Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anarchism as a Solution for Climate Change

The big debate regarding climate change hinges around whether or not consumption should be reduced. The proponents of economic growth aver that it is possible to use technology to reduce the production of green house gases while increasing the rate of energy use that is going on presently. That is if newer technology were developed that uses energy that is considerably cleaner and so produces less green house gases then economic growth would continue. Otherwise if economic growth slows down due to a cutback in energy use then there will be recession leading to unemployment and civil strife.
Others argue that the present mode of development itself is a resource guzzling one and it devours all kinds of resources not just energy which are mostly non-renewable. Moreover, the production system is highly centralised and so is the distribution system leading to inefficiencies in the form of energy wasted in transporting resources to the production sites and the products to the consumption sites. Centralisation also means that there are huge inequalities and inequities which have to be maintained through the use of force by a centralised state.
Anarchists say that a centralised state must necessarily be unjust however well its laws may be codified because of a lack of information arising from the distance between the rulers and the ruled. Justice here means that when some people like the Bhil adivasis are lesser ordained with skills in a particular situation then it is the responsibility of those that are better ordained to ensure that the former do not suffer due to their handicap. and if that is not possible then the system itself should be scrapped. Thus, anarchism posits a stateless and communitarian system based on trust and justice. Even if dismantling the present system may involve pain, if the people who are in power now decide to bear most of this pain by cutting down drastically on their own over consumption then the poor will not suffer so much.
Consequently instead of being concerned with only Climate Change, which is after all only a manifestation of a larger unjust and unsustainable system, Blog Action Day, must press for a more decentralised and participative developmental paradigm.


Derek Wall said...

well said....have you noticed that Elinor Ostrom who supports broadly your views is the winner of the Nobel Prize for economics.

a big win for indigenous people if you ask me.

Rahul Banerjee said...

Yes I am a great fan of Elinor Ostrom and have used her work in my research. My next post will be on her being honoured by the Nobel Prize