‘Prosperous Descent is a creative and important contribution to a movement with surprising momentum, one that challenges the very notions of progress and wellbeing on which our societies are constructed. It is a radical challenge in the best sense of the term. We can all learn a great deal from Samuel Alexander, both about our societies and about how to live our lives.’
– Clive Hamilton, author of Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough and Growth Fetish
‘This timely book reminds us that the good life is the simple life; a life within limits. It is a truly interdisciplinary volume, covering topics from the macroeconomics of a planned degrowth, to the ecology of planetary limits, to the sociology of voluntary simplifiers. A must read.’ – Giorgos Kallis, co-editor of Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era‘Consumer capitalist society is characterised by a deep feeling of anxiety and isolation. It persists by inculcating a deep sense of disempowerment and diluting our radical imagination. The strength of this book lies in its ability to delicately weave together not only the theory but also the practice of simplicity. It carries with it the moral weight of generations of people who have demonstrated a different way of living and the shallowness of consumer society.’
– Peter D. Burdon, author of Earth Jurisprudence and co-editor of Wild Law: In Practice
Published 2015. 324 pages.
Dr Samuel Alexander is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia, teaching a course called ‘Consumerism and the Growth Economy: Critical Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ as part of the Master of Environment. He is also co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a research fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Alexander’s interdisciplinary research focuses on degrowth, permaculture, voluntary simplicity, ‘grassroots’ theories of transition, and the relationship between culture and political economy. His current research is exploring the aesthetics of degrowth.
His books include Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary (2019, co-authored with Brendan Gleeson); Carbon Civilisation and the Energy Descent Future (2018, co-authored with Josh Floyd); Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth (2017); Wild Democracy: Degrowth, Permaculture, and the Simpler Way (2017); Just Enough is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics (2016); Deface the Currency: The Lost Dialogues of Diogenes (2016); Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits (2015); Sufficiency Economy: Enough, for Everyone, Forever (2015); and Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation (2013); he is also editor of Voluntary Simplicity: The Poetic Alternative to Consumer Culture (2009) and co-editor of Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future (2014). In 2016 he also released a documentary called A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity, co-produced with Jordan Osmond of Happen Films.