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Dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda Central
Diego Rivera's Mural (1947), Mexico City.
Dimensions: 4.70m x 15.60m
The First North-South Conference on Degrowth, Mexico 2018 (Primera Conferencia Norte-Sur de Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México, 2018) will be a forum to present the latest in thought and practice of degrowth in the world and put it in dialogue with the context of the countries of the American Continent of the twenty-first century.

What do we mean by descrecimiento?

Descrecimiento is the new word or neologism which was adopted unanimously in the First Colloquium La Apuesta por el Descrecimiento, held in 2007 in the city of Mexico, to translate the French slogan décroissance, used by the original movement born in 2003 after the publication of Serge Latouche's article in Le Monde Diplomatique (Pour une societé de decroissance). It was quickly translated in other European countries as decrecimiento (Spain) decrescita (Italy), postwachstum (Germany) and as degrowth in English. The idea behind descrecimiento has been to denote the will to reduce consumption and the ambitions of power and money, and to eliminate the abstract common connotation of this word in scientific language. The word descrecimiento does not exist so far in conventional dictionaries; however, it has been included in the vocabulary of Degrowth published in Europe a couple of years ago.

Descrecimiento implies a vision of the world that flatly rejects techniques and investments that destroy the biological and cultural diversity of the territory, which cause cancers and other serious alterations to human health, and endanger the existence of the humanity, which induce the acceleration of natural disasters: drought, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, heat waves, which create oil wars or water wars, pandemics and biogenetic catastrophes. It involves a challenge to the modern way of life founded on the use of devastating modern techniques, unlimited economic growth and the production of illusions of progress, development and modernity.

Above all, it implies the will of slashing, individually and collectively, the use of transportation, pumping, generation of electricity, education and health services, provided by the State and the Market, as well as the production and consumption of industrial products. It involves a practice that recognizes the political, economic, social, cultural and ecological conditions of the countries of the Global South. It involves the rejection of growth for the sake of growth that does not take into account the nature of the production.

Descrecimiento is also of a policy proposal for countries of the Global South: lines of action that are applicable in developed countries are not necessarily applicable in the countries of the South. The first Conference North-South of Degrowth-Descrecimiento, Mexico 2018 aims to open a major debate on convergences and differences in the proposals of the North and the ones of the South.

Axial or central themes


SURVIVAL

How can we unleash the mobilization and the social organization that are indispensable to face the new risks or threats that Climate Change and new technologies from the North have created: genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, cybernetics, geoengineering, among others? How to cope with the pressures that Growth Societies have introduced in the global environment? How to address the growing violence against the human body? How to deal with scientific essays intended to produce genetically modified individuals? How to cope with the extinction of species, desespeciación, and the transhumanism movement; How to address nuclear leaks, waste and radioactive poisoning? How to deal with military errors of nuclearized countries and terrorism induced by governments?


CULTURES

How to protect languages, indigenous cultures, wisdoms, words and free expression, from modern cultural totalitarianism, represented by the "pensée unique" and the invasive technologies with illusory promises of happiness that cannot fulfill? How to confront the multidimensional war against indigenous people, peasants and workers: irruption of the mass media in their collective imaginary, paternalist attitudes, plundering of their land and resources, extractivism, intensive contamination of their environment? What lessons and inspirations do vernacular cultures offer to the degrowth movement? How can cultural diversity in the North and in the South be strengthened?


WEALTH

How can we radically reduce the economic ties among people, the sweeping dependency on markets and the concentration of wealth? How can we escape from the dominant concepts of poverty and wealth that prevail in a Growth Society where Science and Technology are drivers? How can we create a Society that radically reduces the dominance by Economy and Technology and instead save the Natural and Cultural richness of the world? How can we defend and increase the biological and cultural diversity that the Economy and Technology destroy every day: clean oceans and rivers, the beauty of the landscapes, the free relationships face to face, friendship, collaboration, solidarity, communal living, contemplation, human rhythm and human scale? How can we eliminate the wealth that forms the basis of the destruction of the life on Earth?



First North- South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México 2018 coordination with the
2018 Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics, ISEE

Cross-cutting themes

Based on the conclusions of Budapest 2016, the following seven transversal Axes have been established, for the whole of special parallel proposals and individual presentations, together with the thematic axes of the Conference:
1. Degrowth in the North and Descrecimiento in the South Differences and similarities of ideas and practice of degrowth, decroissance, descrecita, decrecimiento, postwachstum in the North and descrecimiento, Buena Vida, neo zapatismo in the South; convergences of the degrowth movements in the North with similar movements in the South.
2. The decolonization of the social imaginary The Schooling Society. Publicity and media manipulation, Facebook, twitter and internet. The Society of the Spectacle. The American Dream. Lifestyles. Changes in the psicosocial organization; Daily consumption; Economic ideas and ideals. Mystification of work, productivity and competitiveness. Urban life. Megaprojects
3. The connection between the local actions and the global actions Think globally and act locally. Why ideologies are against the concrete reality?. State, religions, freedom and degrowth; the relationship of the global disasters and the local ones: Mother Nature as the enemy; the human being as part of the ecology. Propaganda and power relations. Revolution and Tecnique. The encarnation of the thought. The roots of the riot. Rejection to use power weapons. The articulation of the local and global actions in benefit of the ecology, cultures, communities survival, local economy and direct democracy.
4. Links and connections with related movements With feminism, Indigenous movements, La Via Campesina, Political Ecology, Social Ecology, Anarchism, Ecosocialism, Communalism, Agro-ecology, Animal rights, Ecological economics, Solidarity economy, Economy of equivalences, Gandhian Non Violence, Human Rights, LGBT, Transition Towns, Slow Food, Climate and Environmental Justice, Buen Vivir, Filosofías mesoamericanas.
5. Convivial science and technology Recovery of the sense and proportionality in the science and technique produced in private and State institutions. Ways out of the scientific reductionism and the quantifications; Global resistance to new technologies: geo-engineering, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) , electronic, open-pit mining, fracking, deep water, mining, mega-projects; the need to deter the hyper specialization and the technique created in the heart of a large private or public organizations, to concentrate power; rejection of the planned obsolescence; importance of the distality of the technique; Popular and vernacular technique. Multidisciplinary; de-professionalization of society.
6. Individuals, groups, communities or institutions that make the change Autonomy vs heteronomy. Institutions that serve for the purpose for what they were created. Individuals and groups that help change institutions. Communities that make radical changes.
7. Global Action Now! Alliance of global alliances to address the climate, ecological, water, biodiversity, cultures, communities, cities, societies, disasters. To confront the "pensée unique" of globalization.

Sub-themes

Work
Cities and infrastructures
Transport and mobility
Democracy/construction of political decisions
Wealth/ income distribution
Commons
Finance, currencies, commerce
Agriculture
Energy
Consumption and publicity
Spectacles, television, radio and newspapers
Schooling
Clinics and hospitals
Investigation centers and universities
Constitutions, jurisprudences, legislations, governments.
Militarization, security forces, paramilitary, espionage, prisons, concentration camps, genocides
Huge scale scientific experiments
Public Relations and lobbies
Transnationals, franchises, maquila, outsourcing
Social limits to growth, well-being and good life
Environmental limits to growth and environmental conflicts in the North and South
Social enterprise, cooperatives and solidarity-based economy
Gender
Technique

Past Conferences