We are supposed to accept the logic of capitalism, supposed to embrace new technology and new products, and supposed to be individuals making individual choices. It is hard to deny that we live in a high-speed, media-driven society where distraction, disruption, and destruction have become the norm. It is hard to deny that something has gone wrong.
Something has gone fundamentally wrong. If we consider the consequences of ongoing climate change, ocean acidification, land degradation, freshwater pollution, biodiversity loss, or destruction of local communities, 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 and a vast cultural apparatus – 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. What are we waiting for? Who are we waiting for?
We cannot escape our bodies, nor can we remove the limits of our planet, but as humans we have the capacity 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.
What is missing today are habitats and socioecological configurations that provide us with everything we need. What we do need – more than ever – is a relentless political critique of speed, which, more specifically, addresses the rate of extraction of non-renewable resources, the speed with which our environment is changing, the rate of species extinction, the pace of technological change, the speed of social interactions, and the speed with which money is moved around the world.
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Concepts for Change
We already know that the financialization of everything is a dead end project. 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.
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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 notion that there is no alternative. Of course, there is an alternative. It is time to imagine a society where all people are welcome, time to realize a global community where we live together in peace and in harmony with nature.
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