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Mankind’s Infantilism and the Death of the Planet

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Hello my fellow Earthlings. We think we’re so fucking clever, don’t we. We’ll probably revert to our rodent instincts and burrow underground when the shit really hits the fan. With the eco-apocalypse fast approaching, the best way for the human species to redeem itself would be to voluntarily undergo a cultural and spiritual transformation on a global scale. When I say spiritual, I mean honoring the ground we walk on and not some false deity. Science, not mythology, is the basis for my beliefs. This Earth is all we really have. Start caring for it and respecting it with the same reverence and homage we pay to our electronic toys of mass distraction, i.e. TV, iphones, video games, computers, etc…

Know that this culture of self-worship and materialism is sending our species to the dustbin of failed evolutionary experiments, most certainly by the end of this century if not mid-century. The evidence is all around us if only we care to open our eyes.

Below is a video I put together to illustrate the suffocation of the real world beneath the concrete, steel, and asphalt world humans have superimposed on it. We have worked to replace what is genuine and long-lasting with something that is artificial and unsustainable. And all the science says this world we have created from fossil fuels cannot be maintained in the long run, not even with so-called renewable energy. On top of that mess, we are wrecking the planet’s biosphere and ensuring that our descendants will have no chance to experience nature or a habitable planet. We have quite literally destroyed our only true home, leaving us vulnerable to the vicious elements of the outside world which are growing ever worse in the form of climate change, resource depletion, and environmental degradation.

I’m afraid that confronting this civilization-ending calamity is not a solo endeavor, but must be a global undertaking. As someone said on this site before, the success of a society, be it an ancient tribe or a technologically advanced people, depends on whether there is cooperation and shared sacrifice. I don’t have to tell you that in today’s world, such traits are in short shrift. Individualism and self-interest dominate over any sort of collectivism and altruism. Self-glorification and the almighty profit motive are not going to solve these problems. The solution for global ecological destruction will not be found in an accounting scheme or any other such capitalist interest.

It’s time to face what we have done to the planet and ourselves. I don’t expect any such great awakening to occur. I’m fairly confident that we will stumble along into total collapse with all the usual mayhem that ensues in such an event – drought, famine, pestilence, and war. We humans had such promise, but we’re throwing it all away. If only we would grow up.Image

Under the Sky, Above the grass, On the Horizon, an Infinity of Voices

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The prairie was flat, green, and rich with scattered stands of oaks. The sky above was blue as generally. On the horizon there was a movement, like the shadow of a cloud: a vast herd of animals on the move. There was a kind of sigh, a breathing-out. An observer standing close enough might have felt a whisper of breeze on the skin. And a woman was lying on the grass. Her name was Maria Valiente. She wore her favorite pink angora sweater. She was only fifteen, but she was pregnant, and the baby was coming. The pain of the contractions pulsed through her skinny body. A moment ago she hadn’t known if she was afraid of the birth, or the anger of Sister Stephanie who had taken away her monkey bracelet, all that Maria had from her mother, saying it was a sinful token.

And now, this. Open sky where there should have been a nicotine-stained plaster ceiling. Grass and trees, where there should have been a worn carpet. Everything was wrong. Where was here? How could she be there? But that didn’t matter. The pain washed through her again, and she felt the baby coming. There was nobody to help, not even Sister Stephanie. She closed her eyes, and screamed, and pushed.

The baby spilled on to the grass. Maria knew enough to wait for the afterbirth. When it was done there was a warm mess between her legs, and a baby, covered in sticky, bloody stuff. It, he, opened his mouth, and let out a thin wail.

There was a sound like thunder, from far away. A roar like you’d hear in zoo. Like a lion.

A lion? Maria screamed again, this time in fear. The scream was cut off, as if by a switch. Maria was gone. The baby was alone.

Alone, except for the universe which poured in him and spoke to him with an infinity of voices. And behind it all, a vast silence.

His crying settled to gurgle. The silence was comforting.

