Eco-Swaraj ISSUE13

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

What's it about?

Ashish Kothari introduce us to the word Eco-Swaraj by showcasing initiatives from India where people live in communities with their own eco based self-ruled system. These initiatives emerged in reaction to the global ecological collapse or due to more local socio-economical inequities.

The word "Swaraj" could be translated as self-ruled decision making-system in local assemblies. This system wishes to bring more autonomy to communities and be independent from governments in favor of social collectives. Eco-swaraj adds these values to a personal and collective responsability towards each others and towards the environment.

How they do that

  • Ecological collapse / Socio-economies inequities

  • raise of alternative movements
    • re-affirmation of current lifestyle
      • resistance movements against power concentration

  • common features in those initiatives = emergence of general set of values/principles
  • forming a broad ideological framework based on the principle of autonomy:
  1. self autonomy
  2. self governance
  3. self determination of indigenous people

  • The term Swaraj, simplistically translated as self-rule decision-making in local assemblies:
  1. self-rule system (from India with national independence)
  2. individual + community + autonomy / freedom
  3. social and environmental responsibility

  • ‘gram sabha’
  • village assembly
  • decision-making organ
  • consensus principle adopted ⇨ vote system.
  • The villagers not allow
  1. any government agency or politicians to take decisions on their behalf
  2. nor may a village or tribal chief do so on his/her own.

  • Resistance movement by claiming 'people approval'
    • right of consent
    • being helped by Justice institutions

  • Dalit women's oppression/exploitation
    • Remarkable revolution in
  1. sustainable farming
  2. alternative media
  3. collective mobilisation
  4. created grain banks for the poor to access
  5. linked farmer producers to nearby consumers
  6. sovereignty and security
      • by generating their own media content ⇨ create their own narrative.

  • Eco-Swaraj practice
  1. human
  2. animals
  3. earth rights
  4. aiming for social justice
  5. equity
    1. consideration at the center of everything

⇩ So:

  • Ecological wisdom and resilience
    • humanity as part of nature / and in harmony with it
  • Social well-being and justice
    • equity in socio-economic and political entitlements / collective & individual freedoms
  • Direct or radical political democracy (every human can be part of decision making/government mainly
    • involved into facilitating connections of people/initiatives
  • Economic democracy (prosumers's control over their own economy / local business as main
    • strength without excluding outsiders / minimized private property / not looking for expansion but well-being (anti-capitalistic)
  • Cultural and knowledge plurality
    • transmission of knowledge/processes to public domain, to everyone

  • RED Societies foundation
    • Sort of structured / systematic version of eco-swaraj
  1. equality/equity
  2. respect for all Life
  3. diversity/pluralism
  4. balancing collective/individual
  • RED/ Eco-Swaraj
    • evolving worldview as an alternative to
  1. capitalism
  2. stateism
  3. patriarchy
  4. state repression
  5. corporate impunity
  6. climate crisis
  7. inequality
  8. racial
  9. ethnic conflicts
  10. landgrabbing
  11. dispossession
  12. displacement of communities
  13. and other structures of inequity and exploitation for the sake of development.