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And patriarchs of all sorts say: ‘It’s money that rules Reclaiming values the world’. Today’s market economy is in the centre of man’s activities of ‘ruling the world’. Economy is the central field in which power makes his moves. Feminists say: ‘Patriarchs rule the world’. And patriarchs of all sorts say: ‘It’s money that rules the world’. Today’s market economy is in the centre of man’s activities of ‘ruling the world’. Economy is the central field in which power makes his
for a gendered sustainable economy paper on the course EKOFEMINIZAM
Gender studies University of Novi Sad
Supervison: Mr Dragana Todorović Prof. dr Svenka Savić Morries Leeraert Free lance student February-May 2008
for a gendered sustainable economy
Contents............................................................................................................... 2 Abstract................................................................................................................ 3 Preface: Three considerations.................................................................................4 Ecofeminism: a normative science and practice..................................................4 Ecofeminism: a transgendered perspective?........................................................5 Ecofeminism: mirroring western orientated feminisms........................................6 Part One: Values in economics................................................................................7 Ecology in the economic framework.....................................................................8 A fractured worldview..........................................................................................9 Instrumental value...............................................................................................9 Development: The Blank Space..........................................................................10 Commodities...................................................................................................... 11 Outdated axioms................................................................................................12 Human resources...............................................................................................13 Reforming economy: sustainable development ................................................15 Part Two: Transforming economy.............................................................................17 Shift One: Redefining nature..............................................................................17 Shift Two: What do we need?.............................................................................18 Ecofeminizing Maslow’s pyramid of needs.........................................................20 Transforming economy......................................................................................22 Reclaiming Values..............................................................................................23 Conclusions.............................................................................................................. 28 Statements.........................................................................................................30
for a gendered sustainable economy
It is impossible, within patriarchy, to suppress a market economy. And it is impossible, in a market system, to not devastate the planet. It is up to women, now, to reclaim the voice of humanity. Jeanne d’Eaubonne1
Abstract In the contexts of ecofeminsm it is said that everything is connected with each other. Many speak of ‘the web of live’, Gaia, or holism, as an alternative to the destructive, powerabusing male-gendered discourse, policies and practices. Along with the critique and deconstruction of male dominated values leading to the degradation (devastation) of nature and the (further) exclusion of women, ecofeminism provides a vision of another possible society. This is often stated in very positive terms as for example ‘partner society’ or ‘Earth citizenship’. But what exactly means this inter-related commitment? In this paper I2 will focus on one of such connections: that between ecology and the most ‘other’of ecology: economy.3 The aim of this research is to contribute to possible answers and alternatives to the following questions: which set of values concerning ecology dominate in the globalizing market economy of today? What is the position and role of women in this? And: How can a growth and profit based economy change into a life-supporting, welfare based economy? You can expect an evaluation of the dis/connection between ecology and the dominant values of (western, neo-liberal, financial) economy. After this I examine two preconditions for re/claiming a different and diverse set of values: the redefinition of (non-human and human) nature, and a wider spectre of ecological and human needs than economy can provide. In the last part I sketch the outlines of the visions of ecofeminism of a non-dual, sustainable economy that acknowledges the diversity in and inter-dependency between these two realms. However science aspires to tell a story of truth, also a true story (with facts and figures) is a discoursal story, confined to the rules of academic storytelling, with its use of themas, anathemas, motifs and metaphores. In the main text you will read the analytic, lineair story. In the notes you4 will find –besides the references- an intertext of parallel and yet
Françoise d’Eaubonne, What could an eco-feminist society be?, In: Liberty, Equality and Women? Anthology, Harmattan, 1990. At: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/twine/ecofem/ecofemreadings.html 2 To contextualize myself: I; Morries; male gendered; 42; nomad; journalist; teacher; vegetarian; lover of wife and books (sometimes confusing them), graduated in Dutch linguistics & literature; graduated Genderstudies, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands; youngest son of 4 children; ‘boss’ of Dunja, a half-domesticated dog. 10 yrs. involvement in Dutch Vegan Society; 4 yrs. chief editor of the ‘Alternative Consumer Guide’, Amsterdam. 2 yrs. editor of Onkruid (‘Weeds’), ‘magazine for earth, body, and spirituality’. 3 When, in main discourse, the essential connection recognized by ecofeminists is the identification of ‘woman’ with ‘nature’, then the essence of ‘man’ could in turn be identified with ‘economy’. Man –west, white and wellbred- says: ‘Money makes the world go round.’ 4 Here You are, reader. Derrida claimed that also the ‘most scientific’ (empirical) discourse has the form of a letter, directed to a reader. Irigaray noted that this kind of letters is a correspondence among males, or females immersed in male discours. What shall we do? 3
diverse and sometimes apocryph discourses, conmingled with the varia of personal knowledge and experience.
Preface: Three considerations
Ecofeminism: a normative science and practice
The quality of our lives depends on much more than economy can fulfill. This seems obvious. Yet market economy as a model claims to do so: its explicite ideology is to provide a system of values that can satisfy individual and collective material needs, and through that can provide in the satisfaction of immaterial needs. For that matter its representatives and spokesmen now proclaim that a sustainable economy is within reach with the right measures and solutions. Doubting this, ecologist Arne Naess felt incited to discern shallow from deep ecology; shallow can be considered as a reformist ecology within the possibilities and limitations of the dominant framework of the liberal, eurocentric economy; deep ecology as the integral transformation of economy as a whole, grounded on another set of values. Later, Naess even stopped to talk about ecology (having logos, science as centre) and used the word ecosophy instead. "By an ecosophy I mean a philosophy of ecological harmony or equilibrium. A philosophy as a kind of sofia (or) wisdom, is openly normative, it contains both norms, rules, postulates, value priority announcements and hypotheses concerning the state of affairs in our universe. Wisdom is policy wisdom, prescription, not only scientific description and prediction. The details of an ecosophy will show many variations due to significant differences concerning not only the ‘facts’ of pollution, resources, population, etc. but also value priorities."5 As such, also ecofeminism can be considered as a postmodern attempt to reclaim values which have been supressed or devaluated by the dominant discourses. It does so in two movements: by unveiling the masculine dominant structures of exploitation (of nature, of women) through the exclusion of the feminine. At the same time ecofeminism seeks to reveal a gender-differentiated set of values. Stephanie Lahar defines ecofeminism in this twofold direction: “An ecofeminist analysis includes the human exploitation of the nonhuman environment in its list of interwoven forms of oppression such as sexism and heterosexism, racism and ethnocentrism. (…) Ecofeminist theory includes a systemic analysis of domination that specifically includes the oppression of women and environmental exploitation, and it advocates a synthesis of ecological and feminist principles as guiding lights for political organizing and the creation of ecological, socially equitable life-styles.”6 This implies that ecofeminism contains and propagates normative, prescriptive –though differentiated- values. This leads to the question what values are dominant in the field of economy, which I will evaluate in Part One. In the second part I shall outline the values proposed by ecofeminists and ecologists.
The main distinction between shallow and deep ecology is, according to Naess, based on the acceptance or denial of the intrinsic value of the nonhuman world. Arne Naess, The Shallow and the Deep; Long Range Ecology Movements, 1973. For an overview of deep ecology: http://www.envirolink.org/enviroethics/deepindex2.html 6 Stephanie Lahar, Ecofeminist Theory and Grassroots Politics. In: Hypatia, vol. 6, no. 1 (Spring 1991), p.. [Italizing mine]. 4
Ecofeminism: a transgendered perspective?
When we speak of feminism and feminists we mean a diversity of feminisms, differentiated in time (waves; his-herstories; futures), position (social, cultural, tribal), and many diverse epistemilogical perspectives (historical, social, poststructuralist, psychoanalytical, écriture, theological, cyber-, queer-). Also our way of speaking of ecology is differentiated in ‘shallow’ or ‘deep’ (Naess), covering fields of biology, economy, sociology, philosophy, spiritual cosmology… In this way, researching ecofeminism leads to a very wide and complex (interconnected) weaving web of theories and practices which it seeks to integrate. In this sense ecofeminism can be seen as a metatheory7, a theory of the whole8, an integral science and practice. Integral means balanced, inclusive, and comprehensive9, thus transcending polarities – between people and planet, between modern science and indigenous knowledge, between environment and human development, between First, Second and Third World, the local and the global. With the inclusion of ecology into feminism (and feminism into ecology?), would it additionally mean transcending the polarity between male and female? The implication of widening the perspective10 to the ‘human’ and ‘non-human’, global realm in its interconnectedness to Gaia, would be that ecofeminism is principally transgender. As Vandana Shiva argues: “Woman’s ecology movements, as the preservation and recovery of the feminine principle, arise from a non-gender based ideology of liberation, different both from the gender-based ideology of patriarchy (…) and the gender-based responses, which have, until recently, been characteristic of the west.”11 Of course, this transgender aspect of ecofeminism doesn’t whatever mean that gender differences are eraised or again blurred in the traditional male distinction of the sexes as ‘complementary’ or ‘not relevant (anymore)’.
Ecofeminism: mirroring western orientated feminisms
My third consideration is the relation between ecofeminism and other parts of the movement, prevailing in the west. Sonja Prodanovic said12 that ecofeminism is ‘not so popular’ in western feminisms. Maybe this is a question of time. As for now I recognize an undeniable tension between ecofeminism and other orientations of feminism. This has foremost three reasons, which I like to mention here, for two of those ‘stumbling blocks’ are related to economy.
