Individual Paper: Time Wealth Can Meet Degrowth
Time is our most important resource. Many growth critics are pointing out, that an overkill of production, consumption and events is probably hindering us to use our time for the things we describe as really necessary for a “good life”: for contemplative and creative leisure, free development of personality or real friendships, for example. Even the economist John M. Keynes expected for his great-grandchildren "economic possibilities“ to have a weekly working time of fifteen hours – space for the freed life beyond necessities. The emancipatory narrative laying behind this we can call time wealth.
Many degrowth authors are proposing a rise of subsistence work. But to which kinds of new dependencies from communities, networks and personal performance would this lead? The emancipatory question is: Does this model meet the likely attractive narrative of time wealth?
My thesis: From a degrowth perspective more subsistence is not convincing. We can work highly satisfied fifteen hours as a specialist in the industry to get some little money for some little consumtion – and make perhaps additional ten hours subsistence work in our communities. But we can even work somewhere for money five hours a week and produce 35 hours by own work. Different degrowth lifestyles are possible.
Time wealth is to be understood as the freedom to choose the way we want to work. Probably a basic income can support us in this regard by giving a basic security of life. In my contribution I will point out why and how this will lead also to a significant higher share of elements of “good life” instead of productivism and consumerism.
One step to undermine the growth hegemony is to show that this good life effects are possible without incalculable societal break downs: We need pilot projects with an universal basic income paid for all residents, not only for those getting social transfers
Start time: 14:30
Room: ABF (Stora Salen)
Track: Subjectivities, Values, Ideas and Satisfactions