Main : ecology, globalisation, human rights, non-fiction
215 x 137 mm
Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen, Maria Mies
A product of twenty years of analysis and activism, this unique book poses a radical alternative to the current free-market industrial system. A book of history, theory and polemic, the authors show how, if we are to survive, economies must become needs-based, environmentally sustainable, co-operative and local. They explain how the current capitalist system is none of these things, is inherently unstable and is dependent on the exploitation of various marginalised groups, particularly women, and of the environment. They call instead for a new politics and economics based on subsistence and present examples of such a perspective in practice. They describe current peasant economies and show how they are not only alive and possible, but necessary and sufficient – far from being a brutalising way of life, it is seen to be an empowering form of work on something – agriculture – which is fundamental for a modern subsistence-oriented society. We see indigenous communities in Guatemala setting up their own village-based subsistence economies as a way of liberating themselves from colonial subjectification via wage labour. With examples from Africa, Latin America and Europe, the book shows how the subsistence principle can and does have a positive effect on market exchange - with exchange oriented towards the social good rather than profit. The book concludes with a call for a new politics based on the view from below, rather than one concerned with power and dominance. The authors brilliantly demonstrate how development only works when it is done from the bottom up.
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‘They contend that the neo-liberal globalisation process is fundamentally hostile and produces a new patriarchal subordination of women in both the undeveloped and developed worlds … a text rich in humane ideas, case studies and critical analysis.' The Australian
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