Relocalization in the time of Coronavirus: Building Sustainable Social and Economic Systems

As Coronavirus upends the international economic system, it is imperative that the world community creates alternatives which could begin to replace this iniquitous and volatile system with those which are ecologically sustainable and nurturing of the human spirit. Christophe Aguiton, Genevieve Azam, Maxime Combes, Thomas Coutrot and Jean Gadrey describe how “relocalization” could contribute to the crafting of such alternatives.

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Global Working Group “Beyond Development”: An Introduction

In view of the rapidly worsening climate crisis and its disastrous consequences for the environment as well as people all over the world, the imperative for consolidating resistance to that onslaught has never been felt more intensely than now. In pursuit of that objective, we, at Radical Ecological Democracy, are pleased to announce a new partnership with “Global Working Group Beyond Development” in the form of a new page (available now on the menu above) called “Beyond Development”. The Global Working Group is an independent and self-organized collective operating with the support of its participants and the “Rosa Luxemburg Foundation”. Ashish Kothari of RED and Miriam Lang and Mabruka M’barek of the Global Working Group explain the thinking behind the “Beyond Development” page, its operating model, and the kind of transformative ideas and activism it intends to promote.

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In Defence of Life: Cajamarca, Colombia

Deep in the embrace of the Colombian Andes Mountains, farmers, youth and other environmental defenders from Cajamarca have stopped a vast gold mine, re-valued the ‘true treasures’ in their territory and begun to develop regenerative alternatives to mining ‘development’. Mariana Gomez Soto and Benjamin Hitchcock Auciello explore this story of resistance and revival. This is the second case study in the on-going collaborative series between REDWeb and the global “Yes to Life, No to Mining” (YLNM) solidarity network.

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Rethinking “Social Transformation”: Understanding the Communitarian Revolutionary Actor

As the need to counter the neoliberal assault on the planet is felt around the world, the idea of social transformation is undergoing fresh scrutiny to make it relevant to contemporary challenges. David Barkin and Alejandra Sanchez explore the unfolding socio-political experiments taking place in Latin America to give us an insight into the “Communitarian Revolutionary Actor” ushering in change on the continent.

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The Coming Green Colonialism

Given the clenching hold of inertia on international governments, not much was expected from COP25, the recently concluded U.N. Climate Change Conference. Predictably, it turned out to be a cop-out. Nnimmo Bassey gives us an idea of the frustrating and often pointless deliberations that took place inside COP25 and the dead-end they reached. As the author clearly shows, the ruling elite is utterly unable and unwilling to think in terms of alternatives to the ever failing neoliberal dispensation, and has completely abdicated any responsibility towards preventing climate chaos. A people’s struggle is the only way out.

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REDWeb Conversations Series – Cultivating autonomy in Rojava

Rojava is a significant experiment in grass-roots democracy in a region mired in desperate political conflict. The socio-political and economic achievements made over the last few years in Rojava form an aspirational inflection point in the history of the Kurdish people as well as that of West Asia. Ashish Kothari speaks with Yasin Duman on how the Autonomous Administration in Rojava became an agent of change while establishing stability in northern Syria.

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Thinking Outside the Grid

As the enormity of the contemporary environmental and climate crises dawns on the larger society, the power elite has not shied away from offering grand even if brazenly dubious answers to these challenges – Green Growth, Clean Coal, Genetically Engineered Biofuels and myriad other mirages. Steven Gorelick lifts the lid on the pseudo solutions to our severe energy issues and points us in the direction of systemic change based on local solutions to the complex undertakings of energy production and distribution.

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Landscapes of Renewal – Jukajoki, Linnunsuo and the Finnish Boreal

Finland has been affected by mass extractivism since the end of the Second World War. Peatlands, marsh-mires and old-growth forest across the country have been converted into mines and forest plantations, with huge impacts on rural communities practicing hunting, fishing, berry-gathering and small-scale farming. Over the past decade, the Finnish community of Selkie has successfully revived lands and waters damaged by extractive industries, using a blend of traditional knowledge and science. Tero Mustonen, Head of the Village of Selkie, explains how they stopped a mine and brought life back to Selkie’s rivers and marsh-mires. This is the first case study in the on-going collaborative series between REDWeb and the global “Yes to Life, No to Mining” (YLNM) solidarity network exploring emblematic examples of community resistance to extractivism and the life-sustaining alternatives they are defending and innovating.

