giorgios kallis

intro’d to Giorgio via michel fb share:

I very strongly recommend this video… ecological limits are not just ‘out there’ … scarcity is also a subjective issue, of unlimited needs .. Giorgios Kallis, explains the liberatory potential of self-limitation:

video (50 min from 2016) – [] – hard to understand.. so googled him..

found book on limitson hold – thanks library –

and found this on his wikipedia page –

A core distinction he makes is between self-limitation, an idea he gets from Cornelius Castoriadis, and which refers to limits that we desire and we want to put upon ourselves in order to live a meaningful life, and limits as a natural–and undesirable–property of the environment or of our bodies, that impose on us scarcity. Kallis discards the notion of limits as scarcity, and makes a case for self-limitation–individual and collective–as freedom.

cornelius – [from his page: Similarly, in the issue of ecology he observes that the problems facing our environment are only present within the capitalist imaginary that values the continuous expansion of industries. Trying to solve it by changing or managing these industries better might fail, since it essentially acknowledges this imaginary as real, thus perpetuating the problem.]

self-talk as data to undo our hierarchical listening

getting us back/to garden enough ness

comment on michel’s fb share saying .. ‘this is why doughnut econ flawed’.. (trying to get to enough ness via ‘environ that impose scarcity’ keeps us from the natural dance.. of 8b alive people.. with inborn/natural limits of enough ness)

then finding this:

as kallis explains: ‘Malthus conceives of a world that is naturally limited because the needs of our bodies are naturally unlimited. Here is a conception of nature that lies at the heart of modern economics and, to an extent, environmentalism.’

bodies naturally limited.. when we get back to the heart/root/soul.. of enough ness

Here Kallis turns the idea of limits on its head. Instead of being real physical things fixed in nature and physics, limits are the product of particular cultural and social approaches and understandings. He says: ‘The limit resides in the subject and the intention, not in nature, which is indifferent to our intentions. And it is our intentions that should be limited. A mature, autonomous civilisation would be aware that nature is not a strict mother who imposes limits and tells us what we have to do. But this doesn’t mean we can do whatever pleases us… It is our actions that have consequences that we might or might not like, and which we have to limit with an eye to the consequences of not doing so.’

i’m thinking.. if we are legit free.. the ‘whatever pleases us’ issue becomes irrelevant.. because (again if legit free).. whatever deeply pleases us.. is part of the dance.. that’s needed.. for the dance to dance..

ie: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

Kallis contrasts with the views of some societies that saw natural resources, such as the Yaka people who see the forests they live in as abundant, because their “social relations… do not spur conquest and depletion”.

if its your art.. you do whatever you can to give it away

One of the problems with trying to comprehend the nature of the limits we require in the face of environmental catastrophe, is that the current system is so destructive that it obscures what might be. In order to have a rational discussion about the limits (or none) that society needs or must impose, we have to clear away capitalism.

we need to let go of money (any form of measuring/accounting)

we have to get the whales out of sea world.. otherwise.. we’re just watching tragedy of the non common and lord of flies.. on replay.. and we have no idea what legit free humans are like

this is huge


and what we keep missing.. 8b alive people grokking enough ness.. rather than imposed limits/scarcity

get the 8b people to crave only what they really need/want.. find we already have enough.. let the dance dance..

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch in 8b souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to connect/coord us.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for

the energy of 8b alive people

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people


find/follow Giorgios:

Political ecologist, Ecological Economist, Loves #Degrowth, #academicwriting.


on icrea site:–481

My research is ‘un-disciplinary’. I have worked over the years on very diverse topics; from water policy in Europe or California, participatory science, and evolution in societies, to climate change, limits to growth and conflicts over resource use. What connects my various pieces of work is a quest to understand why and how societies misuse their environments, and why behavioural, institutional and technological changes that could make a difference are not taken up. I am most known for my recent publications on ‘degrowth’, the hypothesis that societies can live better with less. My degrowth research combines institutional, ecological economic and historical analysis to explain how the idea of economic growth came to be hegemonic, why it is limited, and what alternatives there are to growth-based development. My latest book ‘Limits: why Malthus was wrong and why environmentalists should care’ was published by Stanford University Press in 2019.

Giorgos Kallis (born 8 September 1972) is an ecological economist from Greece. He is an ICREA Research Professor at ICTA – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he teaches political ecology. He is one of the principal advocates of the theory of degrowth


Together with Jason Hickel, they have shown that green growth is impossible in a relevant time frame.