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Article “Earth Democracy: Beyond Dead Democracy and Killing Economies” discussed a conflict that exists between considerations of economic growth and sustainability (Shiva). While the author contended that democracy was supposed to be the rule for the people by people, the globalized society had forgotten that environmental sustainability should matter. With the establishment of international treaties related to many aspects of external relations (Agriculture, Intellectual Property, Phytosanitary Measures, etc.), the industrialization moved the society to the practice of biopiracy.
The author explains this phenomenon as the intent to patent biodiversity and genetic resources for financial gain. For example, the Indian products of agriculture such as Darjeeling tea, turmeric, and tamarind were patented by foreign companies for profit. Shiva stated that such a use of Earth resources is unacceptable; the planet’s biodiversity should not have been turned into property. In this context, Earth Democracy means that that the selfish corporations should not over-utilize the natural resources for their gain and allow those who have rights to such resources decide the most appropriate way of utilization.
The author’s key idea is that there is a constant degradation in humanity, which is just “shopping in the global marketplace” (Shiva “Earth Democracy: Beyond Dead Democracy” 93). In my opinion, globalization may be a potentially beneficial thing for bringing global communities together and banishing social and economic boundaries. However, on the other end of the spectrum, there is constant damage and destruction of natural resources that are now not the way the used to be before industrialization. There is an arising dilemma that our generation should resolve: should we preserve nature and significantly slow down the technological progress, or should we continue our biopiracy and the destruction of resources for economic growth.
Article “Earth Democracy: Creating Living economies, Living Democracies, Living Cultures” also focused on the long-term effects of globalization as well as the treatment of the practices and policies established by the multinational corporations. While many divide globalization and terrorism as the defining terms of modern life, the author put forward the opinion that globalization can be a type of economic terrorism.
In this context, terrorism occurs through the exhaustion of vital natural resources such as water and biodiversity. The author then goes on to argue that globalization is genocidal to the Earth’s resources as well as suicidal for many multinational corporations (Shiva “Earth Democracy: Creating Living Economies”). The second argument is associated with globalization alienating the poor by forcing upon them a climate of economic exclusion and insecurity.
When exploring this perspective, Shiva argued that modern democracy that does not take into account the ecological and economic freedom can potentially impact the spread of terrorism and fundamentalism; stating that “impoverished democracy breeds fundamentalism of all kinds” (“Earth Democracy: Creating Living Economies” 6).
Therefore, instead of integrating people into the process of development, globalization led by corporations tears the communities apart. For example, the 9/11 disaster did not serve as an ending point for the World Trade Organization; on the contrary, the WTO resurrected, broadened its power, and brought economic benefit to the global industrialized societies.
When exploring the impact of globalization, it is crucial to remember that every member of the globalized society uses the resources of the Earth; so there is a duty to guard the rights of all species and all people. Natural and cultural diversity should remain a value that brings benefit to cultural and material wealth without the destruction of valuable resources that the Earth offers.
Shiva, Vandana. “Earth Democracy: Beyond Dead Democracy and Killing Economies.” Capitalism Nature Socialism 21.1 (2010): 83-95. Print.
—. “Earth Democracy: Creating Living Economies, Living Democracies, Living Cultures.” South Asian Popular Culture 2.1 (2004): 5-18. Print.