Development

Dense Struggle (IV): The Ghostly Real

Photo. 22. IDP marching in the streets of Bogotá and calling the state to fulfill its obligations towards displaced population according to National Law 387/1997: “Displaced population is part of Colombia. Fulfill Law 387” (June, 2009). L. Eslava.

As I mentioned in the last post, one of the most perplexing circumstances that surrounded the appearance of the ghost in the refuge was that it occurred at the precise moment at which the group of IDPs formally entered into the realm of the official. It could have easily occurred earlier, when they were protesting, in…

Patrick McAuslan, or the Yes

Untitled in Tanzania, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Professor Patrick McAuslan passed away on the 11th of January, 2014. I do not know the details of his apparently deteriorating health, or of his death for that matter. I know very basic things about the whole event, and I have chosen to keep it like this. This is because I do not want to close the biggest question…

Human Bodies in Material Space: Editorial of the Journal for Human Rights and the Environment

Embodiment by Eric Franklin

This edition of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment is dedicated to the greatest struggle of our era – the ongoing – and increasingly urgent – struggle to confront the entrenched and growing violence (both epistemic and physical) of a global order that is rapidly entrenching both human and environmental vulnerability. ‘Business as usual’ is still obdurately committed to the…

Anti-​Colonial Events in Brazil

man-and-riot-polic_2255967k

In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge. It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force. The intermediary…

Another Forum is Possible

DSCF2038

I waited a couple of days before sitting in front of my laptop and trying to organize the combination of feelings that had been invading me since I left Tunis and the 2013 World Social Forum. It was my first time, and, as every first experience, I had charged it with expectations, hopes, desires, and curiosity. Forty-​eight hours…

On the Right to Peace and the Environment

War and Destruction / Kuwait

Peace and the environment are two equally wide-​reaching topics, and consequently they could be studied separately and from a variety of perspectives. In this article, we will endeavour to demonstrate the relationship between peace and the environment starting with the idea that the preservation of both is significantly compromised by the current economic system. Our central…

The Political Economy of Indigenous Dispossession: Bare and Dispensable Lives in the Andes

Soscial Conflict, Cusco, Peru

The expan­sion of the extract­ive indus­tries has, as coun­ter­parts, first, the reac­tion of indi­gen­ous com­munit­ies in the defense of their com­munal goods (land, water, graz­ing, etc.), and second, the viol­ent counter-​attack of the state through police and mil­it­ary repres­sion, legit­im­ated many times by the of excep­tion (in Peru the “state of emer­gency”, a kind of state of excep­tion, has been applied by gov­ern­ments in pre­vi­ous years to con­trol socio-​environmental protests). Polit­ical eco­nomy and legal policy are both rel­ev­ant to this situ­ation and both are func­tion­ally connected.

In respect of polit­ical eco­nomy, let us bring to mind what David Har­vey calls “accu­mu­la­tion by dis­pos­ses­sion”, which is just the the­or­et­ical update of the “prim­it­ive accu­mu­la­tion” described by Karl Marx, that is to say: cap­it­al­ist expan­sion requires the viol­ent trans­form­a­tion of com­mon goods into com­mod­it­ies in order to be appro­pri­ated and then used by exchange mechanisms.

Delinking, Decoloniality & Dewesternization: Interview with Walter Mignolo (Part II)

Walter Mignolo

Christopher Mattison: To continue our earlier discussion about Bolivia in relation to “refunding” or “decolonizing” — you’ve stated on a number of occasions that capitalism or socialism, as they are currently constituted, are not the answers? One of the alternatives that you offer to this issue is “delinking.” Could you expand on what you mean by delinking in this particular instance and how it integrates into modes of dewesternization and the various layers of decolonization? ¶ Walter Mignolo: Let me first re-​state that the world is currently moving towards both rewesternization and dewesternization. The political ambition of the US (announced by Hillary Clinton in Honolulu and followed up by President Obama) is to mold the Pacific into the American Century. This is in line with President Obama’s politics of regaining world leadership for the US, which was severely shaken by the presidency of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Obama’s famous discourse in Cairo was one of the first moves in this direction. The turn to the Pacific was the second. However, this move came too late because of the growing confidence of the remaining world, most specifically in the Pacific.

Toxic Mega-​mining in Mexico: Death and Despoilment 500 Years On

BVS

On 15 March this year, when many families were preparing to get away for the bridge weekend (or in reality the few able to), Bernardo Vázquez Sánchez, leader of the committee of the United Peoples of Ocotlán (Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlán, CPUVO) was killed in a shooting that also left Rosalinda Canseco and Andrés Vázquez Sánchez wounded. The gunmen – clearly identified by the community – were sent by the Mayor of San José de Progreso, Alberto Mauro Sánchez who, accused of assassinating another opponent of the mining project on 18 January 2012, is a fugitive from justice. But it was the Canadian mining company, Fortuna Silver Mines (operating in Mexico under the name Minera Cuzcatlán) that was responsible directly for guiding the fingers that pulled the trigger, not to mention the impunity and disdain that holds sway in the administration of Gabino Cué, Governor of the state of Oaxaca […]

Neither Capitalism nor Communism, but Decolonization: Interview with Walter Mignolo (Part I)

Walter Mignolo

Christopher Mattison: During an interview that you gave with Madina Tlostanova in 2009, you posed the question (as a response) “Why save it at all?” — in regards to the economic system and the looming financial crisis. You continued by stating that it wasn’t the institutions that required saving, but rather our planet and the entwined human network.…