There was a kind of sigh, a breathing-out. Maria was back in the green, under the blue sky. She sat up, and looked around in panic. Her face was grey; she was losing a lot of blood, but her baby was here. She scooped up the baby and the afterbirth- she hadn’t even tied off the cord- wrapped him in her angora sweater and cradled him in her arms. His little face was oddly calm. She thought she’d lost him. ‘Joshua’, she said. ‘Your name is Joshua Valiente.’

A soft pop, and they were gone.

On the plain, nothing remained but a drying mess of blood and bodily fluids, and the grass, and the sky. Soon, though, the scent of blood would attract attention.

And, long ago, on a world as close as a shadow:

A very different version of North America cradled a huge, land-locked, saline sea. This sea teemed with microbial life. All this life served as single tremendous organism.

And on this world, under a cloudy sky, the entirety of the turbid sea cradled with a single thought.

I …

This thought was followed by another.

To what purpose?

What Matters the Most

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All living beings share one thing in common. Each man, woman, child, each bird, bee, and dog – all have just one life. For every living being, life begins and ends. We are all here for a very short time.  Most of us live a life preoccupied by work, by earning a living, by being on time, by countless other distractions. This preoccupation keeps us from asking ourselves and each other “what matters?” What truly matters in life? Please, take some time, close your eyes and think about what really matters to you. I’ll do it with you…

It didn’t take long for me to find the answer. What really matters is obvious – it is my relationships with other beings, both human and non-human, that are of the utmost importance to me.  They are more important than any job or hobby, more important than my success or my failures. They are even more important than my pride or ego. Yes, it is relationships that matter the most. If you doubt this, try to imagine being the only living being on the planet. You would own everything, yet have nothing.

If you were to stop and take note at the way people are treating others today, you might get a different idea about what matters most to us. We are quick to judge and hate, have very little patience, and have little general regard for the emotional state of others. Animal abuse and torture runs rampant throughout society. Our television shows and movies are filled with people plotting against one another. People climb corporate ladders at the expense of colleagues. These are obviously not behaviors that nurture healthy and loving relationships.

There is a conflict within most of us who live in highly monetized, Western societies. It is the conflict that arises when we are forced to compete with others for the means to survive. Think about that for a moment. In order to survive, we must compete with each other. And we are consistently reminded of the costs of losing that competition when we walk by the homeless and hopeless on our city streets.

We are told that there are “not enough” resources and that in order to ration scarce resources we need a system that efficiently allocates scarcity. The truth is most goods are in fact abundant – just take note of all of the underused machines and living space throughout the developed world. We have created the capability to provide for all, and it takes fewer and fewer man hours each year to do it.

Market economies tend to be fantastic economic system for civilizations in need of growing efficient means of providing material comfort. However, they fail miserably in fostering the cultural values conducive to nurturing healthy, quality relationships. Market economies fail to address and, in fact, may hinder fulfillment of non-material human needs such as the need to belong and the need for intimacy, love and touch. Extensive research has proven that these non-material needs are crucial to our empathic development. Failure to nourish these fundamental human needs to belong, to be recognized, to love, and be loved not only reduces the quality of our relationships but also may lead to an increase in psychopathic behavior, general fear and distrust of others, and even death.

To do well economically, in addition to possessing some positive qualities, one must also be opportunistic, attention-seeking, and self-fulfilled – all traits that harm personal relationships.  To do well in personal relationships, one must be selfless, eager to give and receive, and have genuine concern for others – all traits that hinder one’s ability to thrive in a business environment. Hence the adages “Don’t mix business with family” and “Don’t loan money to friends and family.”

This internal conflict exists in all of us. And it can be very difficult to live in a state of constant conflict. Our hearts desire to give, but our economic self-interest tells us it is not wise. Our hearts want to trust, but we can’t bear any more disappointment. Our hearts long to love and be loved, but our threshold for emotional pain has already been breached. Because this internal conflict never goes away, we bury it deep inside and compensate for it by seeking ever new ways to entertain – or rather distract – ourselves from it. Hence, the material world thrives simply because it must in order for us to survive.

