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Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto - Hardcover

$27.00

Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto - Hardcover - Balance of Power

Slow Down: The Degrowth Manifesto - Hardcover

$27.00

Why, in our affluent society, do so many people live in poverty, without access to health care, working multiple jobs and are nevertheless unable to make ends meet, with no future prospects, while the planet is burning?

"[Slow Down] offers more than a diagnosis of the systemic problems that brought us to this moment; it lays out, in clear and well-researched language, how those problems can be thoroughly addressed . . . Slow Down is that rare hybrid among ideological manifestos: It opens new insights into an existing ideology while uplifting something distinct of its own."
- Matthew Rozsa, Salon

"Saito’s clarity of thought, plethora of evidence, and conversational, gentle, yet urgent tone . . . are sure to win over open-minded readers who understand the dire nature of our global. . . . A cogently structured anti-capitalist approach to the climate crisis." - Kirkus Reviews 

"Slow Down has an almost magic ability to formulate complex thoughts in clear language, as well as to combine strict conceptual thinking with passionate personal engagement. Saito's book is not just for anyone interested in ecology or in the problems of today's global capitalism, it is simply indispensable for those of us who want to SURVIVE—in short, to all of us." - Slavoj Žižek, author of Violence and The Sublime Object of Ideology

"According to Saito, the Earth is completely doomed unless we give up our obsession with G.D.P. and other forms of capitalist insanity. I find myself pretty well convinced." - Tammy Kim, contributing writer at the New Yorker

In his international bestseller, Kohei Saito argues that while unfettered capitalism is often blamed for inequality and climate change, subsequent calls for "sustainable growth" and a "Green New Deal" are a dangerous compromise. Capitalism creates artificial scarcity by pursuing profit based on the value of products rather than their usefulness and by putting perpetual growth above all else. It is therefore impossible to reverse climate change in a capitalist society--more: the system that caused the problem in the first place cannot be an integral part of the solution.

Instead, Saito advocates for degrowth and deceleration, which he conceives as the slowing of economic activity through the democratic reform of labor and production. In practical terms, he argues for:

  • the end of mass production and mass consumption
  • decarbonization through shorter working hours
  • the prioritization of essential labor over corporate profits

By returning to a system of social ownership, he argues, we can restore abundance and focus on those activities that are essential for human life, effectively reversing climate change and saving the planet.

About the authors

Kohei Saito is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Tokyo. He received his PhD in philosophy from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 2016. He was awarded the 2018 Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize, the most prestigious academic award for Marxian studies, making Saito its youngest recipient. In 2020 the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science awarded him the highly prestigious JSPS prize, awarded to the top 25 scholars in the entire country under the age of 45. In 2021, Slow Down received the "Best Asian Books of the Year" prize from the Asia Book Awards.

Brian Bergstrom is a translator and lecturer who has lived in Chicago, Kyoto, and Yokohama. His writing and translations have appeared in publications including Granta, Aperture, Lit Hub, Mechademia, Japan Forum, positions: asia critique, and The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. He is the editor and principal translator of We, the Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino (PM Press), which was longlisted for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award. His translation of Trinity, Trinity, Trinity by Erika Kobayashi (Astra House, 2022) won the 2022 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. He is currently based in Montréal, Canada.

Number of Pages: 288
Publication date: January 9, 2024
Dimensions: 1.3 x 9.2 x 6.1 IN

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