Usually philosophy is claimed to be a metatheory. This is strange since philosophers say their work of hard thinking ends up as ‘only’ a footnote on Plato’s philosophy, and they seem proud of it. Well, for now Plato is only in this footnote. 8 With this aspiration of integral holism, ecofeminism actually doesn’t ‘fit’ in the term postmodernism, nor a ‘regression’ into universalist modernism. Its aspiration could be called a trans-ism, aspiring to go beyond the fragmentated and/or denied bits of truth. 9 On the other hand, without a conception of ‘integral’ implying nondualism, this whole-ism has undeniably totalitarian characteristics. This is visible in some ecocentric movements as the militant Animal Liberation Front who considers it rightful to protect animal rights by intimidating people who work in animal test laboratoria or the fur industry. and in the aggressive campaigns of PETA. Also right wing groups use Peter Singer’s work Animal Liberation and his ethics of anti-specisism to legitimate violent ‘solutions’ for the overpopulation of the human species on Mother Earth. 10 I think this widening of perspective, critisizing but yet [also] including the male position is possible for ecofeminism, because as far as I can see, the question of female subjectivity is not so much problematised. Exactly this –a sexually differentiated subjectivity- is for western feminism the question of the 21st century. 11 Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive. Women, Ecology and Development, Zed Books, 1989, p. xviii. 12 During her lecture, Novi Sad, 5-3-2008. 5
1. The convergence of ‘woman’ and ‘nature’ as one of the central themes in ecofeminism is conceived by many feminists as a highly dangerous terrain that might affirm and solidify the very representations of ‘woman’ as ‘nature’. Exactly this essentialism is what feminism, especially poststructuralist or postmodern feminism, has worked to dismantle. Poststructuralist or postmodern feminisms (De Beauvoir, Butler, Haraway) ‘de-naturalize’13 the concept of ‘woman’ itself. 2. The urgence of ecology is not so much felt by most feminists in the west, especially Europe and the US.14 Ecofeminism developed through the work of grassroot movements in the so-called Third World, where the ‘link’ between ecology and women’s position is often an existential matter. As Vandana Shiva states: “Political struggles of women, peasants and tribals based on ecology in countries like India are far more acute and urgent since they are rooted in the immediate threat to the options for survival.”15 But also academic ecofeminism is highly indebted to non-Europeans as Anne Merchant (Canada) and Val Plumwood16 (Australia). 3. Colonialism is by feminists condemmed as a bad thing, but at the same time we profit from it. As Pam Colorado, a native Indian woman voices: “… feminists appear to share a presumption in common with the patriarchs they oppose, that they have some sort of unalienable right to simply go on occupying our land and exploiting our resources for as long as they like. Hence, I can only conclude that (…) feminism is essentially a Euro-supremacist ideology and is therefore quite imperialist in its implications.”17 Dealing with economy is an area where also eurocentred feminism is confronted with some of her biases.
Isn’t the very conceptional evolvement of Women’s Studies into Genderstudies witness to this dissociation between essentialism/naturalism and women’s ‘second nature’? 14 Exceptional in Europe is Jeanne d’Eaubonne who included ecology and feminism into her marxist/anarchist framework, or Petra Kelly who was ‘first’ a feminist before including ecology into her feminism, then rooted the ‘green movement’ in Germany (‘70’s) and the rest of Western Europe. 15 Shiva, ibid., p. 9 16 Val Plumwood died March 6, 2008, during our course. This struck me, on the moment I got to know her work. 17 Pam Colorado, quoted in: Andy Smith, Ecofeminism through an anticolonial framework, In: Karen Warren (ed.), Ecofeminism. Woman, Culture, Nature, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 1997, p. 25. 6
Part One: Values in economics
Costs and benefits, production and efficiency, jobs and childcare. These economic issues are highly valued. How far away those issues seem from ecological issues like biodiversity, intrinsic value of land(scapes) and animal rights. Meanwhile, ‘we’ all –men and womenhave a big heart for the protection and conservation of nature and ‘our’environment. But in general those laments produce a lot of crocodile’s tears and sometimes genuine heartbreaking dilemma’s. Since the ‘first’ institutional (‘official’) warning shot by the Club of Rome, telling the western world that economic growth is limited upto the availability of nature’s (fossile) resources, and that the planet as a whole is seriously threathened by our need of (fossile) energy. But that was in 1968 –exactly 40 years ago. A lot has happened to help ‘saving the planet (and us)’. However, the economical structures created by male dominance, exploitation, expansion and profit for a minor group, still prevail.18 Feminists say: ‘Patriarchs rule the world’. And patriarchs of all sorts say: ‘It’s money that rules the world’. That makes me conclude that today’s market economy is in the centre of men’s activities of ‘ruling the world’. Economy is the central field in which power makes his moves. The dollar and other hard currency make the music in the world’s economy. Above that, most of the environmental risks are directly or indirectly caused by the conventional market economy19. Turning global, also the environmental threats have grown to a global scale, leading inevitibly to world scale disasters20. The values that dominate economy don’t touch only ecology, but all realms of human life. They are not the least present in our relationships –on private, societal and political level. Marriage is a question of ‘give and take’; succes and status are measured by the number on his bank account, and politicians need budgets for their policies and campaigns.
On an average day like today, 116 square miles of tropical rainforest will be destroyed; 70 square miles of desert are formed in semi-arid regions as a result of population pressure, overgrazing, erosion, salination and poor land management; 1,5 million tons of extremely dangerous waste will be disposed of; penguins will drop their excrements in the ‘virgin’ Antarctic, containing DDT and radiation; 10 to 40 species will become extinct before midnight. Also, on this day 250,000 babies are born on a dying planet. And tomorrow it starts all over again. In 2008: “• Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at their highest level in 650,000 years, and the Arctic Ocean could be icefree during the summer as early as 2020. • Nearly one in six species of European mammals is threatened with extinction, and all currently fished marine species could collapse by 2050. • The number of oxygen-depleted dead zones in the world’s oceans has increased from 149 to 200 in the past two years, threatening fish stocks. • Urban air pollution causes 2 million premature deaths each year, mostly in developing countries. • The decline of bees, bats, and other vital pollinators across North America is jeopardizing agricultural crops and ecosystems. • The notion of an approaching peak in the world’s production of oil, the most important primary source of energy, has gone from an alarming speculation to essentially conventional wisdom; the mainstream World Energy Council recently predicted that the peak would arrive within 15 years.” World Watch Institute, State of the World 2008, Innovations for a Sustainable Economy, Washington, 2008. 19 Even the conservative, business-sponsored World Economic Forum admitted that 25 years ago many environmental risks were nonexistent at a global level, such as climate change and the strain on fresh water supplies; social risks, or the spread of new infectious or chronical (animal) diseases. “What is most striking is that half of the 23 [mentioned environmental risks] are economic in nature or driven by the activities of modern economies.” Global Risks 2007: A Global Risk Network Report , World Economic Forum, Geneva, January 2007, p.3. /www.weforum.org/en/media/publications/index.htm 20 Fascinating is that in almost every introduction on ecology the author refers to the second law of thermodynamica (I guess this is from fysicus Lovelock?) to emphazise that the planet must die if we continue to consume (fossile) energy on this scale: a candle burns as long as there is fuel. 7
Conscious citizens and grassroot21 movements who see the environment steadily degrading and call for change. Most people are willing to protect the environment they live in. But most are caught in dilemma’s created by economic ‘laws’: one has just to say the magic word ‘jobs!’ and a healthy environment quickly shifts to the background.
Ecology in the economic framework
Since the Club of Rome’s report Limitations to Growth, many changes for the better have been achieved. There’s an official ban of most countries on nucleair testing; there is an international climate agreement (COP). UNDP relates ecological problems to poverty, striving to legitimate access to vital resources as safe drinking water, basic education, and (children’s) health as human rights. Habitats of some animals and plants are protected. Organic food production counts now for about 4 % of world’s agriculture22. Waste is no longer waste if it can be used as a new resource: in western Europe around 70 to 80 % of cans, glass, paper, and 50 % of hard plastics are recycled23. In Germany and the Netherlands cow dung –causing too much concentrations of nitrates and ammonia in the soil- is used to make fuel (biogas)24. But the solutions so far implemented by governments and corporations, are for the most within the value-system of market economy, dictating growth and profit increase. Lead is abandoned out of fuel, but we use more fuel; cars run on 40 percent less pollution than 25 years ago, but more and more cars are sold; affilates25 are banned out of children’s toys, but we use more plastics. I don’t want to suggest this kind of measures are morally to be disqualified.26 I mention these examples to argue that far the most ecological successes are limited on the field where they take place: the financial and instrumental value27 continues to be the central value. The most effective treaty so far is the Kyoto-protocol (reducing the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 6 %, indexed to 1990). But this hard achieved treaty concerns only one aspect of ecology - global warming and with it the rising of sea level, changing gulf streams. The relative success of Kyoto is actually achieved, because these climate processes hit the world market economy where it hurts: food production and agricultural interests. It is not only that only those ecological protective measures are succesfull which fit in the economic frame. What is more is that ecology itself became a commodity. Clean air, clean drinking water, CO2 reduction quotes, became –by that same Kyoto-protocol- commodities that can be traded for the highest bidder. Green became a marketing tool to ‘modernise’ brands for the next generation.
