Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
Se invita a todo ciudadan@ a asistir al acto de apoyo para sensibilizar a los Gobiernos de 110 países que se encuentran en la Conferencia Mundial del Cambio Climático en Copenhague, para que logren acuerdos que reduzcan las emisiones de gases invernadero y evitar así que el calentamiento global siga aumentando y poniendo en riesgo la vida en la Tierra.
La cita es el 16 de diciembre a las 12:00 horas en el Parque Hundido, en la explanada entre las fuentes. Ubicación: Insurgentes Sur cerca de Félix Cuevas (Parada metrobús: Parque Hundido)
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México- ECOMUNIDADES
Red de Descrecimiento
Red en Defensa de la Naturaleza. EDENAT
Red en Defensa de la Ciudad de México
Vecinos del Parque Hundido A.C.
Si lo desean, pueden traer velas, flores y frutas.
Sophie Banks de Transition Towns me espera este domingo por la manana en un sitio especial para hacer videos, pues me ha invitado a participar en una entrevista videograbada con algunos activistas de TT. Tim Jackson ha tenido mucho exito con su presentacion Prosperity Without Growth la que ha presentado no solo en varias ocasiones en diversos auditorios, sino hoy las presento en una reunion de pastores de la iglesia danesa. La entrevista transcurre sobre la forma en que Transition Towns puede ayudar al Global South y las experiencias de algunos activistas en las fabelas de Brasil y en pueblos de Sudafrica y Sudeste asiatico. Les comento que me interesa defender la cultura vernacula de nuestros pueblos, pero, desde luego, las propuestas de Transition Towns pueden ayudar a fortalecer esta idea de transicion hacia una epoca postpetrolera y de cambio climatico; acepto apoyar la idea de los Transitio Towns en Mexico, con los companeros que lo deseen. Acuerdo una cita con Jorge Riulli de Argentina, para colaborar en ciertas acciones.
Tal como acordamos dias anteriores, visitaremos la comunidad de Christiania en el centro de Copenhague, algunos companeros del grupo de descrecimiento.La senora Helle ofrecio servir de guia. Chistiania es una comunidad rebelde que nace hacia 1971, cuando el gobierno de Dinamarca decide cerrar las viejas instalaciones militares en este viejo barrio y un grupo de personas sin vivienda decide tirar unos muros e invadir estas instalaciones; se firma un manifiesto en el que fijan reglas y crean una comunidad en rebeldia contra las leyes, reglas de Copenhague; todo se decide en asambleas por consenso. Viven en Chrsitiania unas mil personas en viejos edificios militares y en casas construidas cerca de los canales; existen talleres para hacer casi todo a partir de desechos; perros y gatos pueden libremente circular; la policia vigila continuamente estas intalaciones, pues, en una epoca los drogadictos se refugiaron en esta comunidad, pero, hartos de estos problemas fueron expulsados en gran medida. Existe un restaurante en esta comunidad que dice haber sufrido mas de 6000 intervenciones policiacas en 5 anos. Esta prohibido tomar fotos dentro de esta comunidad que tiene su propias reglas y no tiene servicios publicos. El gobierno danes quiere todos los anos acabar con esta comuna que recibe mas de un millon de visitantes cada ano; esta en el parlamento un ley para cambiar la situacion de Christiania; Esta comuna parece dar una idea de lo que nos espera en el futuro, con el Pico del Petroleo y el Cambio Climatico.
En el centro de Chrsitiania exite la mayor instalacion de un techo en arco de medio punto de madera, en el que se inauguro hace unos dias el tianguis de fin de ano, para conseguir fondos para la cena de navidad de los pobres de Copenhague; en este comuna la solidaridad es religion. El tianguis esta reventar y se ofrece una magnfica produccion artesanal danesa. Se realiza un Shopenhague, para los interesados en la artesania.
Ultima reunion de los interesados en el dialogo internacional por el descrecimiento; en las antiguas instalaciones del rastro de Copenhague, habilitadas como centro cultural, nos reunimos la tarde del domingo, los participantes en el seminario de descrecimiento en este Klimaforum. Estan presentes: el grupo danes; el grupo espanol; parte del grupo ingles y yo por Mexico. Acordamos, abrir un dialogo por internet con el fin de promover una especie de red internacional por el descrecimiento y llegar a Barcelona con algunas propuestas de organizacion; los ingleses no se interesan mucho, pero, los daneses y los espanoles si lo estan. Tomamos nota de que en enero tendra lugar un seminario sobre descrecimiento en Londres, con el apoyo de Francois Schneider de Francia, Mario Bonaiuto de Italia y desde luego Tim Jackson de Inglaterra. Federico de Maria sera por el momento el encargado de hacer un resumen de los acordado y realizar los acuerdos tecnicos hasta la reunion de marzo en Barcelona. Al parecer la joven y dinamica organizadora del Klimaforum, Safania Erksen, podria ser la coordinadora tecnica de este grupo. John Holten me pide agrupar a los mexicanos y latinoamericanos en Copenhague, para hacer la entrega de la organizacion del Klimaforum a quienes deberiamos encargarnos en 2010 de realizarlo en Mexico, durante la COP-16. No podre permanecer hasta el final de este foro, para recibir esta organizacion, pero, espero que otros companeros lo hagan.
Este martes tendremos dia dedicado al tema del agua, organizado por Maude Barlow y su grupo.
Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
¡DESCRECIMIENTO O BARBARIE!
[ #15] Closing Down the Debate?, by Andy Price [ PDF ]
[ #15] Measures of Failure and Success, Part 1, by Eirik Eiglad [ PDF ]
[ #14] Bookchin's Originality, by Janet Biehl [ PDF ]
[ #13] Anthroposophy and Ecofascism, by Peter Staudenmaier [ PDF ]
– A 1 : Anthroposophy and its Defenders
– A 2 : The Janus Face of Anthroposophy
– A 3 : The Art of Avoiding History
[ #12] Bookchin Breaks with Anarchism, by Janet Biehl [ PDF ]
[ #11] Anti-Semitism in the Socialist Tradition, by Kjetil Simonsen [ PDF ]
[ #10] The Promise of Participatory Budgeting, by Sveinung Legard [ PDF ]
[ # 9 ] Theses on Power, by Eirik Eiglad [ PDF ]
[ # 8 ] Theses on Social Ecology and Deep Ecology, by Janet Biehl [ PDF ]
[ # 7 ] Libertarian Municipalism and the Radical Program, by Eirik Eiglad [ ]
[ # 6 ] Bases for Communalist Programs, by Eirik Eiglad [ ]
[ # 5 ] Ambiguities of Animal Rights, by Peter Staudenmaier [ ]
[ # 4 ] What is Social Ecology?, by Murray Bookchin [ ]
[ # 3 ] The Dark Side of Political Ecology, by Peter Zegers [ ]
[ # 2 ] The Communalist Project, by Murray Bookchin [ ]
– A 1 : Anarchism and Power in the Spanish Revolution
[ # 1 ] Communalism as Alternative [ ]
By Miguel Valencia, from ¡DESCRECIMIENTO O COLAPSO!, RED NACIONAL MEXICANA ( Mexican national de-growth network). November 29, 2009
1 What? What are the contents of your degrowth movement?
It includes an agreement or consensus concerning extraction, as well as of export, import and national consumption of oil; some agreements on water, waste and agriculture issues; it includes some capacities in appropriate technology, in local interchanges; in social work with environmental conflicts; it includes reflections on philosophy, history, State, democracy, sociology, finance, peace, and, of course, on economics and politics. Includes experiences of nearly 3 years of work in degrowth promotion activities, like conferences, chats, colloquia, seminars and direct action.
Our movement is integrated by social action groups; regional and local ecology groups, students and professors, writers or thinkers; a distinguished artist. As part of the network we have a blog and a Goggle group with a data base of around 100 persons.
On the other hand, ECOMUNIDADES, the Mexico City autonomous ecologist network, the group that initiated this movement, has a 23 year experience (this new group founded in 2005 continues the work of the old Foro Regional Ecologista del Valle de México, founded in 1991) in ecological action in urban mobility and urbanization; in the resistance to excessive transportation, water trans-basin transfers, waste incinerators, high-rises, urbanization of city surrounding woods and other urban mega-projects in Mexico City. Besides, we have collaborated with Mexico Cy district or quarter neighbours more than 15 years, in mobility, water, waste and organizational issues.
