Degrowth is a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption arguing that overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. It is considered an essential economic strategy responding to the limits-to-growth dilemma and in this way a parallel to the physical strategy of shrinking the human body as propagated by The Incredible Shrinking Man.
Degrowth believes that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. On the contrary. Degrowth aims to maximise well-being through non-consumptive means such as sharing work, consuming less, and the devotion to family, culture and community. The Incredible Shrinking Man, on the other hand, proposes that the anxiety at the core of society will be defeated by the obliteration of scarcity through a drastic reduction of pure physical need. It’s probably easier to change our size than change our patterns of consumption. Yet there’s much to be learned from the degrowth movement and its inherent modesty could be of vital importance in inspiring a willingness to become smaller. Both concepts are not just a quantitative question of doing less of the same, they are also and, more fundamentally, a paradigmatic re-ordering of human values.