Forthcoming Spring 2023

What would it take to have a world where everyone had enough? How can we eliminate poverty, leave enough for non-human nature, and increase wellbeing? This book explores ways the reader can live their life, engage with cultural change, and engage with policy making, to build that world.

We are presently on a path to environmental destruction, as our societies are driven by forces which leave many people without what they need to meet their basic needs, while also wasting vast resources on an unsatisfying consumer economy. The current system does not lead to a sense of wellbeing, even among those who are relatively materially comfortable. This book focuses on solutions for building a world of enough. It explains how we can reorient our thinking and take the steps necessary to transform our social systems. It looks at ways to reduce the insatiable desire for status and consumption that drive our economies. It focuses on emerging approaches to economics that take wellbeing as their goal, and explores the policies that are crucial for getting there, such as reducing inequality, investing in public goods, and reducing work time. The book arms the reader with a variety of tools for building a world where everyone has enough for a good life.

“In these dark times, Cynthia Kaufman’s book, Consumerism, Sustainability,

and Happiness, brilliantly illuminates a pathway to a better world. It is not an

easy path; it goes through rough terrain and requires overcoming obstacles

created by vested interests. But with her careful, calm, and hopeful arguments,

Kaufman persuades us that it is a path that we must follow.”

Fred Block, Research Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis

“Cynthia Kaufman captures the essence of the intertwining crises that

embroil our world: excessive and wasteful consumption patterns that fuel

growing inequalities, political conflict, subjective feelings of emptiness, and

the climate catastrophe that threatens life itself. She maps out a range of

viable and achievable solutions capable of challenging structures of domination

and ameliorating our plight. This book is a must read for those seeking

answers to a range of pressing contemporary conundrums, one that will

have relevance for years to come.”

Ron Hayduk, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University

“Philosopher Cynthia Kaufman helps us understand how our lives can be

more complete with less. In another compelling book that combines ideas

and practice, she makes changes in our living “standards” look as easy as

they are essential. A must read for the perplexed as well as the committed.”

Kathryn Sklar, Author of Florence Kelley and the Nation’s Work

“Cynthia Kaufman’s new book Consumerism, Sustainability and Happiness:

How to Build a World Where Everyone Has Enough is exactly what we need

in today’s fight for climate and environmental justice. Kaufman’s tactical

approach is a breath of fresh air, providing practical solutions to not only

help us live more sustainably as individuals, but also to push for the needed

systemic change that will help us achieve a more just and livable future for

all. Centering the topics of happiness, poverty, and environmental sustainability

for what it would mean to have “enough” and feel satisfied in our lives,

Kaufman emphasizes discourses that we need to see more popularized in

mainstream and environmentalist circles: the centering of wellbeing, valuing

people over profits, reducing work time, the causes and historical legacies of

poverty, capitalist logics that keep us from achieving our best potential as a

human species, and the fallacies of the overpopulation issue, to name a few.

Importantly, Kaufman also stresses the significance of individual action as a

way to create cultural change, while also eschewing narratives of individual

consumer responsibility as the sole way to make systemic change. Indeed,

this book makes transparent how powerful structural forces upheld by many

institutions today can be challenged and held accountable. Kaufman’s writing

is clear, approachable, and boils down difficult concepts so that anyone

can immediately start acting in more sustainable ways and challenge existing

power structures so as to help bring about a just transition.”Belinda Ramírez, PhD, Stanford University Civic, Liberal, and GlobalEducation (COLLEGE) Fellow

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