In a January 20, 2011 Now Magazine (Toronto) article on Slow Money, Wayne Roberts used the term “slowcialism”. A Western Federation of Miners leader Rev. Thomas J. Hagerty also used the term around 1900 to refer to socialism, as opposed to the [faster] direct action approach of Bill Haywood, leader of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). I use the term to introduce the ideas of convivial degrowth now becoming popular in the struggle against climate change and the fact that if the entire world consumed at the rate of Canadians, we would need four planets to sustain ourselves – clearly not possible.
The sub-title, “workers of the world relax” comes from Conrad Schmidt of Vancouver’s web site of that name, from Wayne Roberts and Susan Brandum’s 1995 book “Get a Life” and by a number of other authors. Thanks to my friend John Poland (and Karl) for “you have nothing to lose but your planet”.
The photo by the way, is one I took at Iguazu Falls on the Paraguay/Brazil/Argentina border in August 2010 when I visited Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, attending the Fourth Social Forum of the Americas in Asuncion and returning to Pomabamba and Huaraz in Peru where I lived in 1968/70.
From 1994 to 2000, Bob Thomson was the founder and Managing Director of TransFair Canada, Canadian affiliate of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), a 17 nation certification body promoting a fair trade label for coffee and other foods/commodities. He was Co-ordinator of the Ottawa Food Security Council (now Just Food) in 2003/2004 and the Facilitator of the Export Credit Agency Watch network in Paris from 2005 to 2008. Bob has a degree in Civil Engineering (U of T 1968) and an M.A. in International Affairs (Carleton 1983). He has lived and worked in Peru, the Caribbean, France and Canada, and in the areas of international programme and project evaluations, fair trade producer support, non-profit governance, housing co-operatives, computer assisted communications for civil society, and finance and the environment. He is currently helping to organize an international conference on convivial degrowth in the Americas in Montreal, 13-19 May 2012, and now calls himself a Slowcialist as one way to describe the concept of convivial degrowth and frugal abundance.