The idea, which becomes more and more fashionable, that we should wish and
organize a decrease of the economy, to fight against the destruction it
causes, can seem a priori totally stupid: How could anyone want to
institutionalize depression, which the world is now suffering the
consequences in terms of unemployment and poverty? How can we wish the
decline of production, that is of the average income, while we are not
satisfying the most elementary needs of the populations of the developed
countries, without counting those of the billions of people who still suffer
from extreme poverty? How can we wish the diminution of growth when so much
progress is ahead, making hope for the possibility of freeing humanity of
strenuous work, suffering, ignorance and pollution? How we can finally think
that a zero or negative growth would improve the situation of the
environment, whereas this is not growth that pollutes, but production, whose
content is not improved by its stagnation?

And yet, the idea makes sense if we understand it as a desire to put an end
to the mistakes of our model of production, the follies and tiredness of
speed, efficiency, waste, accumulation and mindless replacement of gadgets
by the other gadgets; and especially as a willingness to challenge the
market definition of wellness.

Nevertheless, to carry out such a mutation, it is not of a decrease in the
proper sense of the word, which the world needs. Nor even of another growth,
which would change nothing to the structure of production. But indeed a
radical change of the nature of material goods produced and their
relationship with time, with the sensations and feelings.

Such a mutation, which should lead to an adequate growth, (hence the
neologism of “adéqroissance”) would require thinking about the social system
as serving the best use of time, even non-merchant to build a system of
production constantly adapted to new knowledge in the field of preservation
of resources; to imagine a health system based on prevention, even
non-merchant, rather than on care, very expensive itself; to establish a
governance constantly improved to take into account desires and long-term
preferences of people. The economy would end up leaving so much room for the
production and exchange of intangible assets, free, from knowledge to art
and the market should be satisfied to ensure infrastructure, particularly by
the production of basic goods. This mutation will require huge investments,
which will be translated for a long time, by strong growth in material
production, that has become adequate, that is to say more and more energy efficient
and keen to preserve the environment; turned towards non material
achievements, made of benevolence and altruism, spirituality and wholeness.
This development will give full value to the time lived, not the time
constrained. It will perhaps even make us forget the idea of growth,
replaced by that of blooming.