Version 3.2

Using quantum physics metaphors to understand the entangled nature of social transformation

Degrowth is primarily about transforming current economic and social practices to stay within planetary boundaries whilst guaranteeing social justice. These transformations involve processes of immense size and changes of radical intensity (almost instantaneous inversions of some variables) both on individual and collective levels, globally and locally, and in the physical and the conceptual world. Our mechanistic understanding of social change demands the flowless assessment of current realities; a common vision of desired future states; comprehensive blueprints, and clear strategies on how to transform one into the other; as well as able and responsible individual and institutional actors who perform the intervention steps. However, none of this is available in a highly complex, and arguably entangled system of social interactions and ecological materiality. The lack of such certainties and guiding principles makes us face ecological demise and possibly the extinction of our own species like rabbits in the headlights. Our psychological dragons of inaction (as labelled by Gifford) include the lack of perceived behavioural control and perceived program inadequacy whereby we neither believe that we have an impact on the system as individuals, nor do we trust collective actions to be successful. To break out of that state, we need a paradigm of abrupt changes and the transcendence of the mechanistic constraints of slow causal interaction that has a tried and tested connection to realism and science. Our research uses conceptual frameworks of quantum physics as metaphors to depict the scope and structures of the shift in perception of social transformation that degrowthers must rely on.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 10:15
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-3
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Hegemonic worldviews and degrowth horizon


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