The term grassroot as a bottum-up movement of a group of citizens existed for decades without a direct ecological connection. Besides the location of the movement (in the hierarchy of power), this metaphore transmits the speed in which a movements grows. More ecologically correct, however, would then be to name it weedroot movement, or ivy movement, overgrowing the roof movements of the power institutions... 22 See www.eko-monitor.org for details per country. The monitor is compiled by national eco-movements and Oxfam. 23 Report, Recycling in Europe, RIVM, Bilthoven, Netherlands, 2006. 24 The idea has been taken from India, where women fuel their cooking fire, not with expensive or labourintensively obtained burning wood, but with dried cakes of cow dung. Originally the plan was to import the cow dung for Dutch biogas, by way of a development project. But that didn’t work, for two reasons: the transport was not rendable (surely not for ecological reasons), and the Indian government refused the dung to leave Indian land – the Cow (and her products) being sacred, symbol of Bharat Mata = Mother India. 25 A chemical additive to make plastic more soft, and bitable for baby’s, turned out to be cancerogene. 26 After all, also results from shallow ecology are results. But if we continue in this tempo to make, f.e., chemical agriculture completely sustainable/organic (which took as long as 30 years to get to 4 %), the process would take another 750 years. 27 Instrumental value will be discussed on the next page. 8
A fractured worldview
Ecological movements usually assume that ecological crises reflect a disastrously fractured worldview; a worldview often condemned as dualistic, mechanistic, atomistic, anthropocentric, patriarchal and pathologically hierarchical; a worldview that ‘splits’ humans from nature, mind from body, and spirit from everything. This view posits humans as above or outside nature, as the source of all values. Ecofeminists prove that this ‘split’ is based on an antropocentric, eurocentric, and a to economics reduced perception and practices. Due to an ‘ontological dichotomisation’, modern science as a whole is said to be ‘epistemically’ reductionist28 - mis/taking its found fragment of truth as the whole truth. This leads to a dualistic and inherently violent hierarchy of domination and suppression, and the neglect and exclusion of ‘otherness’. Vandana Shiva states that “the reductionist worldview, the industrial revolution, and the capitalist economy were the philosophical, technological and economic components of the same process.”29
Economy as a system and practice (and not to forget as an ideology), follows this underlying reductionism30. It not only splits us, alienates us from nature, but exploits and reduces nature, humans and especially women exclusively to their economic, instrumental value. Instrumental value is the value of a product to be used by human beings. This functional or utalitarian value applies also to non-human nature. Animals are valuable to the measure in which they can be domesticated (and even industrialized, as in Holland) or can be exposed for amusement (pets, zoo, circus). The wildlife, mirroring our dreams and fears31, is sensational to be hunted32, or merely to be looked at on safari or on Discovery Channel. Landscapes account for the value of enjoyment, or a restaurated culture landscape with a recreative (touristic) value. Non-human life which doesn’t have a recognizable value through the fractured lense of economics are seen as ‘useless’, ‘wild’, ‘ugly’ or ‘dangerous’, such as weeds, deserts, insects and reptiles. So, nature and people are –within the frame of economy33- only seen as
See for an extensive elaboration and analyses of these terms the poststructuralist library, from Althusser to Žižek. 29 Vandana Shiva, Staying alive, ibid. p. 43. 30 Up to today economic models use the ceterus paribus-principle; an account based on selective and conditional criteria. 31 Please read Hermann Hesse’s short story Knulp, or more recently Peter Hoeg’s, The Woman and the Ape, in which the antropocentric view is reversed. Also, a lot has been written by feminists about women’s (sexual) fascination for an imagined animal like King Kong. 32 Instead of a cruelty and an anachronism, the English, aristocratic tradition of the fox hunt, is seen as esthetic. 33 This accounts for command economies like marxism as well. Marxism never worked, because this reductionism of human beings as proletariat is imbedded in the marxist ideology. The power of marxism was that it found a communal trait in all people, regardless of race, nationality, mythology, or gender. We all have to work in order to survive, and this makes us to world citizens, claimed Marx. Everybody is dependent on natural resources, and exchange of commodities, that makes us equal. The fatal weakness of marxism, however, was that it reduced man and women’s social, cultural and spiritual needs and aspirations to merely the material realm. Thereby were also people reduced to the gross measure of historic-material dialectics. Other human values (individual differences, art, spirituality) were brought back to the level of the material, physical level. This reductionist move had to lead to the incorporation of these other needs /levels into a material religious marxist mythology of ‘brotherhood and unity’. 9
usefull/valuable when they can be used as a resource. Products that don’t have any instrumental value anymore turn into the opposite of value: waste. Instrumental value is critisized by eco/feminists to create space for the understanding of intrinsic value, the value of the life of an animal or plant (or mountain) ‘for itself’, with no nessecary use for humans. According to ‘his Master’s voice’, nature in itself has no value. The underlying assumption is that nature is unproductive, passive, and needs to be cultivated. Cultivation means to make it into a product that has instrumental, and thereby economical value. This happens by uniforming it, as in a monoculture. A forest, hosting a diversity of plants and a variety of animals, maintaining a rich mineral soil, in itself has no value to the economist. Only when the space is cleared and the useful trees are left to be grown in monoculture, the trees turning into products, an economic value is established34.
Development: The Blank Space
In this manoeuvre of mastering and controling nature, shaping nature to the ‘master’s’ image, are a lot of similarities between nature and the patriarchal view of the ‘nature’ of women35. A land has to be tamed36 by clearing it into an empty, blank space37, and then ‘worked on’, ‘inseminated’, cultivated. The most meaningful example of clearing the space, is the work of America’s colonists, by shifting the frontier of the waste land into ‘the riches of Eden’, leaving the forests and native people destroyed. The reduced notion of development which ocurred in the west under specific circumstances of the industrial revolution, was raised and implemented to a universal level. People (mostly women) who sustain themselves and their children by producing ‘only’ the basic, vital needs, as many people in so called Third World countries do, were devaluated. They were, and are, –according to assumpted values of western market economy- poor38, and need to be cultivated, developed. Institutional development programmes (Worldbank, IMF,
A very interesting exception are the natural recources, deeply hidden in the earth. Minerals and metals are considered to have economic value in advance. Especially oil, gold and daimonds (and nowadays uranium) are presumably for their rarity very precious. However, it’s not just for their rarity but for their being the very fundaments of the economic system, that man is preoccupied by these resources: oil, because it is the main source of fueling the world’s economy; gold, because credit banking is funded on the available reservoir of it, in the banksafe, and in the earth. 35 For a deeply researched (mainly philosophical) analysis of the male perception of ‘nature’ and its identification with the ‘nature’ of women, see: Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, New York: Routledge, 1993. Plumwood insists upon a ‘master’ rather than a masculine identity in order to argue that this figure is not only responsible for gender domination, but the dominations of race, class, and species as well. 36 The master says ‘tamed’, ecofeminists like Susan Griffin say ‘raped’. Rape “describes the desire to conquer and violate woman and nature, and a less evident fear of both, since why has one have to conquer what is not challenging, fearsome in some way, wild, falling as it does outside the idea of mastery and control?” Susan Griffin, Ecofeminism and Meaning, In: Karen Warren (ed.), Ecofeminism. Women, Culture, Nature. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1997, p. 226. 37 Masculine imagination starts more than often with such a blank space, or a ‘clean sheet to inscribe his imagination onto her’ (Irigaray), also in his relation to women. Blank is her virginity, and blank is also her skin, rid of all body hair and other ‘imperfections’. The implication is indeed, that what was there before –whether it be an in itself functioning ecosystem, or feminine subjectivity- must first be eradicated, to start again what god did: creation from ex nihilo. The archtypical figure for this master is Goethe’s Faust (co-opting with his devellish counterpart, Mefistofeles), leaving/losing Gretchen, and running away for the ‘mothers’, and instead sees his and man’s life aim to cultivate nature by mastering even the blank space of the sea. See for details my paper, Faust, the divine entrepreneur, Nijmegen, 1991. 38 The World Health Organisation sets the poverty line on a minimum of $1 per day (without inflation correction). 2.5 billion (around 30%) of the world’s population live on $2 per day. You would ask, how do they manage to survive? Well, by living outside the market economy. 10
UNESCO) are in the end almost wholly focussed on monetary and technological development. However, despite of 50 years United Nations’ Development Programmes, the gap between rich and poor has become wider39. Shiva understands this kind of development as maldevelopment40 –‘production’ is in fact destruction, and the regeneration quality of nature is een as ‘unproductive’ and ‘passive’. This view has generated a crisis of survival, denying the activity of nature and displacing women from their life sustaining activities. “Statistics show that about 50% of women living in rural areas fail to meet basic standards of physical well-being and that meeting these standards is strongly conditional on the agricultural cycle, the season and time constraints. At the most vulnerable end of the scale are women and their dependants who experience continuous insecurity with regard to adequate nutrition and access to clean water and health services.” 41 The Green revolution (cultivating cash crops for export) stole the land for sustenance, and the most recently revolution of gmo-technology – marketed as the ‘Golden revolution’additionally deprives local people of their seeds, leading to poverty, urbanisation (leaving the women behind) and even suicides42.
Another important aspect of the fragmentated economist43 worldview is the view on production. Production is almost identified with manufacturing. Consequently, it sees economic value only in the endproduct. Only finished commodities (products and services) count in the economic valuesystem. How they are made –on what ecological costs, injustice or neglect- and by whom, is not included in the market value. The process of production is mostly only important in a technological and distributional sense.
