When a language dies, ancestral knowledge is lost and the culture begins to disappear. Our human capacity for creativity becomes restricted as we increasingly adopt more homogenous points of view. We begin to lose faculties such as tolerance and the practice finding harmony within diversity. Eventually, we begin to deteriorate as a society.
As we know, the left has not been exempt from colonialism throughout its history. It has generally remained loyal to the modern Western idea of a historical continuity that aims to showcase Western communities as the most “advanced” in the world. The idea of “colonial commons” proposes that the new commons left is still dragging around this old problem inherited from the old left.
Bats, mosquitos, rats and pangolins are not to be blamed for epidemics. The fault lies with us and what we do with the ecosystems that these animals live in—how we manipulate and bring these animals into a new, artificial environment. That is the real cause of the coronavirus, something that will probably cost us a global recession. In other words, mutilating ecosystems comes with a very steep price.
Eurocentrism is like a second skin, encasing our bodies so closely that we hardly notice it. It’s a supremacist ideology shaped by beliefs, attitudes and practices, which have long since turned into destructive customs.
“How a person lives and interacts with others and with nature is called ubuntu. This indigenous knowledge reminds us that we are humans thanks to mother nature. She belongs to us and we belong to her. But we have forgotten who we are and that we have a deep connection to nature.”
The gravity of the problem is that today, when it comes to migrants and racialized people, media space is made available only when we’re the subjects of research, but not to present us as the owners of our own political identity.
The proliferation of hydroelectric dams is one of the ecosocial conflicts – or new wars – creating the most victims around the world. In Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and Ecuador, people who oppose these dams in defense of the commons are criminalised as ‘terrorists’, persecuted and even murdered.
A more critical argument in societies with a lack of environmental awareness such as ours is that of food sovereignty. Since genetically modified organisms are always developed by megacorporations, the farmers lose control over the means of production and end up doomed to poverty and subject to market fluctuations in order to acquire the subsistence goods. This can bring periods of prosperity, but also of malnutrition, poverty and migration to impoverished slums. Only the richest survive.
Feminist resistance must be anti-racist or it is not feminism at all. Of course, as feminists, we are not immune to assuming patriarchal, racist, Eurocentric, classist and transphobic practices, because as activists, we have been socialised, just like everyone else, by a hegemonic, colonial system that rules the western and westernised world. Therefore, in order to eradicate this oppression, we must practice denunciation, reparation and restitution.
Read our translation of Marian Diaz’s impassioned closing speech at the recent convergence meeting of the World Social Forum for Transformative Economies.
Strengthening demodiversity involves a twofold approach. First, one must denounce the limitations of liberal democracy, which has been exposed as an inefficient, opaque political system that perpetuates inequalities, bows to private interests and is largely sustained by corruption, conformism, fear and apathy.
Second, it is necessary to recover alternative democratic experiences discredited by the arrogant and flawed understanding of democracy that prevails throughout academia and society at large.
The Social and Solidarity Economy is a way of living that protects the integrity of people and subordinates the economy to its true end: to sustainably provide the material bases for the personal, social and environmental development of humanity.