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Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability & Peace


Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability & Peace by Vandana Shiva (2005) South End Press April 9, 2010 Jane Lehr Principles of Earth Democracy All ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability & Peace

Earth Democracy Justice, Sustainability Peace
  • by Vandana Shiva (2005)
  • South End Press
  • April 9, 2010
  • Jane Lehr

Principles of Earth Democracy
  • All species, peoples, and cultures have intrinsic
  • The earth community is a democracy of all life.
  • Diversity in nature and culture must be defended.
  • All beings have a natural right to sustenance.
  • Earth Democracy is based on living economies and
    economic democracy.
  • Living economies are built on local economies.
  • Earth Democracy is a living democracy.
  • Earth Democracy is based on living cultures.
  • Living cultures are life nourishing.
  • Earth Democracy globalizes peace, care, and

Vandana Shiva me
Vandana Shiva Oxfam (1999)
  • Genetically Modified Crops, World Trade
    Security (1999)
  • Oxfam "Donor governments and agencies should
    commit resources for investment in research into
    the potential opportunities of GM technology to
    deliver economic, environmental and health
    benefits to poor farmers in adverse
    agro-ecological zones.
  • Shiva We feel that Oxfam risks betraying the
    South, the poor and food security objectives by
    calling for support for promotion of G.M. crops
    in the South instead of calling for support for
    ecological and sustainable agriculture which is
    much better suited to the small farmers in
    adverse agroecological zones. The focus on
    promotion of G.M. crops in the Third World, and
    the total absence of recommendations relating to
    the promotion of sustainable, ecological
    agriculture will on the one hand deprive the poor
    of ecological, decentralised production systems.
    On the other hand it carries a major risk of
    creating a nutritional apartheid - with northern
    consumers having G.E. free foods and the poor in
    the South being condemned to a future based on
    G.E. crops and foods.
  • http//

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (1999)
  • Oxfam responds to Shiva
  • We think that there is only a minor difference of
    opinion between yourself and Oxfam GB. In our
    paper we call for a moratorium on the commercial
    release of GM crops because of the enormous
    health, environmental and socio-economic risks to
    poor farmers, consumers and developing countries.
    However, before completely shutting the door we
    believe further research is needed to establish
    the full risks and potential of genetic
    modification of crops for poor farmers and for
    consumers. We really don't feel that it is fair
    to suggest that our position amounts to risking
    "betraying the South, the poor and food security
  • We are at risk of entering in a debate where one
    is either in favour or against biotechnology. We
    are of the opinion that there are serious dangers
    implied by the rapid development of genetically
    modified crops in the hands of large private
    industries, dangers to public health, the
    environment and socio-economic relations. That is
    however not the same as rejecting the potential
    of all biotechnologies as such (there are many
    technologies that fall under that term), in
    particular not the applications that could
    support small holder farmers, consumers, and that
    could help local and global food security.
  • http//

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (1999)
  • Oxfam responds to Shiva
  • We have mentioned nitrogen-fixing, salt resistant
    crops and enhanced vitamin and mineral levels of
    foods. We could also have mentioned improved or
    hybrid high yielding varieties that can be
    replanted (i.e. that are genetically identical to
    the mother plant and are reproduced 'by
    apomixes', without sexual fertilisation). All of
    those are in our view potentially supportive of
    sustainable agriculture, even though some may
    reject those as not entirely natural or
    'organic'. We are aware that these potentially
    positive applications are in their infancy only
    and can imply similar environmental and health
    risks as some of the applications favoured by
    private companies, and therefore we believe that
    public funding and extreme caution should
    dominate such research and development. We do not
    suggest that public money should be diverted away
    from research and development of sustainable
    farming technology, on the contrary, we want more
    publicly funded research to support that,
    including biotechnological research.
  • We hope that this reply reassures you that Oxfam
    GB is not 'off course' and that we will continue
    to support the development and use of
    technologies that are in the interest of poor
    farmers and their environments, consumers and
    developing economies.
  • http//

