceful world that we can feel proud to pass on to future generations. In order to do this, we need to gather together as a people, not divided by nation, creed, race, sex, political leaning or economic caste.
The following is a short guide to institute such a social revolution, take these (non-violent) steps to help create a better world:
Shun the Liquidating Lifestyle.
Assign the most wasteful, destructive parts of our gluttonous economy with both a name and a stigma – “The Liquidating Class.” This comes from their actions – as they use up, or liquidate, vast quantities of natural capital for frivolous and extravagant things. Disapproval, spite, reticule (even a little anger) is required for those in the liquidating class that are aware of the consequences of their actions.
In our democracy (and the world’s mostly democratic now), the steady state revolution has to be a social movement. We have to change the way we look at growth and castigate those who are wasteful supports of growth. Brian Czech mentions a survey in his book, Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train, that found that “61 percent of Americans agreed that there were no limits to economic growth.”
Most people simply need to be educated about the true harm of our growth-centered ways. Once they are educated, they will be given a choice (just as you were, one which led you here) to support growth knowing it is harmful or not support growth – they will decide if they will leave the Liquidating Class.
Those who chose to stay in the Liquidating Class with this knowledge need to feel the social pressure; they need to see that others do not approve of their wasteful ways. As it is right now we encourage, envy, and enjoy even talking about people who spend and devour so wastefully (take MTV’s Cribs as a prime example). If we push onto them this public disapproval, this will help to change their ways.We (the non-liquidating class) make up 99% of the population, and yet we see very little of the wealth. Yet, it is our futures the wealthy, liquidating class is destroying. Take it back!
Spread the word.
The single most important thing you can do is be involved in the world to create a positive change.
- Talk – Tell your friends, neighbors, classmates, professors, strangers, and significant others about the Steady State Economy! Get a discussion going everywhere and help people become educated in how ruinous their growth addiction really is to them and everyone else. People skeptical, debunk the objections!
- Blog – Take me for example! Or this guy, and another guy, or this lady… The list goes on (see sidebar). But it’s not enough, share your opinion by commenting, subscribing and writing!
- Write – Letters to your congressman, letters to the editor, or letters to your mama!
Sign a Petition, Take a Position.
There is so much to read and so little time! Here’s a good place to start, check this books out from your library and read them. Read the articles linked on the sidebar. Take a look at CASSE’s Resource page.
There are great ways to get a college education to further the cause, as well. Ecological Economics has been a field of study for a while now. Herman Daly is probably the most notable name in the education of it, but there is also the Gund Institute, a ecological economics course at Virginia Tech taught by CASSE president Brian Czech, as well as a few other programs.
Push for Political Change Now!
- Vote – Because this government is not just a bunch of tight-ass white guys in suits, this government is “by the people, for the people.” If there is anything the Bush elections taught us (and some of the 2008 Senate Elections) it is that one vote really does make a difference. It is our moral obligation to share our opinion on who and what our government does with our time and money!
- Run for Office – don’t think the government is doing a good job? Stop complaining about it and do something! The only true legacy we have in life is the change we make in the world. So go out there and make some change!
- Support Steady State Policies!
Be A Steady Stater.
This is actually easier than you might think because that’s all you really need to do – think! Think before you act. Live a conscious life, by really thinking about your choices before making them. Do you really need that second or third (or first) TV? How many cars do you really need? More importantly, will you having that car mean someone else cannot have food or clean water? Is that really worth driving to work when you can just as easily walk, bike, or take transit? Think about your actions and the effects on others.
Being a Steady Stater is setting an example, too. Show the world you mean to live by the ideals you agree with in every action you take. If nothing else, ask yourself this question: “Are you a Citizen or a Consumer?”
Fight for Change!
We will need to take our social movement and unite together to make a change. The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy is that banner. They have enormous amounts of research, information, and political plout – as well as an educated staff. CASSE represents the model of social movement we can all get behind. Support them and support our cause!
Here are some great resources for political and social activism – stop reading about change and start making that change happen: