We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The New Latin American “Progresismo” and the Extractivism of the 21st Century

by Carmelo Ruiz Marrero from Americas Program

More people in South America are critically looking at the new, "progressive" regimes in that continent and find many similarities with previous neo-liberal governments.
“Political and social transformation is an unavoidable condition for the democratic planning of the exploitation of natural goods and the care of the environment,” advises Sabbatella. “That also requires a cultural transformation that stimulates an ever more participatory democracy. Finally, even with good intentions, the transition towards an ecological society is no more than an utopia if the foundations of capitalist production and reproduction are not questioned and altered.”