Two Voices To Make You Think

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Democracy Now! is where I find out about news that the mainstream media doesn’t consider important enough to share. They focus on peace, our environment, social movements – everything I enjoy with my early-morning cup of tea.

They must have known yesterday was my birthday, as they filled the hour with two interviews – one with the economist Manfred Max-Neef, and the other with author Derrick Jensen. I hadn’t heard of either before, but both spoke powerfully and are worth sharing.

Part 1 and 2 of Manfred’s interview:

My favourite section of the interview is Manfred Max-Neef laying out the principles of economics:

The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.

One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.

And here are parts 1 and 2 of Derrick’s interview.

One of the problems that I see with the vast majority of so-called solutions to global warming is that they take industrial capitalism as a given and the planet which must conform to industrial capitalism, as opposed to the other way around. And that’s literally insane, in terms of being out of touch with physical reality, because without a real world, you don’t have any social system. You don’t have any social system at all. You don’t have life. You know, we’ve come to believe that our food comes from the grocery store and that our water comes from the tap, and that’s because it does. And that’s an extraordinary thing that the system has done, has been to interpose itself in between us and the real world, because if your experience is that your water comes from the tap and your food comes from the grocery store, you’re going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you, because your life depends on it. If, on the other hand, your water comes from a river and your food comes from a land base, you will defend to the death the river and the land base, because that’s what your life depends on. And so, that’s part of the difficulty, is this culture has inserted itself between, and it’s done that for us and then also happens all over the world.

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