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Abstract: This paper examines various forms of resistance and alternative proposals to capital development in a post-socialist context. I argue that learning from the controversies here could be useful for research on de-growth because they are articulated from a position of anxiety with regard to both the communist and the neo-liberal experiments. What has disappeared after 1989 has not been a certain belief, but the strength to believe more generally, and to imagine alternatives. While some have used this moment of ‘meaning-emptiness’ to haste celebration of liberal democracy and capitalist growth, others have lament the lack in equalitarian democratic enthusiasm. Neither positions serve the aim of a potential transformation of these societies but ironically, they perpetuate the Cold War mentality. The more efforts to produce evidence for their truth the more effort to hide contingent production: they can only exist through self-referential performative repetition. The emptiness of these ‘master signifiers’ for post-communist societies has been recognized in multiple times and has left room for thinking alternatively.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Buen vivir and radical ecological democracy” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.