Women and sustainable societies in Third World communities don’t produce (such) commodities for profit, which makes their work invisible. As natural resources get scarcer also these are more and more defined and controlled as commodities. This leads to the commercialization of now public resources as plant seeds, plant medicines, water, and crops into the hands of corporate business, leaving even the resources for sustanance of live for great numbers of people unaccessable.44
The combined income of the world’s 500 richest people was about the same as the income of the world’s poorest 416 million people. Human Development Report 2006, New York, p. 80. At: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2006/ 40 One of Shiva’s oneliners: ‘More development means less life’. Shiva, ibid. p. 42. 41 The economic role of women in agricultural and rural development: promoting income-generating activities, UNIFEM Seminar report, Athens, 18–22 October 1999. 42 Shiva notes a wave of suicides among peasants in India who made high debts for buying gmo-cotton seeds and pesticides. In: BT Cotton and Farmers Suicide, at: www.navdanya.org 43 Why I don’t bluntly write ‘colonist’? It’s hard writing this paragraph without getting angry, and I need to control myself to be scientificly correct. 44 See for a critique and action against this kind of WTO measures as TRIPS, gmo-trade, Vandana Shiva, Commodification and Privatisation of the Planet, at: www.navdanya.org 11
Besides a reductionist worldview the dominant economist discourse is funded on axioms, which are still common –except some cosmetic surgery and a lot of lipservice -, but are indeed quite outdated. Here I summarize five of the main presumptions of market economy. 1. Nature and its resources are infinite. That was once so in the ‘good old times’ of the 18th century when the fundaments of today’s market economy were laid. Earth’s population was at 1 billion, resources seemed unexhaustable, the technology that facilitated the industrial revolution was about to be developed45, and there was a whole wide world outside to colonize. These circumstances made economists of the Enlightenment, as Adam Smith and David Ricardo (in the footstep of Byron and Locke) believe that human being is independent of nature. Of the three production factors -natural capital (resources as materials, fish, meat), created capital (factories, machines, funding), and labour-, the first was considered avail. It’s obvious that this axiom of more than 200 years ago is completely outdated. Natural capital (read: resources) became more expensive, but the market still works on this axiom46. 2. Growth is the primary goal. And growth is identified with the accumulation of capital, profit. This remains the central operating assumption in finance ministries, stock markets, and shopping centres worldwide despite the clear threat to exhaustion of nature’s resources, and the exclusion of most of the world’s population. The bigger the better, is the logic of the market economy. This leads in a conventional way to the penetration of new consumer markets, expanding economic activity, and not counting the losses: of ecosystems, species, and a ‘lost continent’, Africa. Making an economy bigger is not consistent with development (making it better47): the nearly fivefold expansion of global economic output per person between 1900 and 2000 caused the greatest environmental degradation in human history and coincided with the stubborn persistence of mass poverty48. Homo Economicus, the master accredited by god, Bible and the amalgam of discourses, wants ever more. Enough is not good enough. He is blind to the invisible wealth that is already there49 in sustenance: when human needs are in harmony with local ecosystems. 3. Money is a value in itself. Creating a virtual reality, consisting only on finances, independent even of production and consumption. Speculation on high risk options at the stock market; trading with credits; flash capital moving from New York to Amsterdam to Tokio. The game ends where people or traders want to materialize their virtual money50. 4. The market has an ‘invisible hand’.
The industrial revolution in Britain followed an ecological crisis. Savory constructed the first steam engine to replace the burning of wood, used to pump water out of the coal mines, because almost the whole British island was deforestated. 46 With important exceptions as oil and drugs, for which wars are fought, and fish, whose availability have become very limited. Fish are more and more reared in basins – aqua agriculture. 47 As a way of mind experiment: if one supposes a constant, annual growth of GNP by an average of 2 % (which is conservative), and we extrapolate this to the future, lets say to the next 500 years, then we’ll have a GNP that is (1.02)500 ≈ 200 million times higher than it is now. Nobody –including Bush and the World Bank- would believe that also our individual and collective welfare would increase in such a measure. 48 Global economic growth increased more than 18 times in the 20th century. People in Europe in the year 2000 were 10 times wealthier than in 1900. Yet one in every eight people in the world was chronically hungry in 2001– 03. U.N. Development Programme, 2006, p. 80. 49 Maybe it’s the same with the invisible wealth of being in a stable, healthy body. Health is a basic need, and we too often take it for granted. Only when we are ill, we value that very basic need. 50 As happens now in the US. 12
The still celebrated view of Adam Smith that the ‘invisible hand’ of the market leads selfinterested individual actions to positive collective outcomes, is in principle a powerful idea. The idea of tax raising and paying is funded on this: individual profit is turned ‘back’ to the state to provide and secure collective interests. But humans in the role of consumers differ sharply from this ideal model of a ‘self-regulating market’. Individual interest, especially corporate and political interests have overshadowed the communitarian dimension of liberal market economy. 5. Corporate market interests are superior to public interests. With the ongoing globalisation companies are even more and more superior to the interests of national governments. The market is exclusively focussed on producing and spending, no matter on what51. Markets do little to provide public goods such as parks, safe drinking water, and healthcare. Market economy is principally injust. In corporate economics, value is defined mainly by purchasing power. That means that the rich get a lot of what they want, and the poor get just as much as they can pay for. This is the cynical side of economics; those with the greatest wealth get the most; producing for those who need it (but don’t have money) is a waste. Thus, creating a waste of 3 billion people in the world who form the lumpenproletariat of the ‘have not’s’. 6. Profit is private, problems are public. Environmental and social unequal (and unjust) is also the dichotomy between the private and the public sphere. Companies are by principle only responsible for the quality of the manufacturing and safety of the commodity. Profits belong completely to them (due taxes are converted into the consumer price as VAT’s). The environmental problems or the social injustice this manufacturing may cause, are shifted to the public spere. Air or water pollution caused during the production process, and health risks caused by the waste of those same products, are on account of the community52. Multinational companies who work with chemicals or other risky manufacturing, settle in countries where environmental laws are weak or absent.53 Hazardous chemical and nucleair wastes are dumped in Third world countries, as Nigeria.54
Not only nature, but also we, human beings, are by the master – Homo Economicus55reduced to his and her instrumental, functional value. Market Economy makes us first into workers and then consumers56, defined by our work force and buying/purchasing force. In Jeanne d’Eaubonne’s view: “This is the fundamental structure of all human community. The relationship that exists now consists of working, in other words, selling one’s time and one’s active force against a salary which permits consumption, thus the purchasing of the fruit of the work of others. Exploited masses can produce or transport an object of consumption without ever profiting from it. Tamils grow fruit that they do not eat, Latino’s harvest coffee that others consume, production line-workers on cars,
For example, one may choose among 25 sorts of müesli or hundreds of weaponry, but not among 25 parks and hundreds of childcare places in the city. 52 Mc-Libel case …. 53 As we can notice f.e. that companies experiment with gmo-crops in non-EU countries (where this is forbidden outside the laboratorium), as in the field in Rumenia and Serbia. 54 Ministry of Environment, Holland, press release. 55 I thought a long time to use this term. Because this Homo Economicus is not outside us like a Big Brother or Father, but inside us, reckoning our opportunities to gain profit wherever we can get it. 56 Producing goods and services in order to earn our money in order to spend it on consumer goods. A round circle. 13
stereo’s, etc., that they could never themselves afford. This relationship must be abolished.“57 The poor work for the rich. This is in ‘modern times’ not different. Vandana Shiva cites S.Eyre who cites A. Lovins, according to whom “each person on earth, on an average, possesses the equivalent of about 50 slaves, each working 40 hours a week.”58 The gender of these ‘slaves’ is mostly female (and their children). “Women bear the costs but were excluded from the benefits, dispossed from land ownership, and being forced to participate in the ‘project’ of development, taken the control of their management off their hands.”59 Producing commodities, the value-increased endproduct, uses natural resources and the work of woman as ‘material60’: “’Productive’ man, producing commodities, using some of nature’s wealth and women’s work as raw material and dispensing with the rest as waste, becomes the only legitimate category of work, wealth and production. Nature and women working to produce and reproduce life are declared ‘unproductive’.”61 62 In addition to all the objects one can possess, one of the consumable goods in this system remains: that of woman. As subjects women themselves are reduced to objects, and traded as commodities. Most relations, like marriages, in the world are ‘managed’ by men (fathers, brothers). “’Work and you will have a wife; succeed and you will have a mistress’ is a popular proverb of a very illuminating cynicism. All mental structures result from this perverted, misleading and prostitutional relationship of consumption to production (consuming in order to reproduce ones manpower) and of production to consumption (producing by means of ones work in order to spend ones salary) have rested for millennia upon this foundation,” remarks d’Eaubonne bitterly63. According to Claudia von Werlhof there is a downshift in power in hierarchical capitalist society; the master exploits workers in exchange that they can exploit women:
Françoise d’Eaubonne, ibid., p. A.Lovins, cited in S.Eyre, The Real Wealth of Nations, London, 1978. Cited in Shiva, ibid. p.9. 59 Shiva, ibid. p. 42. 60 One of the most striking examples of the identification of ‘woman’ with ‘nature’ is that the words ’material’, ‘matter’ and ‘mater’, ‘mother’ have the same (Greek) root; in the binair opposition of ‘form’ and ‘father’. 61 Shiva, ibid. p.43. 62 To make this in the masculine, economic eye ‘unproductive’, unvalued work for sustanance visible, the ‘second working day’ of a rural African woman, after a half day’s working in the field: • Processing agricultural products is the most time- and labour-consuming of all rural activities. Processing for household consumption (such as the grinding of grain) as well as for the market. • Storage of food crops is critical for ensuring stable supplies and narrowing seasonal price variations. • About 90% of households use wood fuel for cooking. In many areas the rate at which trees are chopped for wood considerably exceeds regeneration capacity. Women are the first to feel the brunt of this scarcity as the time and energy required to gather and transport the wood becomes greater. • Water collection is a task that is almost exclusively the responsibility of women. Fetching water typically takes several hours a day, or even longer in areas characterised by dry seasons. • Preparing family food requires on average 2–3 hours per day. It is time- and labour-consuming because of the rudimentary methods used for preparation. Also, because food is allocated to individual family members by preference, usually men, effort is required to balance food availability with individual demands. Saito, 1992, cited from The economic role of women in agricultural and rural development: promoting incomegenerating activities, UNIFEM Seminar report, Athens, 18–22 October 1999, p.20. 63 D’Eaubonne, ibid. p.3. 14
