LESS for Lent
Capitalism is based on the belief that the best way to organise the economy is by giving us what we want, all of the time. We are addicted to capitalism because we are blinded by the illusion that we can satiate our desires by consuming more.
The thing is, more will never be enough.
The capitalist free market is driven by producers competing with each other to meet the never-ending desires of its consumers. This relentless desire is not a natural human impulse: demand is manufactured by making us feel a sense of lack. We are trapped by an incomplete satisfaction that relentlessly compels us after more, the new, the better sold to us via mass advertising and a relentless daily transmission of algorithmically-driven distractions, attractions and personally-tailored ads just for you.
We must break this addiction.
Capitalism and endless growth creates vast inequalities, props up authoritarian regimes across the globe and through the processes of exploitation, accumulation and extraction is the direct cause of ecological breakdown and climate crisis.
What if there is a different way of thinking about and acting on your desires and impulses?
What if there was a way of living that resisted the ability of the capitalist system to manipulate your behaviour and decisions, that made you feel more free, more connected to what really matters? What if there was a different path that you could journey on, with other people that feel the same, to build life ways that can help our mutual survival, and help us to resist the myth of perpetual growth?
#LESSforLENT invites us to divest ourselves of our addiction to capitalist consumerism, help us rediscover enjoyment as we actually experience it and ask, what really sustains?
IS LESS FOR LENT RELIGIOUS?
Enoughs #LESSforLENT is not conceived of as a religious act, but neither is it wholly secular. While Lent is understood as a Christian period of reflection where it is customary to give up luxuries, the roots of Lent reach far back in time. Lent traditionally falls in the season of the year known as the the hungry gap where, historically, food and resources were difficult to come by. The English word Lent comes from the Old English word lencten, meaning spring season. Spring is a time of new energy, shift, renewal and transformation.
LESS, in this context, can be understood to stand for LESS ENERGY, STUFF and STIMULATION. Consciously and intentionally decreasing our consumption helps us to reduce our reliance on unsustainable and unjust systems and increases our ability to participate in alternatives to capitalism.
HOW DO WE TAKE PART?
You are welcome to engage with #LESSforLENT however you wish, on your own terms.
Lent this year begins on Wednesday 26th February and ends at Easter. We invite you to take concrete actions together for 40 days:
Abstain from non-essential material purchases
Fast from non-essential use of digital devices, or a full digital detox
Take up a regular creative practice
Read, learn, explore, discuss and build alternatives together
We also invite you to start your own weekly group meeting (online or in-person) for discussion of readings and taking part in transformative practices, and suggest culminating in a communal shared celebration feast on Easter Sunday, 12th April 2020.
If you would like to receive weekly updates on the material, additional accompaniment, and (optionally) be put in touch with others in your area to form an in-person group, you can sign up for free
Week 1: (26th Feb) Who Are We, And What Do We Actually Need?
Week 2: (4th Mar) Stimulation: Breaking The Addiction
Week 3: (11th Mar) Technology: Escape The Algorithm
Week 4: (18th Mar) Energy & Regenerative Systems
Week 5: (25th Mar) Decolonisation
Week 6: (1st April) Degrowth & Alternative Economics
Week 7: (8th April) Who We Are Now: New Possibilities
The Degrowth Commission
Enough! c/o CHE, 840-860 Govan Rd Glasgow G51 3UU
Glasgow G51 3UU