Against wasted politics: A critique of the circular economy

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,...

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