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The world today is increasingly having to deal with exponential amounts of waste. This is not only an environmental problem, but a social and political issue. Solutions to deal with this waste crisis have generally involved expertise-driven, advanced technological fixes that are driven by capitalism’s fundamental need for ever-increasing profits and the belief in infinite economic growth. These solutions have overwhelmingly proven to be unsuccessful, with waste generation continuing to rise drastically. This article will elaborate on the two
“eco-leftist” approaches of Degrowth and Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC) in order to understand how they can provide potential alternative solutions to the current situation. It will then discuss these two approaches alongside contemporary waste management case studies in order to understand which one may prove to be more practical and socially and
ecologically beneficial. The article will attempt to demonstrate that a combination of the two approaches, a combination in which a strong state is secured by the working class through electoral politics, is able to pursue a degrowth agenda that calls for a total transformation of production and consumption practices. This agenda also involves a core critique of the idea that economic growth and technological advances will lead to the further progress of humanity and the environment as a whole.
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