2 Why? What is the special background for the arisen of the movement in your country?
The last 27 years of neoliberalism rule that has generated five world class Mexican billionaires in Forbes Magazine, one of them, Carlos Slim, now considered the second richest man in the world; 55 % of the total population below the line of poverty; 90% of our rivers highly polluted; 85 % of our forests and jungles lost in the last three decades; 70 % of the population living in urban zones; 15 years of high rates of migration and North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, operation; more than 1500 deaths of migrants every year in the deserts of USA, near the border or in the Bravo river in the border; around 30 persons brutally tortured and killed ( some decapitated) every day in the last 3 years; around 800 young women violated, tortured for gore performances, killed and buried in the desert of Ciudad Juarez, a border city, in the last ten years; a social fighter disappeared or brutally killed around every fortnight; wage levels at least ten times under the USA levels and having 70% less buying capacity than 30 years ago wages; 90% of impunity regarding crime; 80% of the fiscal income assigned to paying internal and external public debts; enormous expenditure in army, police and internal security systems; 90% of the banking operations controlled by foreign banks, the majority controlled by in Spanish banks ; more than 50% of electrical generation produced by companies controlled by foreign multinationals (most them Spanish); gas and gasoline distribution controlled by Spanish capitals; more than 10 big monopolies created in 20 years; fast disappearance of peasant and artisan life in the last 15 years and a language lost every 5 years; most able young peasants, artisans, workers, professionals, students, scientists, scholars, migrating every year to foreign rich countries; 25 years of continuous loss of labour conquests and, in these years, an average increase of around two working hours a day; having extreme right wing neoliberals ruling the country since 2000; a fraudulent presidential election in 2006 generating a great political and social unrest; a continuous and severe social and ecologic decline during the last 25 years, exacerbated after the strong economic crisis that started in 2008; this economic crisis is the worst in the country in 77 years; soaring levels of corruption, impunity and drug traffic violence. Rapid decline in oil extraction; Middle class great disenchantment and frustration, peoples despair, desolation and rejection for political parties (growing disdain for democratic institutions). Mexico increasingly recognized as a failing State.
Ivan Illich's books and conferences, from 1969 to 2000; Jean Robert chats, conferences, seminars, books, in the last 40 years. A small radical ecologist movement rise in the 80s. The foundation of the Foro Regional Ecologista del Valle de México in 1991, based mainly in Ivan Illich, Murray Bookchin writings. ECOMUNIDADES, Mexico Cy autonomous ecologist network foundation in 2005.
3 How? Which are the closest co-operating partners in your country?
Jean Robert, Adriana Matalonga, Edith Gutiérrez, Mauricio Villegas, Dominique Jonard, René Torres Bejarano, José Arias, Américo Saldìvar, Edgardo Mota, Rafael Huacuz, Jaime Lagunez, Patricia Gutiérrez- Otero, José Ignacio Félix Díaz, Dulce Karina Fierros, Gabriel Eduardo Gallegos, Roberto Villa. Ecologists, environmentalists; social activists; university professors; professionals: ECOMUNIDADES, Red Ecologista de la Cuenca de México; Red en Defensa de la Ciudad de México; En Defensa de la Naturaleza, EDENAT; Red en Defensa de la Ciudad de México; La Otra Campaña, linked to Zapatistas, EZLN; Asociación de Tecnología Apropiada; Grupo de Descrecimiento- UNAM; Profesores y estudiantes de la sección de posgrado e Investigación de la Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Mecánica y Eléctrica del IPN; Otra Ecología; Círculo Autónomo Feminista; Ecologistas de la Miguel Hidalgo; Espejo Polanco; Ecología política en la UAM- Xochimilco; Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la UNAM; posgrados de la Facultad de Economía; Departamento de Teoría y Diseño de la UAM Cuajimalpa: Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla; Frente Cívico de Morelos; Grupo Respira Ambiente- Universidad Iberoamericana Santa Fe.