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (2002)
  • Rigged Rules and Double Standards (2002)
  • http//
  • Shiva In response to this report, Vandana Shiva
    argued that Oxfam views market access as a magic
    potion for pulling the poorest out of poverty.
    In her letter, she instead suggests that market
    access is just another word for export
    orientation and export domination.
  • Oxfam Responds to Shiva
  • Vandana Shiva directs her argument against
    Chapter 4 of Rigged Rules and Double Standards.
    In this chapter, Oxfam sets out a case for
    improving market access for poor countries, and
    for ending the subsidised overproduction and
    dumping of agricultural surpluses by the European
    Union and the United States. The chapter suggests
    that, under appropriate conditions, access to
    Northern markets can contribute to
    poverty-reduction efforts. Those conditions are
    set out in the report. They include
    redistributive programmes to overcome
    inequalities based on gender, access to
    productive assets, and education. Ecologically
    sustainable resource management is another
    critical requirement.
  • http//

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (2002)
  • Oxfam Responds to Shiva
  • There are three problems with Vandana Shiva's
    comments. First, she not only distorts Oxfam's
    argument, but applies a reductionist logic that
    casts all export activity as bad for poor people
    - and all advocacy in favour of improved market
    access as part of a neo-liberal conspiracy.
  • Second, the anti-international trade perspective
    she advocates would, in our view, deny poor
    countries and poor people important opportunities
    for poverty reduction.
  • Third, while her comments raise important
    concerns about the relationship between trade and
    ecological sustainability, the assumption that
    trade is inherently bad for sustainability is
    unjustified. This is a subject that merits more
    serious consideration. Oxfam is working closely
    with a range of environmental and development
    movements to campaign on these issues in the lead
    up to the forthcoming World Food Summit and the
    World Summit on Sustainable Development in
  • http//

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (2002)
  • Oxfam Responds to Shiva
  • Having called for a "contextualised analysis",
    Vandana Shiva decontextualises trade.
  • It is asserted that all export activity
    undermines local and national economic activity,
    and that agricultural exports inevitably
    exacerbate hunger by displacing food production.
    While some export activity certainly produces
    such effects, such outcomes are not inevitable.
    They are typically the result of specific
    policies that skew the benefits of export in
    activity towards vested interests and powerful
    social groups, while failing to address the
    concerns of poor people.
  • Much of the evidence cited by Vandana Shiva is
    difficult to context since it is pitched at a
    very high level of generality. Her own figures
    are inconsistent with FAO data. the
    relationship between national food security and
    export activity cannot be reduced to
    generalisations of the type offered by Vandana
  • Such generalisation divert attention from the
    crucial question of unequal power relations in
    local, national and global markets -and from the
    types of state action that can make trade work
    for or against the poor.

Vandana Shiva Oxfam (2002)
  • Oxfam Responds to Shiva
  • The black and white model of market access
    export domination and neo-liberalism is not
    constructive. The Brazilian Worker's Party, the
    UN Secretary General, Nelson Mandela, virtually
    every Southern government, and many NGOs have
    called for improved market access. Lumping them
    with the World Bank/WTO/IMF is as helpful as
    implying that Vandana Shiva occupies the same
    protectionist ground as the Bush Administration
    and European big farm interests. Clearly, she
    does not occupy that ground. But her comments
    divert attention from the core challenge of
    changing production systems to ensure that trade
    reform is integrated into poverty-reduction
  • Vandana Shiva ignores the potential benefits that
    poor women and men might derive from production
    for export markets - and their real struggles to
    improve their living conditions. In Bangladesh,
    Oxfam is working with women's organisations that
    are attempting to improve wages, working
    conditions, and female employment rights - and
    these organisations are arguing for improved
    market access.
  • Whether or not improved market access delivers
    benefits for poor people will be a function of
    political decisions, the role of government, and
    power relations in the market place. Of course,
    there are many cases in which export growth is
    marginalizing poor people. By the same token,
    import protection and state support on domestic
    markets is often equally anti-poor (a point that
    Vandana Shiva ignores). That is why simple
    dichotomies between export production and
    production for domestic markets are not helpful.

Discussion Plan/Topics
  • Gender, Women, Patriarchy
  • (Biological Cultural) Diversity
  • Localization
  • Ways We Might Go Forward

1993 Right Livelihood Award
  • ...for placing women and ecology at the heart of
    modern development discourse.
  • http//
  • From Acceptance speech
  • I am increasingly sensing that the primary threat
    to nature and people today comes from
    centralising and monopolising power and control
    which inevitably generates one-dimensional
    structures and what I have called "Monoculture of
    the Mind". The monoculture of the mind treats all
    diversity as disease, and creates coercive
    structures to model this biologically and
    culturally diverse world of ours on the
    privileged categories and concepts of one class,
    one race and one gender of a single species.
  • These simultaneous colonisations are the
    inevitable result - the colonisations of nature's
    diverse species, of women and of the Third World.
    The politics of diversity is for me the ground
    for resisting all three colonisations.
  • Conservation of diversity is, above all, the
    commitment to let alternatives flourish in
    society and nature, in economic systems and in
    knowledge systems. Cultivating and conserving
    diversity is no luxury in our times. It is a
    survival imperative, and the precondition for the
    freedom of all, the big and the small.

placing women and ecology at the heart of modern
development discourse
  • In Earth Democracy, what does Shiva add?
  • In particular, how does her attention to women,
    gender, and/or patriarchy extend or complicate
    our previous discussions?
  • What is her argument about women, gender,
  • Is this a major or minor part of the book for
  • Is this a strength and/or weakness of the book
    for you?
  • The emergence of the women, gender, patriarchy
  • Staying Alive Development, Ecology, and Women
  • With Maria Mies, Ecofeminism (1993)
  • With Ingunn Mosser (1995) (eds.), Biopolitics A
    Feminist and Ecological Reader on Biotechnology
  • Etc.

Shivas Gender Analysis Call to Action (1 of 3)
  • Within this period of globalization, gender
    analysis needs to make two major shifts.
  • First, since globalization manifests itself
    primarily as a removal of national barriers to
    trade and investment, gender analysis needs to
    move beyond an exclusively domestic model of
    analysis (limited to either the household or the
    country) and toward an understanding of gender
    relations between actors as the global level. (p.

Shivas Gender Analysis Call to Action (2 of 3)
  • Within this period of globalization, gender
    analysis needs to make two major shifts.
  • Second, gender analysis needs to move from a
    focus on the end result, which victimizes women
    by only concerning itself with the impact on
    women. In order to effect change we need to adopt
    a structural and transformative analysis that
    addressed the underlying forces that form
    society. Global financial trade and corporate
    institutions are gendered institutions they
    impact on men and women, the rich and poor, and
    different people in different ways.
  • These institutions and structures are created,
    dominated, and controlled by men. Because they
    are shaped by a particular gender, class, and
    race of humans, predominantly men from the rich
    G7 countries, these institutions are expressions
    and vehicles of the visions, aspirations, and
    assumptions of that particular group. (pp.

Shivas Gender Analysis Call to Action (3 of 3)
  • Gender analysis of globalization, therefore,
    cannot limit itself to the impact on women. It
    needs to take into account the patriarchal basis
    of the paradigms, models, processes, policies,
    and projects advanced by these global
    institutions. It needs to take into account how
    womens concerns, priorities, and perceptions are
    excluded in defining the economy, and excluded
    from the process of defining economic problems
    and proposing and implementing solutions. (p. 132)

Impacts on Women
  • Globalization as a project of capitalist
    patriarchy (p. 130)
  • Robs women of their productivity and creativity
    by destroying nature/sustenance economy
  • Devaluing womens knowledge
  • Sex Trafficking (p. 130)
  • Cuts in social support programs (to address debt
    or as an IMF/WB requirement) (p. 130)
  • Religious patriarchy and capitalist patriarchy
    make women disappear (p. 132)
  • Contest between women-centered worldviews,
    knowledge systems, and productive systems that
    ensure sustenance and sharing and patriarchal
    systems of knowledge and the economy based on war
    and violence (p. 133)
  • Dowry deaths menace
  • Feticide through amniocentesis selective
  • Argument that (mal)development leads to
    overpopulation (p. 58)

