A closer look at the Causes of Ecological Crisis
- Paganism and its view of nature is thriving
- Paganism and its view of nature is still around but Christianity and its view of nature is arising.
- Natural theology:
- Nature is created to serve human purpose
- Human is superior to animals, trees and nature
16-19 CE/1420-1999 9(?)
- The Victory of Christianity over Paganism:
- The invention of the telescope
- Renaissance/ scientific revolution the age of reason (17CE)
- Industrial revolution (18CE)
- Political revolution
- Modern science and technology *; the new version of natural theology i.e that nature is seen as disorderly and chaotic realm to be subdued and
controlled through the use of the modern science and technology.
- The new thought on nature can be seen through the works of some scholars of the time such as:
- Copernicus (1543); Heliocentric view of universe with the sun as the center of the universe replacing the
geocentric view of universe with the earth
as the center
- Galileo's observation of the spot on the sun, the moon in 1609
610 strengthened the heliocentric view of the
universe, which caused the view
of nature as less important.
"the Tempest" recalls the primal forces of the original Island desert described in the bible, before it is transformed into civilized land.
His work also suggest that civilization can only be achieved through the exercise of power and control over physical and mental realm (130
- Machievelli (1469-1527) published work which suggested that society is equal to nature, a
wilderness that is in need of governance of a king.
- Bacon- the father of modern science, "New Atlantis" advocates the control of nature for human benefits. Bacon's philosophy introduces the concept
of perpetual progress, technology, and patriarchal structure of family and state. Bacon's philosophy is partly responsible for the birth of capitalism.
- J.S Mill's utilitarianism Adam Smith Neoliberalism= humans are independent rational subject who act solely to maximize their individual self-interest.
This interest is assumed to be purely economic i.e to maximaize their possession. Possession is equated with well-being and happiness.
To have, man needs to consume and to produce - meaning use nature.
Combined with natural theology, now they see the exploitation of nature is justified for the happiness of man. Nature and others are (is?) merely a means for
their ends. Any damages on the part of these means are justified as long as the final end is met. The other danger of this philosophy is that freedom is defined as
total freedom without barrier, thus, they see government regulation as a barrier to
the reaching the final goal of happiness.
Travel writings in the 15-16 CE describing the wildness
primitive, uncivilized, richness of nature outside western Europe gives birth to Imperialism which helps to
spread the Christian view of nature across the globe. They do so through education, economics, religion, etc.
|Ecological crisis is
|amounting (increasing ?)
The natural theology and economic liberalism is widely spread across the globe
Corporate Globalization as the new imperialism /neo&ndashcolonialism and its
contribution to the crisis of the earth and its people
Understanding the concept of Imperialism, colonialism and Globalization
Imperialism, to Arendt, is an economic concept which means the permanent broadening of industrial production and economic transactions, is practiced under the disguise of overseas adventures
and patriotism. Therefore, Imperialism can be understood as colonization, or globalization, as Ruether understood it.
Mary Ruether in her work "Corporate Globalization and the Deeping of Earth's Impoverishment" argued that "globalization" is just the last stage of Western colonialism. It is just another name to
the attempt to appropriate the natural resources of the weak countries and to concentrate the wealth in the West ( Ruether, 1).
The stages of Western colonialism
- First phase, from the late 15 CE
to the early 19 CE, which ended with the independence of most of colonies in the Americas.
- Second phase, from mid-19 CE to 1950s. The colonization of areas in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But, it is also in this period of times when many countries in those areas gained
their independence and decolonialization.
Yet, again, to Ruether, the decolonialization itself was a form of neocolonialism. It is because some countries like England and France do not want to let go of their colonized
lands. They instead sought to renegotiate their relations with them and still have control over the natural resources and political power of those colonized countries.
In this period of time
s, The United States of America emerged as the strongest nation, which then reinforced the neocolonialism system of the West. On the side, any attempt to defeat Western
domination will need to adopt socialist ideology and to ally with similar nations. In response, the US and its allies created an
anticommunism project which then led to the
For this reason, the west will use the anticommunism project to attack the third world countries that used the
communism system to distribute wealth and political power to the majority.
The US and its allies also present communism as anti-religion
/ atheist and, claimed itself as the champion of "democracy".
With the demise of the Soviet Unions, the US then become the strongest power in the world. This marked the emergence of the third phase of colonialism.
- Third phase, "Globalization"
"Democracy" = Neocolonialism
How do we spot it:
- The military expression of the US
- The economic institutions that they have built over the last 50 years to control the wealth of the globe. The so-called Brenton Woods Institution such as The world Bank, IMF,
WTO are essential to the extension of US hegemony. These institutions depend on the G-8 Nation, The U.S, England, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia, for funding.
Thus, these countries have control over the decision of
which that the financial institutions made.
As Europe was able to rebuilt itself, the money was then allocated to the third
world countries under the "development" project.
This project is actually the way to take control over the economies of the
third world for some evidences(?).
- IMF: "development" loan
Blaming governments of third world countries for the debt for 3 reasons; inefficient organization, wasting money on subsidies.
: Structural Adjustment loan
Higher rate interest than development loan; removal of trade barriers that protect local industries and agricultures; privatization of public companies such as transportation, telephone, etc;
the removal of minimum wage laws and state subsidies for basic food, education, and helth service for the poor; focus on one or two of local commodities for export.
Local government must accept these new rules for 3 reasons; the wealthy elites who controlled the government were favored by the US; the economists of these countries were educated
in the Western System so they saw nothing wrong with the SA loan; the threat of being isolated from the rest of the world as what have happened to cuba or Nicaragua.
The effect of SA loan:
The basic needs products such education, food, health services, transportation are getting expensive. As a result, poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, crime, are increasing.
local currencies dropped.
- WTO : setting rules to prevent local government to issue any laws that protect local industries and agricultures
Issue new rules to allow multinational corporations to exploit local wealth, such as intellectual property laws that allow corporation to patent certain things.
This then prevents local industry
to from producing such a thing, or otherwise they will get sued. The free market also caused countries being flooded by cheap imported product which, in turn, caused
local product to collapse.