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Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace 1st Edition
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Ms. Shiva has long been highly regarded as an activist and scholar. She has authored many books and is a frequent media commentator. "Earth Democracy" serves to further Ms. Shiva's stature as a leading intellectual who continues to eloquently voice the concerns of the poor. Her unique ability to blend science, history, politics, economics, gender issues and other fields of study into her text is impressive. The result is a book that rewards its readers with many pages of thought-provoking insight and analysis.
Ms. Shiva points out that two thirds of humanity owes its livelihood to a sustenance economy that finds itself under increasing pressure from capital. She finds similarities in the earlier eras of enclosure and colonialism with today's struggle over intellectual property rights and patents, where the powerful use the law to privatize resources for profit. Arguing that overconsumption by the wealthy is the root cause of environmental destruction and human injustice, Ms. Shiva makes a compelling case for granting local communities more control over resources so that alternative, sustainable economies can be nurtured.
Ms.Read more ›
"What has been called the tragedy of the commons is, in fact, the tragedy of privatization." (p. 55)
"The enclosure of biodiversity and knowledge is the latest step in a series of enclosures that began with the rise of colonialism. Land and forests were the first resources to be enclosed and converted from commons to commodities. Later, water resources were enclosed through dams, groundwater mining, and privatization schemes. Now it is the turn of biodiversity and knowledge to be "enclosed" through intellectual property rights (IPRs)." (p. 39)
[In the Navdanya movement] "More than 200,000 farmers are working to enrich the earth, create properity for rural producers, and provide quality food to consumers. ... [Their work] reintroduces biodiverse farming to both replace chemicals as fertilizers and pesticides and to increase the productivity and nutritional value of crops. ... Navdanya farmers are able to reduce their expenses by the 90 percent that was used to buy chemicals and create corporate profits. ... The incomes of Navdanya farmers are three times higher than the incomes of chemical farmers..." (pp. 67-68)
"Ecological security is our most basic security; ecological identities are our most fundamental identity. We ARE the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. And reclaiming democratic control over our food and water and our ecological survival is the necessary project for our freedom." (p. 5)
--author of The Gardens of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History
I would NOT recommend starting to learn about her views with this book. Right from the start the author's tone is very sharp in pointing out what's wrong with globalization versus the commons. It's a continuous boxing match and the author keeps laying in punch after punch. What is missing from this book is a set of preliminary concepts and contrasts of what is globalization and what is the commons and Earth Democracy. Without any kind of building of these themes the reader is put into a somewhat stressful situation. Most of what is then followed in the book is bad this and that. The ways to respond to globalization are not clearly enumerated and how YOU should act after hearing this material is not immediately evident. The reader is not drawn into the situation in a deep way and full explanations of the concepts is not attempted before getting into the thick of things. So it really is like having the volume turned up listening to these things like a news broadcast rather than an engaging read.
So while I highly value and appreciate what Vandana Shiva is doing on the world stage, her ability to communicate a message that can sink in through the written word is not a strong suit at least in this specific book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tries to hoodwink us with her excessive rhetoric. Her biography claims she is a world famous physicist. She has never been a physicist. Read morePublished 16 months ago by ss06470
This is is a very thoughtful analysis of the tragedy of the commons through consideration of
corporate takings and historical enclosures. Read more
This book was an eye opener and describes the unintended consequences of globalization and free trade by transnational corporations that are beholden to no country and follow and... Read morePublished on August 20, 2012 by Catoh
We are in a time where giant corporations wield great power over our nations, our politics, our culture and even the food we eat. Read morePublished on September 15, 2009 by Rakesh Gade
Vandana Shiva is a superstar twice over. To start with she has a vision so broad and deep it sometimes takes your breath away. Read morePublished on August 10, 2009 by Paul Siemering
Vandana Shiva believes that peasants should be able to make a living based on access to land, rivers, forests and oceans and that governments must protect the health of these... Read morePublished on September 21, 2008 by Amanda Kovattana
This book is full of flawed logic, false data, endnotes (not footnotes) that reference her own work and the work of like-minded contemporaries, but rarely an opponent (unless to... Read morePublished on June 28, 2007 by Daniel Abrams