By contrast, gift economies align the allocation of resources with personal needs for empathic connection, compassion and love. Gift economies are nothing new – they exist today for each of us. When you provide for a family member or have friends over for dinner, we do not send them a bill at the end of it. We give freely with the unmentioned knowledge that our gifts will be recognized and reciprocated for each gift creates a bond of gratitude. The more you give, the more gratitude is created. The more gratitude that is created, the more wealthy you become. Gift economies remove the internal conflict that derives from competition instead placing more value on cooperation.

Deep inside, we know life can be much more beautiful – with less fear, worry, control and more love, compassion, and empathy. We already know what is most important. It is time that we start living in the spirit of the gift, by understanding the unique gift we each have to give the world. Even if today you lack the means to give material things, you have the power to give your love, your compassion, your attention, and your forgiveness. We need not worry about ourselves. Lewis Hyde writes:

“The gift moves towards the empty place. As it turns in its circle it turns toward him who has been empty-handed the longest, and if someone appears elsewhere whose need is greater it leaves its old channel and moves towards him. Our generosity may leave us empty, but our emptiness then pulls gently at the whole until the thing in motion returns to replenish us. Social nature abhors a vacuum.”

Living in the gift this also means opening up to receive, for there can be no gift without someone’s willingness to accept. Once you have received, you will feel gratitude for not only did you receive a precious gift, you strengthened a bond – a bond with another being experiencing their one and only life with you. Now what greater gift can there be than that.

Fourth Night Magic

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Our position is roughly 51 degrees, 56 minutes north latitude, 65 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. To put that in more accessible terms, we’re way out in the Canadian bush, still in Quebec but about five miles away from the southwestern corner of Labrador. It’s Sunday, early July, about 6:30 pm. We are pitching camp on the shore of one of the innumerable little ponds that make up the labyrinthian waterways of northern Canada, a country so densely laced with streams, rivulets,  bogs, rivers, lakes, and ponds that no one could begin naming any but the larger bodies of water. But names the mapmakers cannot get around to, the wilderness paddler can, because any place you make camp and named tonight’s resting place Camp Hummock for the obvious reason that hardly anywhere within a hundred yards of our campfire can you find enough level ground to pitch a tent.

We are twenty:  Hugh and Neil from Quebec and Ontario, Guijang and Haochen from China, Patricia-Pamela and Harol Maikel from Cuba, Jhon Joanna Tamara Andrea Leonardo and Jose from Venezuela, Regan from Brazil, Jhong –ha from Korea, Sailaja from India, Karolina from Polan, Elena from Moldova, Melika from Iran, and I from Lebanon. Ages are as diverse as origins. I am the youngest one. We are making our way toward the Labrador border. Once we’ve crossed it, we’ll be in Lac Assigny, the first of a chain of lakes that make up the headwaters of the Atikonak River watershed. From Lac Assigny on, it will be a downhill, though “downhill” on a wilderness canoe trip is not always the equivalent of smooth sailing. Before this trip is over, we will have portrayed twenty-one times. Four days ago, we climbed off the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway train at whistlestop named Eric. Since then, we’ve already made seven of those twenty-one portages. We’re only about forty miles into our 250-mile trip, and already Hugh has dubbed this “the trip that wouldn’t give an inch.”

Hugh is cooking tonight. “Ham au gratin or spaghetti ?” he asks. Thirteen voices say, “Ham au gratin.” He puts a bag of mixed nuts and one garlic sticks on top of wanigan for us to snack on as we do chotes. Guijang and Maikel have cut a couple of dead black spruce for firewood. Leonardo, Melika and Elena are sawing them up and tossing the billets over to him to split. I set up the gallery poles for Hugh to hang his spots on, split some kindling, get the fire going. The others are pitching tents. One of the joy of traveling with old hands is the ease, the utter routineness of routine. We set up a rotation of cooks, but nothing else is foreordained. Everyone knows what chores need to be done and automatically steps in.

