Earth Democracy

Vandana Shiva explained at the Restore the Earth Conference. ‘Democracy is about bringing back the world that we live in, the world we inherited. We are part of the Earth family, all beings in the human community.

Vandana Shiva explained at the Restore the Earth Conference. ‘Democracy is about bringing back the world that we live in, the world we inherited. We are part of the Earth family, all beings in the human community.

Democracy is about bringing back people’s power to make decisions about resources on the basis of awareness of the limits that other beings and nature put on us. ‘Through the Earth Democracy Movement we have very, very simple little Earth directions.
Water belongs to all people therefore water pri-vatisation is not on. We didn’t invent our brothers and sisters in the plant and animal world therefore patents on life are not on. When the plants and animals are around us they can create tremendous prosperity.

The real prosperity is the richness of bio-diversity in our oceans, in our rivers, in our lakes, in our farms, in our forests. I think that if there is one indicator that we need for prosperity, it is the richness of biodiversity. But it also relates to this other problem. We are in the problem of global war ñ the problem of terrorism.

‘I wrote a book way back in the 1980’s called The Violence of the Green Revolution. Now the rev-olution was called green because it was supposed to be an alternative to the red revolution. Replace guns with fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides and you will have a green revolution. The problem is the green revolution became very bloody in Punjab, which was the prime example of this green revolution. About thirty thousand died in the period when I was writing this book because of violence, terrorism and extremism.

>I spent a whole year and a half doing nothing else but trying to understand why violence was going on in the most prosperous state of India. And I learned that the reason is that globalisation is non-sustainable. It’s not just that it takes away the survival and livelihood opportunities of millions who can’t farm any more, who can’t be craft people any more, but it makes it impossible for anyone to live in communities. And that happens because, I believe, it is totally built into the structure of economic and corporate global-isation. It turns everything negative. It turns economics negative. Farmers can’t stay on the land. It turns politics negative so that our leaders no more respect the will of the people who put them in power and it turns identity negative, because identity detached from the earth cannot handle multiplicity, cannot handle diversity.

‘We need the earth’s restoration not just for the restoration of democracy, not just for restoration of the possibilities of our survival on this planet. We need earth’s restoration to be able to deal with the kind of violence that has been unleashed, because there is only one kind of identity, a peaceful identity that knows: I belong to this land, these are my neighbours. I love the land and I love my neighbours.’ And we have to globalise this compassion and the culture of compassion and love, in place of the culture of greed and predation which is going to have its last push in Johannesburg.
There I do hope that we will be able to unleash the virus of love and compassion and hope, instead of fear and replace all those negative systems that are, right now, the only way people think.

‘Fear hatred, greed, consumerism, those are the dominant features of the human condition just now. But they are not the dominant features of the way we are supposed to be on this planet and I think we can make a shift. We have to make a shift.’
FURTHER INFORMATION : Extracted from Vandana Shiva’s talk at the Restore the Earth Conference, Findhorn.
WEB SITE : http://www.vshiva.net

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