We are supposed to accept and adapt to the logic of capitalism, born to speed up our lives. We are supposed to believe that new technology, economic growth, and advanced weapons will solve our global problems. We are supposed to be silent and indifferent. Something has gone wrong.
If we consider the consequences of ongoing climate change, ocean acidification, land degradation, freshwater pollution, or biodiversity loss, it is easy to conclude that we are being robbed of our future. We are in need of recovery, our life-support systems are in need of recovery, and so is our planet. Put differently, if we and coming generations are to survive, we have to find more sustainable ways of living with nature.
Nothing could be more important for our well-being and survival than clean water, clean air, healthy soil, and well-functioning ecosystems. The inconvenient truth is that the life-sustaining biosphere is being altered at an alarming rate. Our common habitat has never been more threatened. Our common future has never been more uncertain. Our perception of our environment has never been more manipulated.
Capitalism – with political and military backing – is silently destroying the earth. However, we were not born to follow the ruling elite. It is time to stop fooling ourselves, time to relearn, time to care about our fellow beings, time to advance the development of technologies and organizations that serve our needs, time to live with nature.
We cannot escape our bodies, nor can we remove the limits of our planet, but as humans we still have the opportunity to learn the language of sustainability. The emerging slow paradigm invites us to become ecoliterate, to explore the collective art of slow living, and to take political initiatives aimed at decelerating society toward sustainability.
The politics of slowness rests on the following beliefs: Only a reflective society can anticipate and adapt to crises. Only a resource-efficient, solar-powered society has the option to preserve biological and cultural diversity. Only a society where all people – men and women – are equals can become sustainable. Only a society with a critical view on technology has the option to make wise use of technology. Only a slow society can adapt to a slow planet.
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Concepts for Change
Since capitalism entered its most destructive phase, it has become more and more clear that we have to change course, and more and more important to offer a viable alternative. Slowness in all its creative forms, supported by the diverse movement of slow people around the world, encourages us to follow a sustainable development path, to transform the way we learn, work, and live, to end the era of creative destruction.
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International Day of Slowness
It takes time to create sustainable human habitats. It takes time to slow down a society with so much prestige and emotion invested in the myth that faster is better. How long it takes to demystify this – and make the necessary transition – depends on our willingness to change our thinking, our willingness to take control over our lives.
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