DOI: 10.12924/cis2022.10010023 |Publication Date: 14 June 2022
Capital Sequestration: Degrowth through Investing in Community-Led Transformations of Provisioning Systems
|McGill University, Montreal, Canada|
Abstract: Investing in different futures is an existential challenge that much research within and adjacent to Ecological Economics engages with, yet organizations that recognize this social ecological imperative have few options for funding and implementing radical transformations to the needs and well-being provisioning systems that currently exist. Ecological macroeconomic ideas and EE principles of long term well being and justice on a livable planet will be explored in the context of the housing crisis in Canada, and a rural Ontario community organization attempting to find transformative solutions to the lived, local experience of this crisis. Provisioning systems for housing, when tied to real estate markets, debt money creation, land enclosures, and financialized supply chains, contribute to capital accumulation cycles; it is hardly possible to meet our housing needs, in aggregate, without also perpetuating the form of this provisioning system. The idea presented here, that of Capital Sequestration, proposes to remove capital from markets and `invests' this capital in land trusts as an intentional transformation of financial capital into social and ecological values. Through land and housing trusts as well as non-market funding pathways, Capital Sequestration is a method of investing in the transformation of provisioning systems through the sustained and collective boundary management of financial markets and incommensurable values. This practice offers significant promise as it applies ecological macroeconomic theory work, is grounded in the normative goals of and emerges from empirical research of EE, and meets a pressing need within society for imagining alternative economies.
Keywords: affordable housing; capital sequestration; climate action; decommodification; ecological economics; ecological macroeconomics; housing; investment; land; markets; provisioning; trusts; world-building