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Resist. Restore. Revive: The frontline communities sowing the seeds of post-extractivism

The metal and mineral mining industry, worldwide is responsible for over 20% of global carbon emissions. It has also destroyed critical ecological areas and has a frightful record of systematic human rights violations. Yes to Life, No to Mining Network (YLNM) is a network of and for communities who choose to resist mining while at the same time protecting and advancing life-sustaining knowledges, practices, economies and governance systems. Recently, YLNM undertook an exploration of a few of these community initiatives to create a series of interactive case studies, which share the stories of resistance to mining, restoration of damaged ecosystems and protection and development of alternatives to extractivism. REDWeb is collaborating with YLNM to bring five of these “emblematic case studies” to its readers over the course of the next five months. In an introductory article, Hannibal Rhoades from YLNM gives us an idea of the areas and issues this series will cover, and how it explores the evolving idea of the “search for alternatives”.

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REDWeb Conversations Series – Defining A Utopian Present In Christiania, Copenhagen.

What started as a politicized form of squatting in an abandoned military base has turned into a unique experiment in utopian thought and practice in Christiania, an autonomous neighborhood in Copenhagen. Ashish Kothari and Shrishtee Bajpai speak with Natasha Verco, a resident and activist about the promise and challenges of Christiania.

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21st century is the century of Women‘s Revolution!

Recently, Kalpavriksh’s Ashish Kothari and Shrishtee Bajpai attended a gathering of international activists, “Defend The Sacred”, at Tamera, Portugal. It was attended by activists and pioneers working for global system change all over the world. Here, we reproduce a statement which was read out by Besime Konca of the Kurdish Women’s Movement at the gathering. It recounts the dynamic and far reaching revolutionary thinking, activism and policy implementation taking place in the Kurdish regions. We also carry a link to the interview that Ashish and Shrishtee conducted with Besime Konca.

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Matching Resources to Needs – Moving the Flow of Gifting from Theory to Practice

Since the advent of the industrial age the relationship between humans and the web of life has gradually ruptured. The natural abundance and flow that guided interactions between humans and nature have been impeded to the extent that we now face existential threats to our civilization. Miki Kashtan helps us understand how we can restore interdependent flow of energy and resources through collaboration and releasing our reliance on control.

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Eight Principles of a New Economics for the People of a Living Earth

Contemporary economics propagates the false notion that we humans are primarily financial beings whose well-being is predicated upon endless growth on the planet and the consequent generation of money. The climate emergency facing us today has shattered that premise, underlining the fact that we are first and foremost living beings whose well-being depends on the health and vitality of a living Earth. David Korten challenges the flawed theories and principles that bear major responsibility for the unfolding crisis and proposes a new set of economic principles which could help us navigate the current environmental mess.

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RED Conversations Series – Housing is a human right

The housing market is one of the important pillars of the contemporary free-market economy. It has also proven to be its achilles heel, as was evident during the market collapse of 2008, which was triggered by the bursting of the real-estate bubble. The modern housing scenario is marked by rampant household indebtedness, rapacious land-grabbing and corrupt real-estate developments. Given the resource intensive nature of the contemporary structures it is not surprising that buildings today contribute around 30 percent of carbon emissions, globally. How do we tackle this mammoth problem that could turn into a socio-economic catastrophe at any time? Ashish Kothari discusses this critical issue with Anitra Nelson and Fracois Schneider, the editors of “Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities”, which looks for feasible alternatives to the current housing mess.

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Resistance Is Fertile – The Emerging Alternative Political Discourse in the Indian Parliamentary Elections

India is in the midst of a massive election campaign for the constitution of its 17th parliament since independence in 1947. While the electoral priorities of the mainstream parties are characterized by a false narrative of “development”, a rapidly growing civil society initiative is exploring an alternative political discourse which is underlined by socio-economic equality and ecological sustainability. Shrishtee Bajpai describes the intellectual and operative underpinnings of this initiative.

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Market Fundamentalism vs. Community Rights on the Danish Coastline

In the early 2000s, the market forces tried to upend the quiet lives of the fishing communities in northern Denmark, intending to make a fast buck on the fishing riches of the Bay of Jammerbugt coastline. Mathilde Autzen recounts the inspiring story of a smart and bold pushback organized by the Thorupstrand community to reclaim their fishing rights and lay the foundation of a sustainable future.

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