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At the expense of others? How the imperial mode of living prevents a good life for all

Thomas Kopp, Maximilian Becker, Samuel Decker, Jannis Eicker, Hannah Engelmann, Ia Eradze, Franziskus Forster, Stella Haller, Magdalena Heuwieser, Maja Hoffmann, Carla Noever Castelos, Christoph Podstawa, Anil Shah, Anne Siemons, Therese Wenzel, Lukas Wolfinger
I.L.A. Kollektiv, 2019
Level: beginner
Perspectives: Ecological Economics, Feminist Economics, Marxian Political Economy
Topic: (De-)growth, Criticism of Capitalism, Economic History, Inequality & Class, Innovation & Technology, Labour & Care, Money & Debt, North-South-Relations & Development, Resources, Environment & Climate, Social movements & Transformation
Format: website


The „I.L.A. collective“ formed during a year-long writing workshop with the theme „The Imperial Mode of Living: Structures of Exploitation in the 21st Century“ resulted in this publication.

Comment from our editors:

This is the first publication of the I.L.A. collective. It introduces the concept of the "imperial mode of living" alongside manifold topics and infographics. The concept itself questions the persistence of the capitalist mode of production and why this dominant mode of production has become so deeply ingrained in Western societies' everyday practices, consumption and lifestyle choices and institutional settings - and still having the capacity to attract the global middle and upper classes. It furthermore problematises the convenient standard of living within advanced capitalist core economies as being based on the systematic exploitation of both labour and nature, i.e. the availability of a cheap workforce in the less developed periphery and of natural resources such as land, fossil fuels or minerals, especially in the peripheral world. It is an excellent material for introducing critical political economy perspectives to a wider non-academic audience.

Go to: At the expense of others? How the imperial mode of living prevents a good life for all

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