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Encyclopedia > EcoCommunalism

Eco-Communalism is an environmental philosophy based on ideals of simple living, local economies, and self-sufficiency (often associated with the ideologies of socialism, communalism, and sustainability). Eco-communalists envision a future in which the economic system of capitalism is replaced with a global web of economically interdependent and interconnected small local communities. Decentralized Government, a focus on agriculture, and “green economics” are all tenets of Eco-Communalism. Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. ... In many parts of the world, communalism is a modern term that describes a broad range of social movements and social theories which are in some way centered upon the community. ... Sustainability is an attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future. ... Green economics is an approach to economics in which the economy is considered to be a component of and dependent upon the natural world within which it resides and of which is it considered a part. ...

Contents

History

Eco Communalism finds its roots in a diverse set of ideologies. These include the “pastoral reaction to industrialization of William Morris and the nineteenth-century social utopians (Thompson, 1993); the Small Is Beautiful philosophy of E.F. Schumacher (1972); and the traditionalism of Gandhi (1993)” (Great Transition, Pg. 18). William Morris, socialist and innovator in the Arts and Crafts movement William Morris, publisher Davids Charge to Solomon (1882), a stained-glass window by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris in Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts. ... Small Is Beautiful is the title of a book by E. F. Schumacher. ... Ernst Friedrich Fritz Schumacher (1911-1977) was an economist with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) (Devanagari: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી), called...


The term Eco-Communalism was first coined by the Global scenario group (GSG), which was convened in 1995 by Paul Raskin, president of the Tellus Institute. The GSG set out to describe and analyze scenarios for the future of the earth as it entered a Planetary Phase of Civilization. The GSG's scenario analysis resulted in a series of reports [1]. Eco-Communalism took shape in 2002 as one of six possible future scenarios put forth in the GSG’s 99-page essay entitled "Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead." This founding document describes Eco-Communalism as a “vision of a better life” which turns to “non-material dimensions of fulfillment – the quality of life, the quality of human solidarity and the quality of the earth” (GT, Pg. 42). The Global Scenario Group (GSG) was a team of environmental scholars, headed by Paul Raskin, who used scenario analysis to analyze future paths for world development in the face of environmental pressures and crises. ... Dr. Paul Raskin is President of the Tellus Institute where he directs a team of professionals in environmental, resource, and development policy research. ... The Tellus Institute is a non-profit research and policy organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... The Planetary Phase of Civilization is a concept defined by the Global scenario group (GSG), an environmental organization that specializes in scenario analysis and forecasting. ... Scenario analysis is a process of analyzing possible future events by considering alternative possible outcomes (scenarios). ...


Alternative Scenarios

This vision is only part of GSG’s scenario analysis in the Great Transition essay which is organized into three categories. The first, Conventional Worlds, sees capitalist values maintained and only market forces and incremental policy reform trying to curb environmental degradation. The second, Barbarization, is one in which environmental collapse leads to an overall social collapse. The third, Great Transitions, is a pathway that includes the “social revolution of Eco-Communalism” (October 2005 Monthly Review John Bellamy Foster) which finds humanity changing its relationship with the environment. Eco-communalists would be actors in a broader global citizens movement. “Policy Reform” in addition to its more general meanings, has been used to refer to a future scenario which relies on government action to correct economic market failures and to stimulate the technological investment necessary for sustainable development and the creation of a truly sustainable planetary society. ... In theoretical discussions of social movements [1], Global Citizens Movement refers to a complex and unprecedented phenomena made possible by the unique subjective and objective conditions of the planetary phase of civilization. ...


Philosophy

At it's core, Eco-Communalism holds a mindfulness (almost reverence) for sustainable development, a belief in human goodness, which often manifests itself through conflict resolution or multiculturalism. Also apparent is a longing for society to advance past reckless industrialism towards a more localized, environmentally palatable system. Conflict resolution or conflictology is the process of attempting to resolve a dispute or a conflict. ... Multiculturalism is an ideology advocating that society should consist of, or at least allow and include, distinct cultural groups, with equal status. ...


Eco-Communalism is often associated with Eco-Socialism, which emphasizes a movement away from capitalism and toward a less materialistic society. The word communalism itself is a term that describes social movements and theories which emphasize the centrality of the community, and Eco-Communalism ultimately sees the community as the catalyst to help propel the move away from greed and corporate irresponsibility. In 1983, E.F. Schumacher published Small Is Beautiful, a collection of essays in which he expressed the unsustainability of the modern world’s consumption behavior and the need for a new outlook to prevent otherwise inevitable environmental collapse: "Ever bigger machines, entailing ever bigger concentrations of economic power and exerting ever greater violence against the environment, do not represent progress: they are a denial of wisdom. Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the non-violent, the elegant and beautiful." It has been suggested that Red Greens be merged into this article or section. ... Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are mostly privately[1] owned and operated for profit, and in which distribution, production and pricing of goods and services are determined in a largely free market. ... Social movements are broader political associations focussed on specific issues. ... Ernst Friedrich Fritz Schumacher (1911-1977) was an economist with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain. ... Small Is Beautiful is the title of a book by E. F. Schumacher. ...


These are the ideas espoused in the philosophy of Eco-Communalism – rather than a world of capitalist states and their often exploited workers driven by their own greed, Eco-Communalism envisions a world in which government is decentralized, settlements are integrated with larger cities, local farming is the primary source of produce, and ecological thinking and interconnectedness are the new human values (44-45). As John Bellamy Foster describes in “Organizing Ecological Revolution,” Eco-Communalism will be the achievement through revolutionary struggle of a more egalitarian society.” It will be one in which “a vigilant civil society would foster more responsible corporate behavior and new values would change consumption and production patterns.” (19) The GSG gives eco-taxes, social subsidies, and green accounting as examples of how Eco-Communalism could be practically applied (61). John Bellamy Foster is an editor of the Monthly Review, a prominent socialist magazine. ...


Real-world Applications

Eco-Communalism has taken root all over the globe on different levels. Towns such as Auroville, Nimbin, and the Federation of Damanhur attempt to provide an environmentally low impact way of life. Larger groups such as the Findhorn Foundation provide education to help new communities form. In addition, all of these groups and more are collaborators in the Global Ecovillage Network; which strives to support eco-communalism worldwide. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Nimbin is a small town in northern New South Wales, approximately 30 km north of Lismore (of whose city council, it is a village) and 43 km southeast of Kyogle. ... The Federation Of Damanhur, often called simply Damanhur, is a commune and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy about 30 miles north of the city of Turin. ... The Findhorn Foundation is a Scottish charitable trust registered in 1972 to act as a focal point for the work of the community that grew up around Eileen and Peter Caddy and Dorothy Maclean near Findhorn, Scotland, from 1962 onwards. ... The Global Ecovillage Network is a global association of people and communities (ecovillages) dedicated to living sustainable plus lives by restoring the land and adding more to the environment than is taken. ...


See Also

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of environment concerns, e. ... In theoretical discussions of social movements [1], Global Citizens Movement refers to a complex and unprecedented phenomena made possible by the unique subjective and objective conditions of the planetary phase of civilization. ... The Microsoft building in Bangalore, the information technology capital of India A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ... The Planetary Phase of Civilization is a concept defined by the Global scenario group (GSG), an environmental organization that specializes in scenario analysis and forecasting. ... Permaculture Mandala summarising the ethics and principles of permaculture design. ... Ecovillages are intended to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable intentional communities. ...

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