 Camp Hummock may not be ideal for setting up tents, but it’s superb for lounging. All these hummocks padded with caribou moss make exquisitely comfortable backrests, and once camp chores are done, we kick back, pull out maps and journals, and start comparing notes on the day’s travel.  

The first joint Jhon’s thumb is equal to one mile on a 1:50,000- scale map and he calculates each day’s mileage in thumb joints. Before Leonardo even leaves home, however, he lays out the route on his maps and marks each mile with a tick mark. He and Jhon, rarely come up with the same daily tally.

“Eight miles today”, Jhon says.

“I get nine,” Leonardo says, so I write 8.5 in my notes.

“Which point was it where we had lunch?” Tamara asks me, “This one here, or the next one up the bay?”

Elena is collecting our cups and lining them up on a wanigan lid.

“Cocktail time,” she says and tips tiny flash lid of rum into each cup, about our an eighth of an inch, not enough to induce even a mini-buzz but enough to warm the tongue and heart.

Hugh’s pot of rice is bubbling softly. In a pot next to it, water is heating for after-dinner tea. The swarms of black flies that often keep northern travelers in headnets in the evening are blessedly absent tonight, and they will remain so for most of this trip. Why? None of us knows, but we speculate- an unusually dry summer, perhaps, or maybe just a low in a normal cycle.

A light northwesterly breeze has swept away the showers that drove us into raingear in the morning and at noon, and now the wind has dropped; the air is still and cool, promising a night of perfect sleep. We pull on wool shirts and hats. Hugh serves up heaping platefuls of ham au gratin and rice. We cradle the warm plates in our laps and eat.

The flow that is almost as constant as the flow of the river stops for a few minutes. A moment o sweet stillness takes over in our little company. We look out on the glassy water and on the spires of black spruce rising around us, on clouds of translucent gold drifting across the sky. We grin at each other.

Jhon calls this moment fourth-night magic, a time that does indeed seem to come with astonishing regularity on the fourth night out, that moment when a canoe company coalesces into a clan. We’ve shared four days of wet feet and driving rains. We’ve waded and wallowed, tracked canoes up rapids and lined them down, chopped our way through blowdowns, humped canoes and wanigans and hundred-pound packs over portages. Four days of bruising adversity we’ve shared, and four days of fun surpassing mere fun. Bliss is the better world, beatitude maybe. Blessed are the wilderness paddlers, for they shall know heaven in the boondocks.

We are warmed by food and wool and a toot of rum, of course, but most of all by the presence of brothers and sisters of the bush. When fourth-night magic descends, what goes unsaid but is understood by everyone around the fire is simply this: There is no other company I would rather share right now. There is no other place I would rather be. This, my friends, is as good as it gets.

A summary of a “ecofeminist worldview”

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IV Online magazine : IV449 – June 2012

Ecology and Feminism

By Marijke Colle

 

Ecofeminism developed in the 1980’s in the context of a growing green movement and of large anti-war and anti-nuclear missiles mobilisations. The ‘worldview’ of ecofeminists resonates today with the fights of indigenous people and of farmers organisations such as La Via Campesina.

Here are some key elements of their analysis and views.

Western society values male and scientific knowledge above everything else , it devalues the natural reproductive capacities of women and of nature. Experts and owners of capital have developed new biotechnologies (GMOs, genetically modified organisms, and IVF, in vitro fertilisation) to keep their grip and control over women and over nature.

Fertile earth and the fertility of women are transformed through male domination and the technological creativity of the male takes a central position in society. Earth and women are the passive terrain for the intervention by male experts, medical doctors, agronomists, agribusiness men. [1]

Geneticists consider traditional selection as backward and chaotic – GMO varieties represent progress, order and money. Farmers are forced to use the seeds, the fertilizers and the pesticides sold as a package by multinational agribusiness companies. The farmers lose their traditional ownership of seeds and varieties and must pay patent rights for selected hybrid and GMO plants and seeds.

