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From the text: A Language of opposition, once turned into a principle of governance changes its appearance. On the one hand, the social activist necessarily bases her intervention on the vision of a better state of affairs. Hence, her intellectual work is grounded in counter-narratives of what a different, alternative world should look like with the ultimate aim of transforming reality towards this alternative. However, by engaging into the actual game of power politics, the counter-language of critique runs the risk of getting contaminated and corrupted. Acting in the “falsches Leben” (Adorno 2003, engl.: false life) – in this case a globalised capitalism, an environment abused by resource exploitation and deep-reaching power gaps between nations states – there exists a dialectic between counter-narratives, such as those of post-development theories, and their operationalization. This happens in many Latin American countries, even those led by so-called progressive regimes.

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.