[Tim Jackson] Society is faced with a profound dilemma. To resist economic growth is to court economic and social collapse. To pursue it relentlessly is to endanger the ecosystems on which we depend for long-term survival. For the most part, this dilemma goes unrecognised in government policy. It is only marginally more visible as a public debate. When reality begins to impinge on the collective … Continue reading Escaping the ‘iron cage’ of consumerism
[Raj Patel, Journal of Peasant Studies 36:3, 2009] Hannah Arendt observed that the first right, above all others, is the right to have rights. In many ways, Via Campesina’s call for food sovereignty is precisely about invoking a right to have rights over food. But it’s unclear quite how to cash out these ideas. This Grassroots Voices section examines some of the difficulties involved in parlaying … Continue reading What does food sovereignty look like?
[Maria Mies, Roar Magazine] Recently, the UK-based publisher Zed Books launched its Critique Influence Change series, which “brings together pivotal texts by notable academics and activists from Zed Books’ publishing of the last thirty-five years”. Over the coming weeks ROAR will publish a series of interviews with some of the authors from this varied and inspiring collection of critical analyses and theories. We will look … Continue reading ‘Ecofeminism’: a talk about hard work and great joy
[Jose Briceño Ruiz, 2007] Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home. The new “alternative regionalisms” being promoted by social movements are, on the one hand, ‘alternative’ to the increasingly neo-liberal directions being taken, and the regional trade and investment … Continue reading Alternative Regionalisms: Alternatives to Neo-liberal Globalisation
[David Harvey] Thomas Piketty has written a book called Capital that has caused quite a stir. He advocates progressive taxation and a global wealth tax as the only way to counter the trend towards the creation of a “patrimonial” form of capitalism marked by what he dubs “terrifying” inequalities of wealth and income. He also documents in excruciating and hard to rebut detail how social … Continue reading Afterthoughts on Piketty’s Capital
[Esther Vivas] La población mundial, se calcula, llegará en 2050 a los 9.600 millones de habitantes, según un informe de las Naciones Unidas. Lo que significa, 2.400 millones más de bocas que alimentar. Ante estas cifras, se extiende un discurso oficial que afirma que para dar de comer a tantísimas personas es imprescindible producir más. Sin embargo, es necesario preguntarnos: ¿Hoy falta comida? ¿Se cultiva … Continue reading ¿La agricultura campesina y ecológica puede alimentar al mundo?
[Pepe Escobar, TomDispatch.com] Hong Kong—A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass—at the expense of the United States. And no wonder Washington is anxious. That alliance is already a done deal in a variety of ways: through the BRICS group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, … Continue reading The Geopolitical Earthquakes Reshaping Eurasia’s Economy
[Ariel Salleh, 1997] Ecological crisis displaces modernist political analyses – liberalism, socialism, feminism. It provokes us to re-frame our history, to inscribe a new understanding of ourselves in relation to Nature, so called, and to ask how can we get to live this new sensibility in practical ways.1 That political moment is long due. The bourgeois and proletarian revolutions evaporated before realising their full potential; feminists … Continue reading Ecology Reframes History
[Frei Betto and Michael Löwy, 2009] We would like to start our conference here at the World Social Forum of Belem with a homage to two personalities of high human quality, which gave their lives for the defense of the Amazonian forest, and the Peoples of the Forest: Chico Mendes and Dorothy Stang. They are the best known, the visible tip of the iceberg, of … Continue reading Ecosocialism and Spirituality
[Walden Bello, lecture, 30 April 2014] Let me place my coming remarks in context, and the global context has among its key features the following: Long-term stagnation in the United States. Depression in Europe. Increasing gap in wealth in nearly all countries and globally: the richest 1% of the global population owns 40% of total assets, and the richest 10% accounts for 85%. Financialization has … Continue reading What Is to Be Done? The Six Pillars of Deglobalization
[Leonardo Boff] Uno de los legados más fecundos de Francisco de Asís, actualizado por Francisco de Roma, es la oración por la paz, tan urgente en los días actuales. El primer saludo que San Francisco dirigía a los que encontraba era desearles “Paz y Bien” que corresponde al Shalom bíblico. La paz que ansiaba no se restringía a las relaciones interpersonales y sociales. Buscaba una … Continue reading La paz perenne con la naturaleza y la Madre Tierra
[Leonardo Boff, 20 April 2014 ] One of the more fertile legacies of Francis of Assisi, actualized by Francis of Rome, is the Prayer for Peace, which is so urgent at the present. Saint Francis initially greeted those he saw by wishing them, “Peace and Good,” which corresponds to the Biblical Shalom. The peace he longed for was not limited to interpersonal and social relations. … Continue reading Everlasting peace with nature and with Mother Earth
[Nnimmo Bassey] Eti uwem is a concept in Ibibio, one of the several languages in Nigeria, which literally means good life or good living. Within it is the idea of living in harmony with nature and all peoples. It incorporates dignity, respect, rectitude, integrity, solidarity and contentment. Within this concept are the key principles of social justice, power relations and citizens’ and communal ownership and control of local resources. It … Continue reading Between Eti Uwem and Green Capitalism (Green Democracy)
[David Harvey] In this RSA Animate, celebrated academic David Harvey looks beyond capitalism towards a new social order. Can we find a more responsible, just, and humane economic system? Find out more about the RSA at http://www.thersa.org Continue reading Video: Crises of Capitalism
[David Harvey – New Left Review 53, 2008] We live in an era when ideals of human rights have moved centre stage both politically and ethically. A great deal of energy is expended in promoting their significance for the construction of a better world. But for the most part the concepts circulating do not fundamentally challenge hegemonic liberal and neoliberal market logics, or the dominant modes … Continue reading The Right to the City
[Vandana Shiva, 2013] Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in … Continue reading How economic growth has become anti-life
[David Harvey – prologue of “Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism” (Profile Books, 2014)] Crises are essential to the reproduction of capitalism. It is in the course of crises that the instabilities of capitalism are confronted, reshaped and re-engineered to create a new version of what capitalism is about. Much gets torn down and laid waste to make way for the new. Once-productive landscapes … Continue reading The Crisis of Capitalism This Time Around
[David Korten] Economists debate whether the economy is recovering from the financial crash of 2008. Scientists debate whether Earth will recover from an economy that is destroying Earth’s capacity to support life. An unconscionable gap between rich and poor – between the profligate and the desperate – grows at an alarming rate. Economists assure us that faster economic growth will provide the technology and financial … Continue reading A New Story for a New Economy: To Find Our Human Place in a Living Universe
[Pablo Solon, 8 March 2014] The race of globalisation is leaving the majority of the world’s population far behind. According to Unicef, the richest 20% of the population gets 83% of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1%. This trend is getting worse. A new UNDP report called “Humanity Divided: estimates that 75% of the population lives in societies where income distribution is … Continue reading Deglobalisation is the way to reduce inequality
[David Harvey, 2013] Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an interview that ran in Red Pepper and the Irish Left Review in which Harvey sets out some ideas from his new book on the contradictions of capital. He says creating a post-capitalist world requires changing the monetary system and creating a common property regime. Q. Is the era of finance capitalism which has developed … Continue reading David Harvey interview: The importance of postcapitalist imagination
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