Other Types of Discussion
  • Women as Guardians and Promoters of
    Life-Centered Cultures
  • Seeds Example
  • Leaders of Resistance Movements Alternative
    farming/market/etc models
  • Womens full humanity becomes the healing force
    that can break the vicious cycles of violence
    based on treating the inhumanity of man as the
    measure of being human, of greed as the
    organizing principle of the economy, of genocide
    and suicide as expressions of religious fervor
    (p. 140)
  • Women are refusing to be part of the culture of
    hate and violence. Women, in and through their
    lives, are showing that love and compassion,
    sharing and giving are not just possible human
    qualities ? they are necessary qualities for us
    to be human. (p. 140)

A Very Golden History
Shiva on Diversity
  • Living cultures are cultures of life, based on
    reverence for all life ? women and men, rich and
    poor, white and black, Christian and Muslim,
    human and nonhuman. (p. 142)
  • Questions
  • Is merely celebrating and embracing diversity the
    solution? (judgmental relativism)
  • How does this mesh with her other arguments?

Shiva on Localization
  • Centralization and regulation vs Localization
  • The real issues of our times is how to reinvent
    the state in a way that is not centralized,
    bureaucratic, and controlling, in a way grounded
    in the community and responsible to community.
    Leaving decisions on the distribution of goods
    and services and on environmental impact to
    unregulated and nonaccountable market forces
    would also be an error. (p. 89)

Broad Types of Ecofeminism
  • From Sturgeon (1997), Ecofeminist Movements
  • Patriarchy equates women and nature, so feminist
    analysis is required to fully understand
    environmental problems
  • Patriarchy equates women and nature, so feminist
    analysis of womens subordination must include
    environmental analysis
  • There is a special relationship between women and
    nature based on the social construction of gender
    and the history and contemporary practice of
    social institutions therefore environmental
    problems are more quickly resolved by women and
    taking womens work more seriously
  • Women are biologically closer to nature therefore
    women have greater access to a sympathy with
    nature and will benefit themselves and the
    environment by identifying with nature
  • Feminists interested in constructing resources
    for a feminist spirituality should draw upon
    nature-based religions such as paganism,
    witchcraft, goddess worship, and Native American
    spiritual traditions

Ynestra King (1989), The Ecology of Feminism and
the Feminism of Ecology in Healing the Wounds
(p. 23)
  • Ways forward for feminists ? we can
  • Reject women-nature connection
  • Reiforce the women-nature connection
  • Ecofeminism suggests a third direction a
    recognition that although the nature-culture
    dualism is a product of culture, we can
    nonetheless consciously choose not to sever the
    woman-nature connection by joining male culture.
    Rather, we can use it as a vantage point for
    creating a different kind of culture and politics
    that would integrate intuitive, spiritual, and
    rational forms of knowledge, embracing both
    science and magic insofar as they enable us to
    transform the nature-culture distinction and to
    envision and create a free, ecological society.

Slides that may or may not be useful
Emergence of Ecofeminism
  • Françoise dEaubonne (1974), The Time for
  • Léonie Caldecott Stephanie Leland (1983)
    (eds.), Reclaim the Earth
  • Judith Plant (1989) (ed.), Healing the Wounds
  • Irene Diamond Gloria Feman Orenstein (1990)
    (eds.) Reweaving the World
  • Karen Warren (1991) (ed.), Hypatia Special Issue
    on Ecological Feminism
  • Greta Gaard (1993) (ed.), Ecofeminism Women,
    Animals, Nature

Essentialism within Feminism
  • Within feminism, essentialism refers to the
    attribution of a fixed essence to women and
    entails the belief that those characteristics
    defined as womens essence are shared in common
    by all women at all times. Essentialism thus
    refers to the existence of fixed characteristics,
    given attributes, and ahistorical functions
  • Elizabeth Grosz, 1989, p. 153

