The Simpler Way

In this provocative and engaging essay, Ted Trainer critiques the Transition Towns movement and posits that a much more radical approach will be required if our individual communities are expected to survive the transition. Rather than narrowly focusing on energy, local food systems, and recycling schemes, Trainer says that the entire for-profit capitalist system must be jettisoned in order to provide any hope that Earth’s 7 billion human inhabitants will be able to succeed on a planet that is already experiencing resource overshoot.

THE SIMPLER WAY: WORKING FOR TRANSITION FROM CONSUMER SOCIETY TO A SIMPLER, MORE COOPERATIVE, JUST AND ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE  SOCIETY

by Ted Trainer

Excerpt:

We have to build a local economy, not a national or globalised economy, an economy designed to meet needs, not to maximise profits, an economy under participatory social control and not driven by corporate profit, and one guided by rational planning as distinct from leaving everything to the market. This is the antithesis of capitalism, markets, profit motivation and corporate control. Nothing could be more revolutionary. If we don’t plunge into building such an economy we will probably not survive in the coming age of scarcity. The Transition Towns movement will come to nothing of great significance if it does not set itself to build such economies. Either your town will get control of its own affairs and organise local productive capacity to provide for you, or it will remain within and dependent on the mainstream economy.

In other words, the goal here is to build that Economy B, a new local economy enabling the people who live in the town to guarantee the provision of basic necessities by applying their labour, land and skills to local resources…all under our control. The old Economy A can then drop dead and we will still be able to provide for ourselves. This kind of vision and goal is not evident in the TT literature and reports I have read. There is no concept of setting out to eventually run the town economy for the benefit of the people via participatory means.

Categories: ideas.

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