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  • Michael F. Schmidlehner

    Thu Aug 10 2023

    The green growth narrative and the foreclosure of nature


    How can we explain the unrestrained progress of the green growth narrative, despite its blatant inconsistency? Drawing back on the paradigm of nature domination, described by Adorno and Horkheimer and applying Lacanian discourse- and psychoanalytical theory, "nature" reveals itself as an imaginary and symbolic construction underpinning occidental subjectivity. While neoliberal ideology is centered around the imaginary construction, i.e. the neurotic fantasy of nature, the narrative of green growth reveals a process of foreclosure, which points to a psychotic condition. The signifier Nature in its law-giving and limiting function is irretrievably expelled from the symbolic order, leading to a loss of reality and its paranoid hallucinatory reconstruction. The pathological and morbid character of the green growth narrative needs to be recognized by civil society to vehemently reject it, take action and detain its life-threatening consequences.


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