4 How? How do you combine degrowth-theory and degrowth-praxis?
We try to make a real change in our life style towards a simple slow life; some of the people involved with no automobile or mobile phone use; avoiding drinking bottled water and meat consumption; the cultivation of own vegetables and the participation in local interchanges. Some are involved with appropriate technology or in collective experiments in degrowth. We organize forums, colloquies, seminars, conferences. We also support movements against megaprojects. We accompany national movements in human rights, peace, syndicalism, women's rights; we have political action on special issues like environmental impact, oil, water, social, urban and ecological public policy; We're organizing a tour of conferences and meetings on degrowth in Mexico's universities and degrowth groups for Serge Latouche, from France.
5 How, internationally? How can we strengthen international co-operation?
Contributing with good ideas on how to strengthen the degrowth process. Through collective international activities; Face to face dialogues: workshops; colloquia, seminar; meetings, marches, visits, festivals, pilgrimages, fiestas, collective trips ; hospitalities; gifts; linking local, national and international degrowth groups and networks; dissemination of degrowth activities via Web blogs and sites;
International feedback and coordination; international action plan. Directory by country
Speech for the degrowth seminar in Copenhagen:
Let me apologize for possible mistaken words in this text. English is not my native language and I'm not used to write in this language.
Our villages and cities are dying because of intense development
Every where in Mexico, the same force is at work. It weakens our villages, sickens and kills their inhabitants. It destroys our communities and makes a mockery of our traditional commons. Year after year, it causes the loss of support capacities: water tables, streams and lakes, groves, rainforests, seas. It constantly impoverishes our country's fauna and flora. This force is modernization. It is an undeclared war waged against nature and people's commons. In its name, the landscape is tainted with single crops such as: corn, barley, palms and also with urban sprawl, channels, pylons. All towns are more and more invaded by pavement, pipes, autos, noises, advertisements, commercial franchises, Wal Mart stores. The peasants and town residents observe helplessly how in few months there are built under passes, freeways, big parking lots, huge malls, industrialized housing. In few hours, they see how their public parks and gardens, sidewalks, squares, are filled with used plastic bottles or bags, aluminium cans, printings, metal and plastic carcases.
Mexican towns and cities are rapidly loosing their peasants, artisans and wise men, but, at the same time they are resenting a fast increase in their levels of violence, poverty and unemployment, because of the soaring growth of the huge land monocultures, migration, drug harvest and traffic, sweat shops and new life styles. Our towns are powerless territories subject to powers without territory. World economy now dominates our village's life and economics. Towns and cities have lost the means to stand on their own.
Confrontation and dissent with globalization in México: A chronicle of a bloody warfare
Dissent rises in the early 90 but, since the beginning of this century, at least 1,500 local movements have been initiated; campesinos, indigenous people, women, workers, neighbours, citizens of all social strata have rejected the construction of airports, large dams, turnpikes, oil facilities, toxic waste confinement, mining operations, water extraction, elevated freeways, Metro lines. The most relevant dissent in México: the Atenco town stopped the construction of the Mexico Cy new international airport; Ignacio del Valle, the campesino leader of this movement, is now in top security seclusion, convicted for 120 years; Zimapan town halted a toxic confinement; people of San Luis Potosí City succeeded to stop operations of San Xavier, Canadian mining company; ; campesinos of La Parota stopped a large dam project in Acapulco; people of Cuatro cienegas continuously oppose to water extraction in the desert ecological reserve; 13 towns movement; campesinos against the urbanization of Morelos rice fields; campesinos and people of Tlahuac against the 12th Metro line project on their wetlands in Mexico Cy. In recent years, most local resistance leaders in Mexico have warrants. At least every fortnight a local leader mysteriously disappears or is found tortured and killed by unknown people.
The social imaginary manipulated by development programs and globalization has been a tragedy.
For decades, the images of new cars, high speed roads, big dams, bridges, towers, underpasses, houses in suburbia, have devastated the mind of the majority of Mexican people; but globalization introduced again new images of world class weapons, cruiser sea travel, contemporary houses, and many others that colonized the mind of part of the low income, middle and well- to- do Mexican classes. The American Dream or the European life style has become now a part of the social imaginary of most Mexicans. But these images drive now the transformations that ravage Mexican towns, villages, and nature's treasures. Derived from the spectacle of wealth, several new creeds or faiths invade not only a great part Mexican people, but I think, of most people in most countries. This new creeds could be summarized in the following ones: faith in progress, development and modernization; faith in science and technology; faith in economic growth; faith in the modern State and democratic institutions. As a result of the emergence of these basic creeds, most people believe that there is no dignified human life on earth without mobile phones, lap tops, bottled water, cars, fast trains, planes... And that world class newspapers, big radio networks and national TV broadcast are essential for a good living. And that society cannot achieve prosperity without abundant school certificates, university degrees and doctoral studies.