11 Types of EnvironmentalismRobert Brulle
(2008), The U.S. Environmental Movement in 20
Lessons in Environmental Sociology
  • Different Types
  • Wildlife Management
  • Conservation
  • Preservation
  • Reform Environmentalism
  • Deep Ecology
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Health
  • Ecofeminism
  • Ecospiritualism
  • Animal Rights
  • Anti-Globalization/Greens
  • Differences
  • What is the goal or motivation of the discursive
    frame or type of environmentalism?
  • What is the definition of the environmental
    problem(s)? What is the root cause?
  • Why or how does nature have value? What is the
  • What is the model of nature employed? (e.g.
    machine, organism, etc.)
  • What should the relationship between humans and
    nature be? Are humans part of nature? Are humans
    privileged over nature?
  • What role do human needs play in conceptions of
    an ideal world or ideal outcome of activism?

Second Wave Feminism ? A Bit More Complicated
  • Liberal Feminism
  • Radical Feminism ? root of oppression is
    patriarchy focus on structures
  • Cultural or Difference Feminism (called Radical
    Feminism by some) ? root of oppression is
    patriarchy solution is innate womens values,
    women as the solution (essentialist) strong
    focus on change at the level of the individual as
    well as structures
  • Marxist Feminism ? root of oppression is
    capitalism solve class oppression first
  • Socialist Feminism (called Radical Feminism by a
    few) ? root of oppression is capitalism and
    intersections with patriarchy must try to solve
    class gender oppression at the same time
    eventually expands to include attention to
    intersections of class, gender, race, and
  • Women of Color Womanist Feminism
  • Multicultural Feminism
  • Global Feminism
  • Poststructuralist Feminism

King, Why Women? in The Eco-Feminist
Imperative (1981) (p. 11)
  • Because our present patriarchy enshrines
    together the hatred of women and the hatred of
    nature. In defying this patriarchy we are loyal
    to future generations and to live and this planet
    itself. We have a deep and particular
    understanding of this both through our natures
    and through our life experience as women.
  • We have the wisdom to oppose experiments which
    could permanently alter the genetic materials of
    future generations. As feminists we believe that
    human reproduction should be controlled by women
    not by a male-dominated medical establishment. We
    insist on the absolute right of a woman to an
    abortion. We support the life-affirming right of
    women to choose when and if to bear children.

King, Why Women? in The Eco-Feminist
Imperative (1981) (p. 11)
  • We oppose war and we recognize its terrible
    force when we see it, undeclared but all around
    us. For to us war is the violence against women
    in all forms ? rape, battery, economic
    exploitation and intimidation ? and it is the
    racist violence against indigenous peoples here
    in the US and around the world, and it is the
    violence against the earth.
  • We recognize and respect the beauty of cultural
    diversity as we abhor racism. Racism divides us
    from our sisters, it lines the pockets of the
    exploiters and underlies the decimation of whole
    peoples and their homelands. The imperialism of
    white, male, western culture has been more
    destructive to other peoples and cultures than
    any imperialist power in the history of the
    world, just as it has brought us to the bring of
    ecological catastrophe.

King, Why Women? in The Eco-Feminist
Imperative (1981) (pp. 11-12)
  • We believe that a culture against nature is a
    culture against women. We know we must get out
    from under the feet of men as they go about their
    projects of violence. In pursuing these projects
    men deny and dominate women and nature. It is
    time to reconstitute our culture in the name of
    that nature, and of peace and freedom, and it is
    women who can show the way. We have to be the
    voice of the invisible, of nature who cannot
    speak for herself in the political arenas of our
    society, of the children yet to be born and of
    the women who are forcibly silenced in our mental
    institutions and our prisons. We have been the
    keepers of the home, the children and the
    community. We learn early to be observe, attend,
    and nurture. And whether or not we become
    biological mothers, we use these nurturant powers
    daily as we go about our ordinary work. The
    political and the personal are joined the
    activities of women as feminists and
    anti-militarists, and the activities of women
    struggling in our neighborhoods and communities
    for survival and dignity are the same struggle.