Activities > WWWforEurope Activities 2014 > Book Presentation Niko Paech

Karl Aiginger and Niko Paech © Die Grüne Wirtschaft

Volker Plass, Julianna Fehlinger, Karl Aiginger, Niko Paech © Die Grüne Wirtschaft

Discussing Niko Paech’s Book "Liberation from Excess"

On February 20th 2014, Niko Paech, University of Oldenburg, presented his new book "Liberation from Excess – The road to a post-growth society" at the Vienna University of Technology at the invitation of Volker Plass of "Die Grüne Wirtschaft" and ATTAC. Karl Aiginger and Julianna Fehlinger, board member of ATTAC, were invited to discuss Paech's presentation.

The discussion was very controversial. Whereas Paech and Fehlinger argued that an excess of goods is a broad phenomenon and an absolute downsizing is necessary and would even increase welfare, Aiginger emphasised that there are millions of Europeans below or near the poverty level, and even middle class Europeans are struggling. Furthermore, growth is at least today a necessary instrument for decreasing unemployment, which exceeds 10 % in Europe and 25 % in the South.

Karl Aiginger argued in favour of "radically green" dynamics in which emissions and material use are significantly lower, while incomes of at least below median income households and regions increase, where innovations are less labour saving, and more focused on social inclusion, health and other societal goals. In the end, all participants agreed that a change towards a more social and ecological society is necessary and that they should cooperate to achieve it.