“Every wage-worker receives as compensation for his alienation and exploitation the right and the guarantee to a woman, that is the right to exploit her as a 'natural' object. So far, very few wage-workers have rejected this non-collectively bargained, life-long bonus.”64
Reforming economy: sustainable development
Of course, also conventional economists see that something must change, that the continuation of nowadays market economy and its implications of endless using resources and endlessly striving for growth and profit has its limitations. The goal of development is alledgedly replaced by the concept of ‘sustainable development’. This term was first ‘coined’65 and popularized 20 years ago, with the publication of Our Common Future66, also known as the ‘Brundtland-report’ (named after the chairwoman, the Norwegian thenpremier Gro Brundtland). She defined sustainable development as ‘the ability to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of the future.’ The report argued that despite the inherent risk of environmental degradation as a consequence of further 'development', economic growth and care about ecology can go together. All that is required is to guide economic growth by the principle of sustainable development and remain true to ecological integrity. This ‘win-win-situation’ got a jubilant response by corporations67, politicians, policy-makers and some ecological movements. 20 years after ‘sustainable development’ got popular, we see how ecology is further commercialized, and mis/used to polish a ‘green’ imago to corporations and politicians. The idea that both ecology and conventional econony can get better, contains a logical inconsistency, presuming that growth can continue as before, while natural resources are definitly limited. As argued before (p. 3), the assumption still is that economy can grow with some adjustments and ‘refinements’, finding solutions on technological level and limiting the costs of waste dump. As if it is a question of smart effeciency, to be controlled by ecological managers. With this concept of ‘sustainable development’ man can continue to believe that he is still the ‘Lord of Nature’68, rather than acknowledging that he is part of it. The ‘blind spot’ is still intact: i.e. the assumption that the ecosystem causes us a lot of trouble by not ‘obeying’ the master. I see this mainstream conception of ‘sustainable development’ as a dangerous current, risking that ecology and ecological movements will be incorporated in the dominant values
Claudia von Werlhof, On the Concept of Nature and Society in Capitalism. In: M. Mies (ed.), Women: The Last Colony, Zed Books, London and New Jersey, 1988, p. 109, quoted in: Craig S. Benjamin & Terisa E. Turner, Counterplanning from the commons: labour, capital and the 'new social movements, University of Guelph, Canada, July 1993. 65 The term ‘coin’ is, of course, taken from economic discourse. We often see this word in texts of/about definitions of ecofeminism as well. Tracing the history of ecofeminism it is often said that Jeanne d’Eaubonne first ‘coined’ the term ecofeminism. I see this term as problematic. Not only because of its implication to conceive ecofeminism as some kind of symbolic currency, but also the suggestion about the origin of an idea in the mind of one individual. It is part of the patriarchal myth about ‘male birth’, origin and genius: something new created and forthcoming out of one person. Mostly it is the work of a team, or ideas ‘hang in the air’, in the time spirit of an age. See for example, the discussion about ‘who was first’ concerning Tesla and Edison. 66 World Commission on the Environment and Development (WCED), Our Common future, 1987, p. 43. At: www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm 67 Which is, by the very ‘nature’ of business, suspicious. 68 The succes of a film as Lord of the Rings is also due to the ecological dimension of the story: a ‘dark force’ threatening to destroy the planet with its ‘beautiful nature and friendly people’. The film is as such not quite different than the usual Hollywood genre of the disaster film: human beings are portrayed as innocent, and the threat comes from outside. Films wherein human being is held responsible for their (catastrofical) deeds are relatively new, since the eighties, with The Day after (1982) about a nuclear catastrofe, as a landmark. Mel Gibson and Antonio Bertolucci are two Hollywood directors who portray an endangered environment produced by men. 15
of market economy, leaving women, indigenous people and other committed people powerless. Furthermore it totally ignores the role that women can play as change agents in the restoration of the environment. “While the institutional environmentalism is interested only in ‘solutions’ that will permit industrial growth to continue, the movements are carving out a very different path. Their demands centre not on refining market mechanisms, nor incorporating text-book ecology into economics, nor on formulating non-legally binding treaties, but on reclaiming the commons; on reappropriating the land, forests, streams and fishing grounds that have been taken from them; on reestablishing control over decision-making and on limiting the scope of the market. In saying ‘no’ to a waste dump, a dam, a logging scheme or a new road, they are saying ‘yes’ to a different way of life: ‘yes’ to the community’s being able to decide its own fate; ‘yes’ to the community’s being able to define itself.”69 Reforming today’s economy into a reality based (= ecologically founded) system is certainly nessecary, as ‘sustainable development’ ambiates. But staying within its own logic, it would not change underlying assumptions causing the inherent injustice to most women and so called indigenous people who organize life in a different way than the eurocentric, antropocentric economics. Transforming economics, however, goes a neccesary step further: it is based on a widening and diversification of perspectives, from the understanding that economy is merely one (material) part of life.
The Ecologist, editorial, ‘Whose Common Future?’, april 1992, p. 196. 16
Part Two: Transforming economy
Monocultures of the mind make diversity disappear from perception, and consequently from the world. The disappearance of diversity is also a disappearance of alternatives –and gives rise to the TINA (There Is No Alternative) syndrome. Vandana Shiva70
The big question is, of course, what now? Economy has us in its grip; we, as human beings, are reduced, mastered, and blackmailed by the economic values that are lawfully established by patriarchy. Mainstream ‘sustainable development’ is likely to be absorbed in the rules of the game of commodity economics and mal/development. How would an economy look like that sustains instead of exploits nature and non human life? How would the exchange of products and services serve our diverse needs instead of dictate the lives of women and men? At least 2 shifts are needed to escape the economic dominant notion of instrumental value and the one-level-needs it propagates. The first is redefining nature, and the second shift would be to widen the values of economy, nature, women and men, as more than only resource.
Shift One: Redefining nature
Movements such as deep ecology and ecofeminists advocate a new worldview which is said to be more holistic, integrative and relational. Redefining nature starts with a discoursal ‘movement’– much in the same way as feminists define ‘woman’ anew. To see nature different than the assumptions of economy, without ‘replacing’ it with a metaphysical, dualistic concept71.
Vandana Shiva, Understanding the Threats to Biological and Cultural Diversity. First Annual Hopper Lecture presented at the University of Guelph, September 21, 1993, p.1. Shiva studied philosophy there in the late 70's. By the way, Guelph University has rich resources on environmental issues online. 71 I refer to images that define ‘nature’ as ‘Mother Earth’ or ‘The Planet as our Home’. As Lucy Reid writes with passionate commitment: “The problem is one of loss of connectedness, of amnesia: a culture which destroys its ecosystem and seeks to annihilate its enemies has forgotten that it is part of the whole, there is no other; it is destroying itself. The ecofeminist voice names the connections that have been severed, and speaks of reweaving, re-membering the dismembered world. It is engaged in a passionate, spiritual process which goes beyond theology and environmentalism to address a soul wound.” (Lucy Reid, The Spiral of Life, p.1) This (mostly western) style of re-connection with nature is above all a movement of restauration; of re-connecting different from inter-connnecting. It finds inspiring models from the past, in pre-modern or earlier, in pre-christian (pagan) cults in order to abandon ‘the toxic waste that the judeo-christian tradition’ (Reid), the time when it supposedly went all wrong with male estrangement from himself, the systematic exclusion of the ‘feminine’, and nature. Restoration also of the negative image about witches (wicca, white magic women). Often these conceptions of ‘nature’ are still bound in cultural images of ‘nature’ with vague, romanticized values which fill our fantasies when we dream of life in the countryside while trapped in the city. It seems that this kind of ‘nature dwelling’ is often a kind of escapism from the strains and stress that the dominant economical model releases on us, ‘infecting’ also our social and even our spiritual life. Many of those movements and activities tend, above that, to be a-political, and function more and more commercial. Also, the inspiration for another (than western) concept of nature, is found in a rather opportunistic (instrumental) use of ‘unspoilt’ non-western cultures: popularization of the wisdom of North-American natives or Tibetans, or Celtic spirituality, Maya cult, Touareg nomads, Maori, or the aboriginals… Another notion about ‘nature’ is problematic; the notion of ‘nature as our home’. This image of the home needs definitely a critical stance. Because home is the central locus of patriarchat, and the home is the essential production unit in economics (therefore ECOnomy). The dominant image of ‘home’ is a family, harmonious living 17
What makes all that nature grow by itself, when it is presumably ‘unproductive’ and ‘passive’? Answer: nature is productive and intelligent. This is where Shiva (inspired by Maria Mies) claims nature as a productive, active entity. Her basic notion goes back to the Indian concept –and lived reality in India- of nature as Prakriti, meaning ‘the creative life force’, that brings the world into being. “The creative force and the created world are not separate and distinct, nor is the created world uniform, static and fragmented. It is diverse, dynamic and interrelated.”72 Arne Naess redefined nature in a non-instrumental way, by reclaiming the value of integrity. He formulated the values of deep ecology in an eight point manifest73, of which the first one is: “The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth; intrinsic value; inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.” His purpose is, from the fundamentally non-antropocentric (ecocentric?) view of deep ecology, to argue that there are agents of valueing outside human subjectivity, a kind of ‘objective ethics’. This comes close to the concept of Gaia by James Lovelock. The Gaia Hypothesis actually extends the functioning of an ecosystem, applying its capacity further and applies it to the whole planet. Living systems have a tendency to keep themselves in balance but also to adapt and evolve over time. Scientists like Lovelock have found that the earth also has these tendencies, with feedback mechanisms to 'keep in balance' the temperature and oxygen levels of the atmosphere, just as our bodies maintain the temperature and oxygen levels in our arteries. Very important is here to note that nature is very economical in handling its own sustenance, regeneration and renewal. I suggest to call this ecological economy. Of course, redefining ‘nature’ also involves redefining ‘human nature’. On this theme ecofeminism can find her ‘sisters’ in different orientations of feminism, including the poststructuralists. With probably some different accents, concerning autonomy74. Where a dualistic male-perceived definition of self is predominantly defined as ‘independent’ (me and the world, me and the other), ecofeminists outline a self-in-relation.
Shift Two: What do we need?
This question of human (men’s and women’s) needs is very important, because the global market economy in which we all live, shapes the illusion that it can provide in all human needs. Its ideological (or rather cynical) claim is that we are free citizens, able to chose ‘whatever we want’, and through material satisfaction of our needs can provide in our
together. This, of course, is highly ballasted by gender-roles. And, what about the home of couples without children, mixed marriages, single people, gay and lesbian homes? 72 Shiva, ibid., p. 39. 73 See his book, or www.deepecology.org 74 Donna Haraway became known with her Cyborg Manifest, because of making a connection between people and machines. But she also mentioned the connection with animals. “… a cyborg world might be about lived social and bodily realities in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines…”. PAGE?!! 18
immaterial needs75. In fact economy provides only for our material needs, so its role in society should be limited to fulfill this task. That would be quite enough. Meanwhile, the market economy, with its huge marketing machinery, tells us what we are supposed to need. It says we need the commodities it produces. Our style of life is reduced to lifestyle, to the private sphere, and reduced in terms of materialism (i.e. consumerism), as is shown in numerous glossy magazines for ‘happy, healthy women’. In reality lifestyle76 means how we envisage the quality of our lives –the way we live, the choices we make based upon our personal/collective values-. And this quality of life, of course, entails much more additional values than economy can provide: relational needs, social needs, spiritual needs. I argue that a transformation of economy can only be useful and realistic by implicating all evolved needs of nature, women77, and men from an ecofeminist point of view. For one part this means that economy would be deeply based in an antropoDEcentric78, sustainable, and at the same time gendered perspective. Ecofeminism evolves more and more into a moral theory and searching for ways how to live that morals. To Stephanie Lahar, this includes “… a prescriptive psychological and social model that includes an idea of future potential and how best to unfold it…”79 With trying to find such a ‘psychological and social’ model to classify different kinds of needs, the pyramid of Maslov seems a good starting point. Abraham Maslow discerns five levels of human needs: 1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc. 2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc. 3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc. 4. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc. 5. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. Also the authors of the Human Development Report must have had Maslow’s piramid of needs in mind when they defined ‘development’ in a way beyond economics: “Development is ultimately about improving human well-being—meeting fundamental human needs for food and shelter, security, good health, strong relationships, and the opportunity to achieve individual potential. Much of conventional economic activity is indifferent to this well-being focus: the $1.2 trillion
The cynism lies in the devillish play that reduces need to the need of money. It tells us with hypnotizing force that our material needs will never be enough, as also the market economy is insatiable with eating the earth without paying for the meal. Economical cynism lies also in the assurance that our needs are deeply rooted in desire. This is a misunderstanding that started since our forefathers started to believe in the myth of Adam and Eve. She needed to bite the apple where patriarchy mistook it for ‘filthy female’ desire. 76 Rather I would use the notion ‘art of life’ but that requires a completely other register of language, which would make things in this context (even) more complicated. 77 To define values based on needs is a tricky thing. For ages we are told what we need or don’t need. That is inherent in ideologies and principles that get into power. Especially women, more than men, are told not only what they need but who they are at all. So caution is at place. But still, I think we need an outline of needs, because any proposal of changing economy into a greener (sustainable), juster and genderly equal, cannot surpass this question. 78 As you see, I skip here the discussion about (anti-)antropocentrism, (anti-)androcentrism and ecocentrism. I presume within the context of ecofeminism there is a consensus about these questions, considering the dualism that any centrism beholdes. In a dialogue however, between ecofeminists and, for example, poststructuralist orientated feminists, or a group of deep ecologists, this discussion is very relevant. See, a.o. Val Plumwood, Androcentrism and Antropocentrism. Parallels and Politics. In: Warren (ed.), Ecofeminism, ibid., pp. 327-355. 79 Stephanie Lahar, ibid. p.36. 19
spent on the world’s militaries in 2006, plus the billions spent on emergency room visits, police, security systems, hazardous-waste site cleanups, litigation, and other “defensive” measures, are all major contributions to economic growth, even though they may have contributed little or nothing to actually improving people’s wellbeing.”80
Ecofeminizing Maslow’s pyramid of needs
Psycholog Abraham Maslow draw his pyramid of needs in 1953 and was actually designed to understand people’s motivation in work and so optimalize productivity. This ironical circumstance should, however, not withhold us to interprete his pyramid out of ecofeminist perspectives as a scope of human needs in her environment. That means to interprete it in its inter-connectedness and diversity. Therefore some preliminairy notes (to be further developed81). 1. Maslow was thinking in psychological categories. They are the needs that motivate, drive individuals to satisfy or at least aspire to fulfill those needs. We can ecofeminize them by interpreting the diverse levels in: 1. Ecological needs: intrinsic value of nature; planetairy sustenance; human survival 2. Self-orientated needs: safety; stability, in developing the female and male self. 3. Other-orientated/Relational needs: community, culture 4. Group orientated/Social needs: ethics, civil society 5. Spiritual/PhiloSophical needs All together they define the quality of life, of the planet that hosts us, as ourselves. 2. Important is to note that the needs are hierarchical82 . Level 3, for example, can only be reached when the needs of level 1 and 2 are sufficiently met. This hierarchical structured needs don’t make the underlying levels less crucial; they are indeed fundamental, basic, preconditional. A ‘higher’ level could not exist at all without the underlying levels. Therefore Wilber (following Lovelock) speaks of Holarchy in stead of Hierarchy: “a nested order of levelled needs.”83 That would mean: one can't motivate a woman to achieve her magistrat thesis (career; level 4) when she’s having problems with her marriage (level 3). A girl would not attain healthy self-esteem (level 4) when being [violently] modelled to the image and likeness of her parents (level 2). 3. The form of the piramid shows that each level has its proper place. The first level of ecology forms the wide basis to provide the resources for sustaining itself and has a proportional surplus to provide for the needs of other levels. That implicates that the fulfillment of needs must be balanced. Too much need of self-esteem and mastery would put level 4 on level 1, and so sabotage the underlying levels.84
Human Development Report 2006, United Nations, New York, 2007, p. 78. It would be nessecary, for example, to analyse to what extend the qualification of these needs are genderspecific, and to make a gender-differentiated and ecological hologram, giving the pyramid three inter-connected sides, immersed in a whole. 82 Hierarchy is in itself not ‘wrong’, states also Karen Warren: “Contrary to what many feminists and ecofeminists have said or suggested, there may be nothing inherently problematic about ‘hierarchical thinking’ or even ‘valuehierarchical thinking’ in contexts other than contexts of oppression.” [Ecofeminism, ibid. p. ] 83 Ken Wilber, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Shambala Press , Colorado, 2000, p. 55. 84 Which is, as I argued in Part One, happening in economy. 20
4. Needs have a limit. As a need on level 2 is sufficiently met, a motivation starts trying to fulfil the need on the following level. This ‘natural’ limitation however is often disbalanced. All of us know that we sometimes compensate for the dissatisfaction or pain by eating something or going shopping. In our culture, dissatisfaction is seemingly innocently expressed in consuming.85 According to Andre Gorz, a great deal of our dissatisfaction is work related. The economic system compells many people to do work that is not meaningful (enough) to meet their other than material needs86. 5. The pyramid should be ‘pluralized’. What accounts for the psychological needs of the individual (level 1), or the family/tribe (2) counts from level 3 for the common needs of a society. You can't expect an Indian peasant community to work as a team member in a western ngo- development program (level 3) when it’s land and houses are being re-possessed by a multinational (level 2). 6. Maslow’s pyramid as a whole should be ecological inclusive. The version of Ken Wilber is useful:87
On the agression of ‘compensatory consumption’, see Andre Gorz, Critique of economical reason, Verso, New York, 1989. 86 It’s not coincidentally that women are the chief target group in advertising. They are most compelled to buy consumer goods impulsivly, because their needs (for aknowledgement of their (female) subjectivity?; level 2) are not met. Which is on its turn, caused by their exclusion by that same economic system. 87 See www.integralschool.org for an elaboration of Wilber’s version of the piramyd. 21
Having this spectre of needs in mind, it is easy to understand how today’s market economy relates to our diverse levels of needs. And especcially how it does not. Economics is only one aspect in our existence but in a market economy, economics becomes more important than everything else. All of the physical, social, religious, and emotional aspects of our lives are subsumed in the values that dominate the eurocentric world economy. The exploitation of nature and half of mankind; male self-orientation; material growth; capital accumulation (profit); wealth for a selected group- they are almost all reduced to the (male) needs on level 4: self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility. The other needs are reduced to fit into the framework of economics. At the same time the values of market economy –competition, independence, status (mostly fitting in level 4)- are elaborated and universalized to the whole culture. Transforming the economy would therefore mean that economy finds its proper place by providing the conditions that serve planetairy life and the diverse human needs of all people88.
