Lecture to “Plants and the Environment” course, University of Sydney, 7 October 2014.
“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”
Alana has studied one of the many vibrant alternatives to this juggernaut, the movement for food sovereignty, conceived and led by La Vía Campesina. Vía Campesina is typical of contemporary social movements in its recognition of the common interests of first and third world farmers, smallholders and laborers, producers and consumers and in its recognition of the centrality of women, indigenous people and culture to forming truly liberatory alternatives.
As a budding Australian, I learned this week that right-wierdo Tony Abbott’s budget cuts are spurious. The agenda of the cuts is to eliminate the deficit, but it’s not a big deficit and it’s not particularly a problem. Having invented a problem, Abbott has cut “across the board”, implementing Australia’s first user fees for healthcare (including children’s immunizations!) and cuts to profitable investments in innovative enterprise. During the same week, I was lucky to attend […read the rest]
Amory Starr Luis A. Fernandez Christian Scholl Don’t mind the press’ stupid title, the proper one is: Out of Order: The Political Violence of Social Control in the Era of Global Governance New York University Press ISBN: 9780814741009 September 2011 Recently, a wall was built in eastern Germany. Made of steel and cement blocks, topped with razor barbed wire, and reinforced with video monitors and movement sensors, this wall was not put up to protect […read the rest]
I started teaching a course on this topic in 1995. At that time, the concept was so extremely uninteresting (both to the political economists and to the cultural studies people) that the university not only wouldn’t pay us but wouldn’t even allow us access to classroom space. Tony Samara and I taught the course in our living room for several years and I continued to teach it annually through 2009. The course has three topics: […read the rest]
‘A guidebook helps those who search. In a time of “infinite war”, when we confront the infinite stupidity, lies and arrogance of power, we search for those values and practices that keep us true to our dreams and aspirations for another world. This book guides us into that search, and it does it beautifully.’ Massimo De Angelis, Editor of The Commoner ‘A demystifying roadmap of the ideas and events which have shaped the movement.’ Robert […read the rest]
biotech lecture © amory starr 2005 three kinds of biotechnology biotech crops biotech pharmaceuticals bio-prospecting/biopiracy/biopatenting four kinds of biotech crops increased nutrition/shelf life/freeze tolerant/consistent size/ease of processing (some benefit to consumer) chemical tolerant or chemical-producing varieties traitor/terminator crops designed as a production system for pharmaceuticals or other non-food products the first clue that something is wrong is self-contradiction in the biotech industry industry claims they have created something so “new” that it deserves a patent […read the rest]
amory starr “Get Rid of Them All & Become a Zapatista: Autonomy in the Anti-Globalization Movement” Critical Sociology mini-conference, American Sociological Association, San Francisco, 13 August, 2004. i’m sad that Walden Bello is not here, but it’s a bit of a relief too, because i was nervous to speak alongside someone who i see as one of the best models of praxis today. the last time i saw Walden was in cancún, during the wto […read the rest]