Jason Hickel on Global Inequality and its Solutions
"Jason Hickel’s latest book is titled: “The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions”
"In this Upstream Conversation we spoke with Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics. Originally from Swaziland, Jason's research has focused on a critique of development and globalization. He has also written on the topics of inequality, climate change, basic income, and soil regeneration.
Jason argues that we cannot begin to seriously tackle the climate crisis until we take a hard look at the growth-dependent economic system that drives fossil fuel production and consumption. He believes that simply regulating fossil fuels is not enough, and that in order to truly address climate change we'll need to move away from our current capitalist economic model, a model which can only function properly when it is growing exponentially.
We also spoke with Jason about his fascination at capitalism's extraordinary ability to co-opt and commodify its own critique. How does Tom's Shoes allow you to purchase your redemption from being a consumer? How are hipster bars and clubs in cities like London and New York appropriating the aesthetic of working class neighborhoods while remaining closed off to these very communities? How does this dynamic play out in the environmental movement? Jason provides a number of interesting examples that demonstrate why this process is incredibly harmful to building a true resistance to capitalism.
Our conversation took many turns, exploring what 21st century socialism might look like, the myths of international development, and more. Jason is a natural systems-thinker, and his upstream perspective is an incredibly important one.
Jason Hickel’s latest book is titled: “The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions”. We spoke with Jason at his office at The London School of Economics."