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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review – The Landgrabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth

Click here to access article by Katharina Neureiter from Think Africa Press.

Neureiter comments on a recently published book by Fred Pearce who "examines the dynamics behind large-scale land acquisitions and their social, environmental and developmental effects" around the world.
In the book, the reader is taken on a whirlwind tour around the globe to witness, through Pearce’s eyes, a new kind of colonialism driven not by countries, but by powerful private capitalists. We encounter figures such as George Soros and Richard Branson; we learn about the effects of the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia; we find out why President Robert Mugabe's land seizures in Zimbabwe were not so bad after all for small-scale farmers; and we see how the global financial crisis and the intricate mechanisms of stock market speculations in commodities exacerbate the problem.