In 2011-2012, the occupy movement reminded us how ordinary citizens the world over have long paid the price for the corporate and political elites’ swashbuckling behavior. We’ve seen the reigning establishment widen the gap between rich and poor, champion endless growth on a finite planet, wreak havoc on developing nations, and ravage ecosystems in a mad race for natural resources.
The Ecologist recently interviewed Ross Jackson, author of Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012). Jackson offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.
Jackson is an activist, international businessman and chairman of Gaia Trust, a Danish-based foundation that supports a Global Ecovillage Network and hundreds of sustainability projects in forty countries. He shows how a handful of small nations — a Gaian league — could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists and ecological principles, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.
In this interview, Jackson says, “I’m not anti-business or anti-capitalist. I’m trying to present a solution that would align the private system with the needs of the world… The problem isn’t the capitalism system, it’s neoliberal economics. It benefits the wealthiest and exploits developing countries and the environment.”
Once we accept mankind as an integral part of nature, many current practices become unacceptable. Ecological economics requires a new system and new institutions – a Gaian league. Jackson and colleagues have set up Occupyworldstreet.org where people can meet, join, and help to organize this emerging effort.
Lee, Matilda. “Occupy World Street: A Call to Action for the ’99 per Cent'” The Ecologist. 21 Mar. 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2012. http://www.theecologist.org/how_to_make_a_difference/culture_change/1290316/occupy_world_street_a_call_to_action_for_the_99_per_cent.html
Student Researcher: Val Eydelman, San Francisco State University
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University