Women have a duty to produce healthy children and are the objects of an expanding health industry with genetic screening of (pre- implantation) embryos, scans and echo-graphies, and a growing number of caesareans. Women lose the possibility and the capacity to decide for themselves.

Colonialism despised the primitive and the backward cultures of indigenous, non-white and local traditional communities who were considered more to be part of the local fauna than of the human race. [2]

The genocides performed in colonial times were disguised as the introduction of progress for primitive societies and as the conquest of ‘empty’ land. The common property and the common use of the land were considered an obstacle to the progress of civilisation. The young Charles Darwin noted in his diary that the complete equality amongst the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego would remain an obstacle for any progress of their civilisation until a leader would emerge who would have the strength to become the owner of all property. [3]

Vandana Shiva wrote in 1992 : ‘ …improved’ seeds and foetuses are in reality imprisoned seeds and foetuses. The right to self determination of farmers and of women is degraded to backwardness and ignorance. The violent expropriation of the autonomous producers is a process to steel what belongs to nature and to women, in the name of progress. Violence and theft were not only the basis for the creation of wealth in our colonial past, they continue with neo-colonialism today which threatens life itself.’ [4]

Second wave feminism in the U.S.A. and Western Europe

In North America and in Western Europe, feminists in the 1970’s protested against the traditional dichotomy between men and women, against the different “gender” roles, whereby men embodied culture and women embodied nature. This dichotomy was used to justify male dominance. Modern humans (white males from the rich world) are the creators of culture whilst women are considered as a kind of second class variety of humans who have only a limited level of personnel qualities such as reason, courage, self control, freedom, capacities of autonomous ownership. This modern male gender role became the norm in society. It was developed during the period of the enlightenment – women remained in the shadow of nature, ‘knowing their place’.

Other typical images such as man the hunter, the – competitive and sexually active being were part of a dominant ideology justified by ‘scientific’ knowledge. Women were described as – passive, asexual beings who kept the wild instincts of the males under control. Proudhon (– a French 19th century socialist) spoke of women as an essential civilizing factor, thanks to their role in the family. You can easily understand that later on, many second wave feminists were not convinced when eco-feminists spoke about the special link all women have with nature!

But what is the precise nature of the domination of men over women and of the increasing destruction of the earth as an ecosystem? Is there a possible link between women’s oppression and the way nature is being destroyed? What is our vision of ‘human nature’ and what are the consequences of this vision for women’s liberation?

The industrial revolution and the capitalist mode of production.

By the end of the 18th Century, we see the development of a new mode of production, capitalism. The changes involved in this transformation had important consequences for the position of women in society. Large productive family units, involving several generations, of farmers and of artisans, were ultimately replaced by what is now called the (non-productive) ‘nuclear family’. At the centre of this family there was – the house wife, she is not productive because she is not employed as a worker in a factory, a company, a public service. employed as a worker in a factory, a company, a public service. The man is supposed to be the bread winner for his wife and children, he is the ‘head of the household’ and his wage is supposed to pay for the survival of all the members of his family. The household tasks done by the women are invisible, because they are not remunerated in the form of a wage. The woman is economically completely dependent upon her husband.

Of course, women (and children) have been working in the new factories from the very beginning of the factory system, – the struggles against child labour and for protective measures concerning health and safety, the fight for shorter working hours, etc., were combined with a new ideology on the natural role of men and women. The ideal household is that of the nuclear family in which the man can afford to have a wife who stays at home. At the ideological level, the well known dichotomy between man ( – reason, culture, public life, etc.) and women (– intuition, nature, private life, etc.) is reaffirmed. [5]

After the Second World War, the situation for women changed considerably with contraception, and t he victorious fight of women for the right to choose abortion being an important part of this. New opportunities in education for women, the generalisation of paid work (outside the nuclear family) by women, also changed their position in relation to men. Look simply at rising divorce rates, they illustrate the increased autonomy of women who are not anymore completely dependant on their husband’s wages.

