Writing in 2007, French social philosopher Andre Gorz (1923-2007) was remarkably prophetic, foretelling the international economic meltdown of 2008: 'The real economy is becoming an appendage of the speculative bubbles sustained by the finance industry - until that inevitable point when the bubbles burst, leading to serial bank crashes and threatening the global system of credit with collapse and the real economy with a severe, prolonged depression'. This prescient article is collected in "Ecologica" alongside many of Gorz's final writings and interviews, which together offer a practical and often pathbreaking set of solutions to our current economic and political problems. In his writings Gorz condemns the speculative global economic system and anatomizes its terminal crisis. Advocating an exit from capitalism through the self-limitation of needs and the networked use of the latest technologies, he outlines a practical, democratically based solution to our current predicament. Compiled by Gorz himself, "Ecologica" is intended as a final distillation of his work and thought, a guide to the survival of our planet.
It is a work of political, rather than scientific ecology - Gorz argues that the key to planetary survival is not a surrender to environmental experts and eco-technocrats, but a switch to non-consumerist modes of living that would amount to a type of cultural revolution.
Andre Gorz, also known by his pen name Michel Bosquet, was an Austrian and French social philosopher. Also a journalist, Gorz was the editor of Les Temps modernes and cofounded Le Nouvel Observateur, a leftist weekly, in 1964. His other books include Socialism and Revolution and Farewell to the Working Class. Chris Turner is a writer and translator who lives in Birmingham, England.