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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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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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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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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REDWeb Anniversary Series -Marx and Political Ecology

The steadily evolving field of Political Ecology is helping us figure out the impact of social, political and economic factors on our environment. Omar Dahbour delves into Marxian theory to explain how people’s equity in the ownership and management of natural resources, and of sustainability in the maintenance and health of the ecosystems could become the essential core of contemporary Political Ecology, and in the process help address the climate and environmental challenges facing the world. This article is part of the Radical Ecological Democracy website’s efforts towards offering a critical analysis of Karl Marx’s ideas in the context of the emerging alternative thinking and practice on environmental justice and socio-economic equality, as we continue to observe his 200th birth anniversary year.

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How noble was the Nobel this time?

William Nordhaus was recently awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on how to address climate change using cost-benefit analysis of limiting greenhouse gases. Gurudas Nulkar helps us understand the intricate nature of Nordhaus’ research and explains why it needs closer scrutiny before any conclusions can be drawn about the long-term benefits of his work on climate change.

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Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx and the postmodern (2nd edition) by Ariel Salleh.

“Ecofeminism as Politics: nature, Marx and the postmodern”, by Ariel Salleh is a seminal work, which helped redirect the often floundering debate on international environmental crises in the 1990s towards the “eurocentric capitalist patriarchal culture built on the domination of Nature, and domination of Woman ‘as nature.’ In the last twenty years, Salleh’s book has challenged us to decipher the essential link between green politics, eco-socialism, post-colonial theory and eco-feminism as we try to design meaningful alternatives to the current neoliberal dispensation. David Pellow helps us grasp Ariel Salleh’s incisive logic in this review of the second edition of her book.

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RED Conversations Series – The Emerging Idea of “Radical Well-Being”

Paul Robbins talks with Ashish Kothari about the idea of “Radical Well-Being” and the road towards realizing it. This conversation is based on a presentation made by Ashish at the 2nd Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) held in Oslo, June 2018.

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Mapping Grassroots Solutions: Lessons learned from the Utah Resilience Map Project

As grassroots solutions to the current neoliberal orthodoxy emerge all around us, it is important to figure out a way to make them physically accessible for people. Emily Nicolosi writes about the Utah Resilience Map, a path breaking effort putting alternatives emerging in and around Salt Lake City on a map. It’s a bold initiative which challenges the stranglehold of corporate online mapping and an emerging template for replication at other places.

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Lessons from the Kickapoo: Radical Conviviality in Community Conservation

The Kickapoo River valley in Wisconsin, USA was condemned to reckless “development” in the 1970s as a mega-dam flood control project got underway. But that move was met with resistance from the Ho-Chunk people who consider the area their sacred homeland. Paul Robbins and Marcy West recount the powerful story of a community led and focused ecological revival of the Kickapoo valley, underscoring the triumph of negotiations and collaboration over mistrust and fear.

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RED Conversations Series – “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”

Ashish Kothari was recently on a book tour in the U.S., promoting “Alternative Futures: India Unshackled”, a book he recently co-edited with K.J. Joy. Here, he discusses the main themes of the book with Pallav Das and an audience at “Busboys and Poets”, an activist book-store in Washington D.C.

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Engaging with the Plutocene

The neoliberal dispensation governing the world is pushing it towards an ecological catastrophe while ensuring the economic and political supremacy of an entrenched elite class. Using an income-based class perspective, Marko Ulvilla and Kristoffer Wilen discuss the ways in which we could create ecologically sustainable and socially equitable post-growth societies.

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The Green Party of Germany – From Beacon of Hope to a Bog-standard Party

How do we think about alternative politics in light of the current stresses on the environment and the phenomenal increase in inequality, worldwide? Probably, the best place to start is to learn from similar experiments which took place in recent history. Saral Sarkar helps us understand the intellectual debate on the economy, ecology and social relations that took place within “green” politics in Germany, and its ramifications for the contemporary search for alternatives.

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The Airport project of Notre Dame des Landes is dead! Long live the ZAD!

Newts can beat concrete! – if only we manage to build strong alliances with them. This is one of the main lessons from the 50-years long fight against the Notre Dame des Landes airport project in France. Maxime Combes and Nicolas Haeringer recount the incredible journey of a successful campaign that brought environmental activism and transformative prefigurative politics together.

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