Green economics advocate a transformation of the economy in a way that markets express social, ecological and ethical values. A green gendered economy pays attention to the effect of economic policy on all peoples, men and women, and the environment, recognizing the dependence of all of human life on the natural world.
This whole story and argueing could be essentialized in the famous quote of Mahatma Ghandi: “There’s enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not for some people’s greed.” 22
As we saw (p.2), ecofeminism is also actively orientated to alternatives. It does so by reclaiming values which were previously claimed and mis/used or lost. Karen Warren is even clearer in stating that ecofeminism is about reclaiming values: “An ecofeminist ethic provides a central place for values typically unnoted, underplayed, or misrepresented in traditional ethics (e.g., values of care love, friendship, and appropriate trust). These are values that presuppose that our relationships to others are central to an understanding of who we are.”89 Adjustment is needed in our economic systems if we and this planet are to survive. This transformation, has to be in the direction of making the market economy subservient to -rather than dominant over - the people's survival economy and nature's economy. Now we can see that there are not one but three economies: 1. The market economy organized around the need for profit90; the economy that is ecosuicidal. 2. The sustenance economy organized around the provisioning of sustenance for the need of survival. 3. Ecological economy; organized by nature around essential ecological processes. In the transformation of economy, a special role is seen (expected?) of women, as the motto of this paper by Jeanne d’Eaubonne already notes. According to Vandana Shiva, however, the most experience experts live not in the west91 but in the so called Third World: “Most work on women and environment in the Third World has focussed on women as special victims (…) Yet (…) their voices are the voices of liberation and transformation which provide new categories of thought and exploratory directions.”92
Of all the values that passed in this paper it is possible to sketch an outline of reclaimed values concerning the field of economy that were oppressed, disqualified or unnoted by the dominant values of market economy. It is definitely only an outline and is far from complete. Ecology • The basis Economy depends completely on nature for raw materials, energy stocks, and indispensable services such as water and air purification, soil fertility, and waste absorption. An economy that tries to grow beyond a size the biosphere can support will simply destroy it. To be sure, improving well-being can involve growth: offering access to food and shelter for all, especially the desperately poor, will require economic expansion in some locales. • Include ecology in economics That means in the first place that not instrumental value is on the first and only place, but the intrinsic value of nature and human and non-human animals. • Ecological Footprint
Karen Warren, Ecofeminist Philosophy. Quoted in Chris Cuomo, On ecofeminist Philosophy. In: Ethics & the Environment, Vol. 7, no. 2. 90 Here, again, I remark that this includes conventional marxism, which only differs (in ecological sense) in that it wants to distribute the natural resources more equally. But also such an economy denies its dependence of nature, and equally needs growth and mal/development. 91 Except maybe peasant groups in Eastern Europe, the roofless and (‘illegal’) immigrants in the cities, and the Roma’s. 92 Shiva, ibid. p.47. 23
We have only one Earth, but for the scale and the speed in which we use the Earth’s resources, we would need the size of 3,5 Earths. The Ecological Footprint is a way to balance our consumption to an acceptable measure. It calculates the space which is neccesary for the production of all that we –individuals, countries, mankind- consume.93 Women • Visibility Bringing gender into trade and economic policies: Invisibility is one of the numerous obstacles preventing women from realising their full potential94. • Include the informal and love economy Another criticism that has been made of money-based economies like market and command economies is their lack of recognition of unpaid work. In response to this gap Hazel Henderson developed the idea of the love economy. She estimates that "50 percent of all useful products and services in even industrial societies are unpaid and largely produced by women, including volunteering, caring for the young, old and sick, household management, do-it-yourself housing, food-growing, and community service."95 Henderson endeavered to estimate the value of this unpaid work. With data of the UN Human Development Index she came to 16.000.000.000.000 dollar ($16 trillion), all of which is missing from the GDP of all countries. Because this kind of work doesn’t fit into the reductionist value system that allows only commodities and exchangable services as ‘production’. This half of all human activity is not merely a hidden part of the economy, it is also the basis of the monetary economy. The basic economic unit in this kind of economy system is the family. The definition of family is very specific: a male earner, a dependent female caregiver, and dependent children. Integrating the work in the love economy values all the work of production, reproduction, and caring for human life and the natural world as the foundation on which the economy functions. • Care Sustainability is only possible with caring. Women’s most fundamental role in patriarchal society is procreation. This is even very often given a negative (economic) value, being seen as a hindrance to ‘productive’ activities. Neither is a value given to the emotional and social support women provide for the family and community, particularly with regard to child rearing. • Expanding women’s access to markets With many poor women either locked out of economic opportunities or into a growing number of low-wage informal jobs, need access to be able to sustain themselves. Organisations as Mama Cash and UNIFEM provide microcredits to women to start their own, small scale business.
www.ecologicalfootprint.org The absence of substantial data on women’s role in agricultural and rural development is the most notable, and hidden factor, that shows how women’s work is un(der)valued. Terms to describe women’s economic activity have not been defined or given a value. 95 Hazel Henderson and E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: 25 Years Later with commentaries. Vancouver, Hartley & Marks, 1999. Quoted in State of the World 2008, ibid. p. 54. 24
Economy • Include the true costs of production The instrument used as indicator for economical succes and growth, the Gross National Product, is false. One of them is that all kinds of social and ecological costs are not included in the GNP.96 On the contrary: costs that are spent on dealing with pollution, exhaustion of natural resources and militairy expenses are accounted as ‘production’. If the costs of the degradation of nature, the loss of biodiversity and the consequences of the use of chemicals were included, the GNP balance would give a total different picture of the ‘benefits’ of market economy. 97 • Enough is enough Natural resources are limited, so in the same economic logic, there is a limit to growth98. That means that economic growth serves those who need it to provide in basic needs for the sustanance of their society. The ones who already have it, were to downscale economic activity to an appropriate99 measure. See what time and energy will be liberated to strive at the other human needs. Down-shifting in America became a trend lately, half burnt-out males are working less for the company in order to have time to raise children, volunteer work, and family life. • Companies are responsible for the ecological and social costs they cause The social and ecological costs, caused by processing and manufacturing, distributing, selling, and disposing of its waste, should be paid by those who cause it. Not on the community. • Fair trade Fair trade means that economical trade is subordinated to environmental and social justice. …., paying a fair price for a product means that the costs of . Make production proces visible. To raise conscious that products are made by sustainable material and social justicehands that manufactured them. • Welfare Attempts to include the value of welfare, some kind of compromis between economical development of the rich to economical development of the poor (Hernando de Soto’s attempt to include and value the informal economy of the poor people). • Happiness instead of growth Our time, our energy, the societal structure of the male dominated world is all turning around the centre of the marketplace. But it doesn’t make us happier.100
The damage that Holland caused (‘produced’) by polluting soil, air and water nature in 2002 is estimated at 16 billion (miljard) dollar. The Ministry of Environment spent in that year another 2,6 billion dollar on environmental policy. The Dutch Institute for Food and the Environment estimated the environmental damage in 2000 at 40 billion gulden (around 20 million euro). This damage is not included in the GNP, while those costs account for 1,7 to 2,8 % of the GNP of that year. RIVM, Valuing the benefits of environmental policy, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 2001. 97 Economist Brent Bleys calculated and integrated those costs for the Dutch GNP during the last 33 years in a so called Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW-index). The standard way of calculating the Dutch GNP shows during that period a steady growth. But the ISEW shows that economical growth showed an average of... 0 %. Brent Bleys, A Simplified Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare for the Netherlands, 1971-2004, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2007 98 A funny, but meaningful metaphore is used by the writers of the State of the World report to describe the limitations of economic growth: “An analogy might be a baby growing in its mother’s womb; it is a subsystem of the mother, totally contained by and dependent upon her. Birth marks the point at which the baby has reached the limit of the mother’s ability to host it. Further growth in the womb makes both baby and mother worse off.” State of the World 2008, ibid., p. 9. 99 Sorry, I can’t tell what is ‘appropriate’ and what would be ‘too much’, or ‘compensatory need’. The clue in finding the right ‘human measure’ lies, I think, in the measure to which we actively use other resources to satisfy our needs. These sources are not economic, but social, cultural and spiritual. 25
