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At 19:30 on Tuesday the 19th April, deBuren held a debate which looked at the primacy of economic growth and it and degrowth’s relative merits.

About the debate:

In the last few years, the financial crisis and climate change have led more and more people to question the primacy of economic growth. Proponents of degrowth advocate a totally different sort of economics and a complete change of mentality. They seek an end to the prioritisation of economic growth, state that we need to produce and consume less and that that which we do produce should be sold as close to source as is possible. For the proponents of degrowth, it’s time to see an end to the environmental excesses of our consumerist society.

Of course, degrowth is controversial and the movement has come in for criticism. This debate looked to analyse that critique, asking questions such as:

– are economic growth and environmental conservation really incompatible?

– how realistic is the degrowth scenario and what would the economic policy required for its implementation look like in, for example, Belgium and the Netherlands?

– and, would the continued existence of a European Union be conceivable, were that union to be comprised of member states which had renounced the primacy of economic growth?

Brent Bleys started off the evening with an introduction to the key principles of the degrowth movement, before he, Marius de Geus and Geert Gielens looked in more detail at the practicality of the proposals on which degrowth is based.