But real economic equality was not achieved, women’s traditional skills such as caring are valued less and women are paid less not only in those roles but even when they work alongside men, they are less paid and valued, they are pushed into part-time work – often because of the unavailability of child care, unemployment is more readily accepted in the case of women.

The fundamental reason for this state of affairs lays in the fact that women are the central caring figure in the family. In fact, women pay a high price for their increased economic freedom. They have to ‘combine’ their job with the domestic tasks (80% is done by women). Even when women can afford to buy more and more commodities like clothes, ready made food, etc, the central responsibility for the well being of all family members rests on their shoulders.

The feminists of the second wave criticized this state of affairs. Their demands for public services and for the collectivisation of the domestic tasks combined a critical view on the possibilities of women’s liberation inside capitalism and a perspective of real liberation through the struggle for a democratic socialist society.

Women and the peace movement, women and ecology

The end of the seventies saw massive mobilisations in the US and in Western Europe against the installation of US nuclear weapons carrying cruise missiles in Europe. Normal ‘housewives’, not feminist at all, were very much involved. Women in the peace movement took the lead at the Greenham Common peace camp surrounding an important British military base. Many of these women had not taken part in the abortion and contraception campaigns; neither did they question their traditional role as housewives .

But in the peace movement, women developed a specific criticism of the so called traditional “male” values of aggression, of rational thinking (the logic of nuclear weapons and war games!), of blind faith in technology and hard science and of all kinds of “macho” attitudes.

This new, softer feminism found its place in the growing green movements and parties. Women rediscovered their history: witch burning, the medicalisation of the female body. Women felt at ease in the new green thinking, small was beautiful, an alternative life style was developed (from baking your own bread to herbal medicine).

An ecofeminist worldview was growing which accused patriarchy (the expression of ‘male’ values and attitudes) and the industrial system for destroying nature and ultimately life itself.

The analysis of the parallelism between the medical treatment of women as objects of science and the way agribusiness transform peasants into industrial plant and meat producers is indeed very powerful. But I don’t agree with those ecofeminists who point at patriarchy as the primary cause of these developments.

Can the simplistic and a-historical concept of patriarchy (in other words, the fundamental and eternal nature of all males) explain all that has happened in human society over the last 200 years? Looking at this recent history, we can see that the growth and development of the capitalist mode of production covering the whole world is at the centre of the changes described by both socialist feminists and eco-feminists.

The many activities performed by women in pre-capitalist societies (– in traditional medicine, in local food and clothes production, etc.) have been destroyed by the incorporation of these activities in the capitalist economy. The production of commodities for profit in the capitalist economy has taken over – the previously important production of use values for human needs.

Anticapitalist ecofeminist thinking

Second wave feminists stressed the potential of equality between genders through concrete demands like equal pay and opportunities, the right to choose, the fight against any discrimination on the basis of gender. They were convinced of the fundamental similarities between men and women. Their struggles linked the analysis of specific women’s oppression with demands going against the capitalist logic such as more public services and the collectivisation of house hold tasks.

Many ecofeminists value “feminine” attitudes, ways of life that stand in contrast with masculine attitudes and behaviour. They sometimes became differentialists whereby the two genders are the expression of two deeply rooted (determined by biology) realities. Some ecofeminists developed identity politics against “man the cause of all evil”.

On the other hand socialist feminists also pointed out that sexual stereotyping was restrictive to both genders – man are not allowed to be carers without their sexuality being questioned for example. And of course these issues were and are taken up strongly by the LGBTQ movement who argued in favour of the dissolution of stereotypes and the valuing of qualities traditionally applied to each gender.

Other lines of thought in anticapitalist ecofeminist thinking are more interesting because they start from the basic contradiction of capitalism between the production of exchange value for profit and the production of use value in order to satisfy human needs.

