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Byron Shire
December 9, 2022

Degrowth

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With honourable intentions and a clarion call for action, Richard Jones’s article on ‘Degrowth’ (21 September) raises some critical issues for those concerned about the state of the global environment and increasing social inequalities and injustices. Sit up and take notice.

By coincidence The Echo, same edition, has a letter by David Bradbury, and a rebuttal article by Damian Kassabgi, in relation to Chile where neoliberalist capitalism was ushered in an experiment by Chile, under the ruthless Pinochet dictatorship, courtesy of the USA, free-market economist Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys, circa 1973. To this day, this odious doctrine, which is now economic orthodoxy, still permeates political economic discourse globally.

Inherent in capitalism’s logic is expansion and growth, all predicated on rates of exploitation, towards higher profits. As a result, the crises besetting the planet are exposing the inherent contradictions and global warming, climate change, environmental destruction, accelerating social/income inequalities, and commodification of everything will only continue to increase.

Unfortunately, it will take more than middle class sensibilities’ hyperbole – ‘simplicity, sharing, and working together’; the powers that be fear nothing about the economic / political system of capitalism being dismantled and replaced, so the spectre of eco-fascism remains a real worry as the crisis unfolds. Understanding how political and economic power has manifested in our institutions, and is used by the mainstream media to shape public opinion, and most importantly how and who benefits, remain vital, for bringing about positive change. Identifying political agency that serves the interests of ordinary people and protects ecological integrity is a step towards creating a better, more just, inclusive world.

The so called ‘communist’ (Stalinist) regimes, as ‘existing communism’ were never that, just authoritarian, undemocratic, and moribund, doomed to fail, and served as no example to follow. 

The Degrowth Movement is not homogeneous and is vague about what is proposed change the capitalist system to, or how to work within it, and what needs to be done, especially the de-coupling of the economy. All vitally important questions to find genuine democratic solutions. 

Boyd Kellner, Newrybar


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Tweed Council secures environmental water sharing during drought

Two items at last week's Tweed Shire Council meeting highlighted the commitment of the council to sharing water with the environment even during low-flow and drought periods. 

Celebrating the life of Jack Paris Crittle

Young DJ and keen surfer, Jack Crittle, was tragically killed in a car accident last week. A celebration of his life will be held this Monday, 12 December at 10am.

Mullum’s Federation Bridge closed again tonight

Mullum and hinterland residents and visitors are reminded that Federation Bridge will be closed again tonight from 6pm to 4am for repairs. 

Changing the world with non-violent action

‘Nonviolence  is an intensely active force when properly understood and used.’ These are the words of Gandhi, the man who led nationwide campaigns in his country to ease poverty by creating a movement of resistance that contributed to ending British Rule in India.