With the rise of economic classical thinking, in the 18th century epistemic revolution, these contemporary faiths emerged.
Economic ideas introduced the idea of a world without boundaries and limits, unbridled exploitation of nature and the legitimization of big risk activities; in those days, modern states lost the notions of scale, size, proportion and limit and began to nurture industrial activities, international trade; in that century, the fundamentals of our legal system were created in order to protect pirates, bankers, corporations; and then, science and technology became the most important partners of economy. From this epistemic revolution evolved these creeds and our modern thinking; in our days everybody is now deeply involved in only one dimension of life: the economic dimension. The One Dimensional Man, denounced by Herbert Marcuse in the 60s, is now present everywhere in the world. Techno-scientists presently conduct high risk experiments using nuclear energy, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, robotics, in such a manner "to make humans an endangered species", according to Bill Joy, the great American computer scientist. Economy has conquered the mind of modern man and commands his life, needs, desires, beliefs; the idea of scarcity, essential to economic thinking, saturates the contemporary thinking. In our days, because economic ideas, multinationals and states face a Shakespearian dilemma "to grow or not to be". As economy implements the ugliness, gigantism, accelerated change, that now subdue modern world.
Economy operates by means of different systems and instruments designed by techno scientists.
Systems like: states, world organizations, central banks, financial operations, employments, schools, universities, hospitals, media, agribusiness, tourism, transportation. Instruments like autos, planes, internet, mobile phones disturb human behaviour and produce profound changes in values, beliefs, desires, needs: in the process, certain new values emerge deep in human mind that changes social perception of the reality: a estrangement of the individual from its community, society, or world. Alienated individuals desire to have more, bigger and faster and they are the most influentials. Systems facilitate, of course, "free choice" but, in a world without people; inculcate love for competition, profitability, technicalities; they stimulate anonymity, conformism, addictions, consumerism, servitude; subordination, up rootedness, disenchantment. Induce parting from nature; squandering life; stingy interchanges between people; scorn for manual work; love for hierarchies; disdain for spontaneity. They turn work as an addiction, consumption as the basis of life. Techno systems empower the dominant system and degrade people's minds. The colonization of the modern social imaginary is systemic. Evidently, these economic systems are against the natural order and human conviviality; they turn poverty into misery and bring about the awful violence that pervades the world; they drive the destruction of nature.
Schools teach the great advantages of productivity and how to become a disciplined consumer; teach how to live in permanent servitude and dissatisfaction. Not only Coca Cola or the automobile are addictive, also schools or clinics become a drug. As Ivan Illich said "School opium is more powerful than old time churches". Mass media systematically misinform people thru excessive information; the combination of misinformation with commercial and political advertising produces deformation, propaganda and manipulation. Like VIH virus, schools destroy immunity defences; just as the drug dealers do, advertising creates the new necessities. Daily work is every day more abstract and takes more hours: it strongly colonizes the imaginary. Unemployment is resented by people as a personal blame, not as a systemic failure, which leads to paralyzed, destroyed persons. In the new consumer society, as Zygmut Bauman says, individuals simultaneously promote a product while they are themselves the product they promote; they are the consumer, the marketing manager, the salesperson and the article for sale. The exams a person should pass to have access to the most important social recognitions, requires the individual to recycle himself as a precious object or property, as a product capable of catching attention, attract clients, and generate demand.
Modern systems produce uniformity all over the world; differences are disappearing among cities, suburbia, towns, dwellings, landscapes, generations, gender; in this uniform environment the human personality looses identity and cultural references to guide his life; individual high risk behaviour proliferate in the world: drugs consumption, crime, extreme sports, certain forms of sexuality, tend to increase; panic, emptiness haunts all human activities; as society malfunctions increase, politicians and capitalists feel more powerful than ever. The tragedy lies today in that too many people in the world want even more jobs created; want ever more investments in infrastructure, housing, hospitals, scientific experiments and technological advances. People trust in the modern systems and in the growing economies; people rely on the very pervasive instruments and institutions that are destroying their life and their future.
