Henk-Jan van Alphen by Henk-Jan van Alphen
25 September 2018

Against wasted politics: A critique of the circular economy

In this article Valenzuela and Böhm argue how the promise of a zero-waste-circular-economy actually obscures the fact that waste is a necessary part of production and consumption under capitalism. In fact, waste continues to grow exponentially and is often not managed but transposed to marginalized communities. By offering "green" or "sustainable" commodities, producers can relieve the sustainable-wary consumer from the guilt of consumption and increase the desire for even more consumption and thus keep up the wasting of their left over parts....

Against wasted politics: A critique of the circular economy

It’s a true story … being a young intellectual, I wanted desperately to get away, see something different … I was on a small boat … the fishermen went out in their frail crafts at their own risk. It was this risk, this danger, which I loved to share … One day, then, as we were waiting for the moment to pull in the nets, a fisherman known as Petit-Jean … pointed out to me something floating on the surface of the waves. It was a small can, a sardine can. It floated there in the sun, a witness to the canning industry [in developing Brittany], which we, in fact, were supposed to supply. It glittered in the sun. And Petit-Jean said to me – You see that can? Do you see it? Well, it doesn’t see you! (Lacan, 1998: 95) Introduction Calls for mobilizing a post-growth economy can be increasingly heard in the public sphere these days. The economic drive for growth, experts have been telling us (Alexander, 2012; Jackson, 2011; Meadows, et al., 1972), is associated with alarming symptoms of environmental destruction and socio-psychological demise, ranging from wage stagnation and the rise of inequality to increased dissatisfaction and depression, and,...

  • ephemerajournal.org
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