If we look at society as an iceberg, with only one third of its volume floating above the surface and an invisible two thirds of the volume supporting the top, then we can describe society as follows.

The visible capitalist economy is characterised by wage labour, commodity production, exchange value, competition, growth, exploitation of the work force and of nature. This society can only continue to function if it is first of all supported by the invisible domestic work that women perform for the well being of adults and children, for the fulfilment of basic human needs and secondly, if the regeneration of all natural systems is guaranteed.

To build societies based on the well being of the many rather than the few, we need to put the work of social reproduction, the satisfaction of individual and social needs, the production of use value and the conservation of the biophysical base of life at the centre of our concerns and practices.

Ecological economics, which analyses and criticises the destruction of nature and the depletion of resources under capitalist conditions, must be combined with feminist economics which puts the underestimated and largely invisible activities of women (necessary for sustaining day to day life and the well being of every individual), at the centre of its analysis, thus creating a new synergy between feminism and ecology.

The current crisis of civilisation is caused by multiple contradictions and tensions: between capital and labour, – between the capitalist mode of production as a whole and the preservation of nature ( upon which every human depends), and finally the tension between the reproductive tasks, the fulfilment of human needs through use values on the one hand and the profit driven production of commodities on the other hand.

In this field full of tensions, there is a clear need for a strong link between the anticapitalist, the feminist as well as the ecological dimension of the struggles for an ecosocialist society.

The fight for women’s liberation; the understanding of the strong affinities and similarities between the oppression of women and the oppression/exploitation of nature, can only strengthen the movement for human liberation in an ecosocialist society. Marijke Colle

-Marijke Colle is an Executive C0-Director the International Institute for Research and Education in Amsterdam. She studied Biology at the Ghent State University and was always interested in ecology and the protection of the environment. As a student, she was active in radical left movements, in solidarity with the May 68 Revolt and in the campaigns against the Vietnam War. She became a founding member of the RAL/LRT, Belgian Section of the Fourth International in 1970. The seventies were also the start of the women’s movement in Belgium and she was centrally involved in the struggle for free abortion and contraception on demand and later on, also in the struggles of trade-union women against the crisis. She participated in writing the Resolution on Women’s Liberation for the XIth World Congress of the Fourth International in 1979. In 2008, she became involved in the founding process of the NPA in France and was elected in the national leadership of the NPA in January 2009.

NOTES

[1] ) SHIVA (V), The Seed and the Earth: women, ecology and biotechnology, in: The Ecologist 1/1992.

[2] The Belgian chocolate company Côte d’Or published in the 1950’s, at the height of the Belgian rule in the Congo, photo albums with pictures of wildlife. One such album I will never forget. Its title was Faunaflor Congo and the last pages were pictures taken of black man and women on the market selling food. They were part of the last chapter on the great apes…

[3] ) DESMOND (A.) & MOORE (J.), Darwin, Harmondsworth 1991

[4] SHIVA (V), The Seed and the Earth: women, ecology and biotechnology, op. cit.

[5] SHORTER (E.), The making of the modern family, London 1976

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Green Resistance (teaching, organizing, and eco-thinking)

From the UNDP Arab States website, here is my contribution to the Rio+20 preparations

‘Green Economy’ is not the pathway | Rania ElMasri
Soon, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will convene – with the goal of defining “a sustainable development pathway that leads to a future in which the whole global population can enjoy a decent standard of living whilst preserving our ecosystems and natural resources.”
 
In the 20 years since the first Rio conference, environmental institutions and environmental ministries have increased in number – while the environmental crisis has deepened and widened. Alongside the global environmental crisis is the economic crisis – seen in the growing national, regional, and global inequalities. Of course, the environmental crisis worsens the economic crisis, since a healthy economy cannot be built upon an unhealthy environment.
 
Now, green economy is presented as a solution, built on what is economically permissible rather…

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