Liberating the social imaginary is essential to relocate life and economy
It is impossible to liberate the social imaginary without a severe critique of the dominant system. This liberation implies studying, investigating, reflecting, working on oneself; implies philosophy endeavours; it entails a desire to be free, a will to change our own life style and the construction of a pertinent personal praxis; it requires detoxification, education in the ways of degrowth. "Without the abandonment of the drug of growth, says Serge Latouche, we cannot change our own imaginary; least we will be able to change others' imaginary. It is not possible to change the world with laws and decrees...The key is self-transformation.... As our imaginary has been colonized, the enemy hides deep in our minds... nevertheless, because of the systemic character of the dominant values... nobody is responsible; the process is anonymous. .. Thus, the adversary is other people, and we feel impotent of transforming ourselves"... He quotes Zygmut Bauman "there is a common world in the globalized society and this is the unique thought" ... Latouche says "beyond the elite, the ensemble of values and beliefs shared by people is considerable". To liberate our villages, many people should abandon many ideas, like: having a car, a house in suburbia or a university degree; they must abandon the idea that having an employment is good for his health and his future. We degrowth activists have to demonstrate that we can live much better with much fewer infrastructures, equipments and things, and with minimal dependence from governments, parties and big enterprises.
But the liberation of the social imaginary also implies the voluntary defence of territories, animals, forests, rivers, seas, peasant cultures, people's commons, traditional knowledge, endangered species, clean air, public space, human rights. It also implies rejection of GMOs harvests, nuclear power development, agribusiness, mining and petroleum operations, toxic waste confinements, dam construction, big farms and stables operations, serial housing, automobile use, "local development". It implies also denouncing the misleading notion of sustainable development; revitalizing the village by producing for local needs and consuming local produce; organizing micro- cooperatives and micro-syndicates; reducing voluntary working time and consumption; constructing new ecological communities with rigorous rules. It also means to grow vegetables in our own dwellings or nearby in the eco-region; to walk and cycle for everyday mobility; to modify toilets and water facilities; to separate residues; to support local money, savings and loans; to use or produce hand made products. To abandon the use of automobile, bottled water and red meat consumption. On the other hand, liberating the social imaginary means also to enhance political and social involvement within our village environment; to collaborate with citizen initiatives; to voluntary work on environmental and social issues without the support of the governments, foundations or national or multinational companies; to experiment on ways how to survive the economic crisis, the peak oil and the climate change; to refuse to empower the State and free trade ; to break with the symbolic system of globalization. Last but not least, to turn art an integral part of our lives.
A cultural revolution emerges when men and women work together for the rebirth of his village, town or community, when they expand the realm of gratuity and solidarity, when they are blessed by the love for nature, altruism, cooperation, ludism, autonomy and beauty.
This cultural revolution begins in our minds, the moment when we become aware, as Baruch Spinoza did, that simple poor life constitutes in itself a source of light to inspire us the understanding of the different dimensions of poverty and our own potency; that the joys of frugal or poor life permits us to liberate a strong desire to live free up to our natural limits and avoid external affections or imaginations that diminish or inhibit this desire and our capacities. An he says let the reality teach us his truth in order to comprehend the world as it is here and now ; in that way we can liberate ourselves form all forms of servitude and acquire a freedom rooted in Need; thus, we can find good responses to very difficult questions. We have to discover and respect essential the link between Desire and Reason, for the good deployment of our own potential, to facilitate the creation of societies based in freedom and respect for everybody's singularity. Spinoza said that "weakness solely consists in letting external things conduct our lives and decline what demands our nature in itself. Centuries latter, Gandhi said: "Freedom can be achieved through inner sovereignty"
Climate change, peak oil, high risk technologies can easily bring harsh painful corrective changes in our villages in the coming years, but joyful, pleasant transformations will come only from the discovery of our inner power or potency while we voluntarily adopt a frugal, poor, simple, slow life.