Less is More

Jason Hickel

Less is More



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Capitalism is so deep rooted within our culture that it is extremely difficult for us to imagine a different economic system to the one which, by definition, involves the exploitation, extraction, and waste of massive amounts of natural resources for the endless pursuit of material wealth and what we in the West have come to know as success. In his book Less is More, anthropologist JasonHickel claims that capitalism is the principal cause of today’s climate crisis, providing many reasons for this claim. He then proposes alternative models that could not only help us put an end to the climate crisis, but also create well-being and equity for human beings all over the world. 

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Analysis and key concepts


Capitalism: the reason for our indifference to the climate crisis


Capitalism was born out of dualism and the (alleged) distinction between man and nature.


There is an intrinsic relationship between capitalism, the exploitation of resources and climate crisis


Technology will have a vital role to play in beating the crisis, but it won’t be enough


Excessive growth is harmful to both the planet and human happiness


There are some things that can be done to achieve global “degrowth”


We must remember that humans are not separate from nature




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Fully understand today’s environmental and climatic situation.
  • Better understand the relationship between capitalism and the climate crisis.
  • Imagine a new style of economics to combat the current environmental crisis and improve people’s wellbeing.

Born in Eswatini (southeast Africa) and currently living in Barcelona, where he is a professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist who specialises in environmental economics, political economy, imperialism, and global inequality. He has a Bachelor's degree and PhD in anthropology from two American universities, and is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Hickel also writes articles for The Guardian newspaper, and has spent several years in South Africa writing about exploitation and political resistance under apartheid. He has written several books, including Less is More, The Divide, and Hierarchy and Value.

Publishing house:

Windmill Books