The measurement of well-being of all people will establish a shift from financial growth to ‘real’ human development in nature. The Happy life index gives such an indication.101 Community The social space is for a great deal also defined by economy and the global market. To find new ways of exchange many environmental and ecofeminist movements focus on the collective than the individual. • The whole household produces The assumption that households are no location of production meant that within the traditional household of male breadwinner, female caregiver, and children, only the male breadwinner is seen as being 'productive.' Women's traditionally defined work of bearing and raising children, maintaining a home, providing food, and providing emotional support for everyone, is simply assumed despite the fact that the economy is absolutely dependent on it. The contributions of children are also assumed to be without value. • Connect households to communities Ecofeminists extend (or replace) the classical economic unit of the family to the level of the community. Partly this is motivated to find different, and voluntary motivated relationships, than in the main economical entity: the family. “Many communities are defined along lines of national identity, family and neighbourhood into which one is born. These are nonvoluntarily; they are communities in which we simply find ourselves and discover relationships rather than ones in which we create ourselves and our relationships.”102 Would the Yugoslav samzat be a positive example to such communities on a voluntary basis?103 • Connect private and public interest. Besides the connection between the economic and the household realm, a similar connection can be/should be made between the corporate and the public. A lot of people do already voluntairy work. But also ‘bussiness’could do things without commercial interest. That means that corporations and institutions (where people work like you and me) produce not only for the market, but produce for and sustain also public interests. This is now sometimes done as sponsoring, and sometimes without any commercial interest, as philantropy. • ‘Think globally, act locally’ • Bioregionalism Choices and actions of the individual can be based on the consciousnees of their consequences and effects on the global ecosystem and the people living on it. That means
Prof. Ruut Veenhoven published a study on hedonic [hedonistic?] psychology. “It reveals that higher incomes only improve life satisfaction up to a point. The research also says that the more materialistic people are, the lower levels of happiness they report. And it says that there appears to be a correlation between rising consumption and the erosion of the things that do make people happy, especially social relationships, family life, and a sense of community.” Ruut Veenhoven, in an interview in Onkruid, Avenhorn, Holland, March 2001. 101 “The Happy Planet Index is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with human well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. The HPI shows that around the world, high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being, and that it is possible to produce high levels of well-being without excessive consumption of the Earth’s resources. The Global HPI is calculated by incorporating three separate indicators: the ecological footprint, life-satisfaction and life expectancy. Put another way, it represents the efficiency with which countries convert the earth’s finite resources into well-being experienced by their citizens.” New Economic Foundation, The (un)happy planet index, 2006. www.happyplanetindex.org 102 Lori Gruen, Revaluing Nature, in: Warren, ibid., p.357. 103 Or cyberfemnism? 26
practically to develop local, or regional economies. Producing and trading what will be consumed in the region, and vice versa. • Service economy Emphasis of economic activity is on non-commodity goods; so more on services rather than products. Relation between producer and consumer more visible The exchange of specialized knowledge could, in a stage further along, replace the monetary system without going back to the awkward bartering of developing societies. The Local Exchange Trade System (LETS) is one of those beautiful ideas of a money-free exchange. In a network of people one offers and uses services, not with paying money but by offering your services to others. The exchange çurrency’ in Holland are foppen ( recimo, Frkove) or Dinges (Svašta) as currency it’s an example of a local, self-managed economy. • Environmental justice Clean neighbourhoods for the rich, and polluted areas and landfills near the housings of social or ethnic vulnerable groups is the reality of today. Environmental measures should be budgetted and implemented in an environmental and social just way.
By pointing out the underlying values and outdated axioms within the ruling, globalizing market economy, ecofeminism helps to demystify this economy. Its pretended universalist yet truly reductionist view on nature and women (as resources), and humans as producer, worker, or consumer (regarding about 60% of the world’s population as waste), lead to ecocide and mass exclusion of women and indigenous people. Reforming the economy by way of ‘sustainable development’ can only be realized within economy’s own values, axioms and limitations, leading to the commercialisation of ecology, and leaving the unvisible role of women as unvalued suppliers of this economy intact. An eco- and gender-inclusive piramid of needs is one way to unmask the myth that economics can provide for all of life, and that quality of life can be reduced to its monetary aspects. It also shows the inter-relatedness of a holarchy to which a transformation of economy could be directed. Transforming the economy into an exchange system that serves instead of rules, starts with the (ecofeminist) perspective that economy is simply the part of our life that deals with how we share the resources the planet has to offer, and that it has no place dictating other values to the lives of women and men. A gender-equal, sustainable economy is imbedded in values that acknowledges the instrinsic value of ecosystems and in the inter-dependence in nature as in humans, in individuals as in communities. Not money but quality of life of all beings is the main drive of this transformal economy. To summarize:
Leading values in market economy compared to a gendered, ecological economy
Market economy ‘Male principle’ Market Power over Man as producer (Women and nature as resources) Hierarchy Antropocentric Androcentric Scientific knowledge Scarcity Waste Independent World Exclusive Self Individual Segmented Uniform (monocultural) Global Private vs. Public Economic ‘laws’ Formal economy Mal/development Commodity value (price) Progress (lineair) Profit Wealth through growth and accumulation of money Trade Corporate freedom Consumer society Sustainable development Commercial ecology NIMBY Conservation of non-human world Recycling, zero waste Gendered, ecological economy ‘Female principle’ (Prakriti) Ecology Power with Nature, woman and man are re/producers Holarchy AntropoDEcentric Co-operative Ethics Enough / Abundance (Surplus) Renewability Inter-dependent Planet Inclusive Self-in-relation Communal Related Diverse (biodiverse, multicultural) Local/regional Private with public with private Ethic values Sustainable formal, informal and love economy Sustainability Intrinsic value Quality of Life (circulair) Life sustenance Welfare through sustanance, care, and service Fair trade Corporate responsibility, Sharing [filantropy?] Civil society Integrated development Ecological commerce Environmental justice Integration of human and non-human world Ecodesign, using less, zero waste
Living in the patriarchal world is living in a onedimensional world. Feminism is the right of women to define the reality in which women and men live. The first wave of feminism contributed to our understanding of oppression, the second wave to our understanding of oppression and female identities. The third is also adding to creating alternatives. Ecology may tell us more about the inter-connectedness of life and death; of what we are, and who we are; our bodies and our identities. The sincere answer to the question ‘what do we need?’ is the way we want to live and die. Our style of life is economically colonized and reduced to lifestyle. Go veggie! Let’s LETS. Step on the grass! To be ecofeministic orientated means we should also have compassion with male chauvinist pigs.
- Benjamin, Craig S. & Turner, Terisa E., Counterplanning from the commons: labour, capital and the 'new social movements, University of Guelph, Canada, July 1993 - Bleys, Brent, A Simplified Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare for the Netherlands, 1971-2004, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2007 - Cuomo, Chris, On ecofeminist Philosophy. In: Ethics & the Environment, Vol. 7, no. 2. - d’Eaubonne, Françoise, What could an eco-feminist society be?, In: Liberty, Equality and Women? Anthology, Harmattan, 1990. - Ecologist, The, ‘Whose Common Future?’ (editorial), april 1992 - Griffin, Susan, Ecofeminism and Meaning. In: Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism, 1997, pp. 213-226 - Gruen, Lori, Revaluing Nature. In: Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism, 1997, pp. 356-374 - Lahar, Stephanie, Ecofeminist Theory and Grassroots Politics. In: Hypatia, vol. 6, no. 1,1991 - Leeraert, Morries, Ruut Veenhoven, de geluksprofessor (The Professor of happiness). In: Onkruid, Avenhorn, Holland, March 2001. - Naess, Arne, The Shallow and the Deep; Long Range Ecology Movements, 1973 - Plumwood, Val, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, New York: Routledge, 1993 - Plumwood, Val, Androcentrism and Antropocentrism. Parallels and Politics. In: Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism, 1997, pp. 327-355 - Reid, Lucy, The Spiral of Life, - Shiva, Vandana, Staying Alive. Women, Ecology and Development, Zed Books, 1989 - Shiva, Vandana, Understanding the Threats to Biological and Cultural Diversity. Annual Hopper Lecture, University of Guelph, September 21, 1993 - Shiva, Vandana, BT cotton and Farmers Suicide, Navdanya.org, New Dehli, 2002 - Shiva, Vandana, Commodification and Privatisation of the Planet, Navdanya.org, New Dehli, 2006 - Smith, Andy, Ecofeminism through an anticolonial framework. In: Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism, 1997, pp. 21-37 - RIVM, Recycling in Europe, Bilthoven, Netherlands, 2006 - RIVM, Valuing the benefits of environmental policy, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 2001 - UNEP, Human Development Report 2006, New York 2007 - UNIFEM, The economic role of women in agricultural and rural development: promoting income-generating activities. Seminar report, Athens, 18–22 October 1999 - Warren, Karen J., The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism, In: Environmental Ethics 12(2), 1990: 125-46. - Warren, Karen, Taking Empirical Data Seriously. An Ecofeminist Philosophical Perspective. In: Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism, 1997, pp. 3-20 - Warren, Karen (ed.), Ecofeminism. Woman, Culture, Nature, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 1997 - Wilber, Ken, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Shambala Press , Colorado, 2000 - World Commission on the Environment and Development (WCED), Our Common future, 1987 - World Economic Forum, Global Risks 2007: A Global Risk Network Report, Geneva,2007 - World Watch Institute, State of the World 2008, Innovations for a Sustainable Economy, Washington, 2008 Websites www.ecofeminism.org
www.envirolink.org/enviroethics/deepindex2.html www.eko-monitor.org www.integralschool.org www.ecologicalfootprint.org www.happyplanetindex.org www.navdanya.org (Vandana Shiva’s reseach institute, farm and education centre)
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