Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community
Paula du Hamel
for Discussion Roundtables 1, 4, 5, 7, 19, 21, 26, 27, 30, 31, 35, 36, 37, 53, and 55
Table of Contents|
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1 – Introduction ………………………………………….3
1.1 The Millennium Approaches ………………………………..10
1.2 Education For The Future ……………………………….…16
1.3 An Example Of Education: A Study On Educational Guidance
Towards An Environmentally Sympathetic Worldview ..……….23
Chapter 2 - Capitalism And Socialism – No Social Or
Economic Structure Is Sound ……………………………………31
2.1 Microeconomics, Mesoeconomics, And
Macroeconomics: Where Do We Apply The Economic
2.2 Globalization In Question:
What’s The Real Target? ………………………………………..45
Chapter 3 – The Framework For
Global Enhancement .……………………………………….…..51
Chapter 4 - Conclusion ……………………………………….…..75
Moving Towards An Environmentally Sympathetic World Structure:
A Strategy To Support Environmental Consciousness In Globalization
In question today is the future of our environment. Many socio-political infrastructures created for global industries neglect the environment and do not promote environmental sustainability. The arguments in this paper propose the restructuring of knowledge that governs society. This paper introduces a strategy aimed to change the focus of the capitalist economy. Considered in this paper are Indigenous peoples and their nurturing of spiritual and environmental partnership with nature - a valuable and integral part of their socio-economic structure. The change of focus platform preserves the socio-economic relationship with nature that is evident in many Indigenous societies, and calls for the integration of contemporary environmental sciences to assist in environmental goals. Therefore, the change of focus platform encourages the conscious participation of all peoples towards a more environmentally sympathetic global order. By associating Indigenous values with contemporary sciences, it is also possible to produce a strategy to effect environmental consciousness in capitalist production. Therefore, the first chapter of this paper discusses Canada’s First Peoples historical and contemporary existence in capitalist society. The purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate how Imperialism as a form of economic expansion devalues the immediate environment in its search for wealth and power. In essence, Imperial expansion disregards human life and natural resources. The second chapter conducts an inquiry into various strategies that can provide solutions for environmental tragedies incurred through capitalist production. My research undertakes a comparative study of Indigenous ideologies versus environmental, social, and economic destruction by industries. Current social constructions of Western countries portray global democracy as obtainable through investing in global industry. However in reality, much social and environmental destruction is caused by economic policies that support global industries. This is discernible through socio-political frameworks that proclaim that industries deliver environmental sustainability when in fact both people and Nature are suffering. Social constructions that support industrial frameworks are declared in education, corporate partnerships, and development. While many social constructions advocate specific industries for socio-economic stability, documentation shows that many industries do not promote sustainability. Therefore these industries are in need of restructuring to support changing patterns in society to reflect a healthy environment that will sustain life. Thus, by demonstrating various Indigenous ideologies in partnership with the Earth, chapter three of this paper professes the need to revise World social, industrial, and environmental views within society. A continually malleable framework that I call Global Enhancement (GE) endorses the unceasing synchronous evolution of global society in partnership with the environment. In conclusion, the GE framework is found to support environmental sympathy in capitalist society.
Moving Towards An Environmentally Sympathetic World Structure:
A Strategy To Support Environmental Consciousness In Globalization
Chapter 1.0 - Introduction
This study proposes a framework to help people improve the future of the environment. Based on a community or group process, the strategy provides people with an approach to build a future in partnership with the environment; to develop new methods for harvesting resources; and to protect and provide for environmental prosperity. With this purpose in mind, the paper investigates the impact of capitalism on World peoples as this is relevant to future socio-economic structures and sustainability under state governments. An analysis of the impact of globalization in relationship to the long-term socio-political global framework will be investigated. The investigation will focus on how resources can be managed and encouraged toward the environmentally sound production of human necessities. The analysis of the global infrastructure will include a discussion on the accumulation of capital, and the production of commodities to acquire financial gains within the capitalist society.
Examples of community strategies that support the practice of environmentally conscious technologies or industries suggest there could be a similarity to many Indigenous peoples historical socio-economic structure. Therefore, my approach to the framework is based on the integration of Indigenous socio-economic ideologies with contemporary sciences that improve our environment. It is hoped that this research may contribute to the development of an environmentally sound economic framework for all human communities.
First, in chapter one, I state that Imperialism, as a form of economic expansion, targeted Indigenous societies to gain the natural resource wealth they occupied. In reference, chapter one will analyze the impact of Imperialism’s economic expansion vis a vis social-constructions that were created for destabilizing the Aboriginal economy in Canada. In addition, a discussion on how Imperialism’s social constructions directly influence our perception of resources, media, and education will ensue.
Secondly, chapter two will discuss political constructions regarding industrial societies. I argue that democracy, although professed through industrial globalization, definitively leads to environmental and economic ruin of the state. The notion that democracy lets ‘the majority rule’ or gives people voting rights to contribute to state policies, is dismantled by globalization policies such as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MIA) that gives economic power to transnational corporations. In some places, environmental abuse is purposely practiced to save money. Inevitably, the lack of rules and regulations for transnational corporations lets them violate human rights and diminish resources. This leads to environmental decay that ultimately produces economic and environmental ruin. For example, there are industries in the Third World that are established in free trade or export processing zones by transnational companies that are not obliged to enforce the national rules and regulations of the state.
Inside the zones, women (almost the total work force) are treated like slaves. They live in shanty towns or dormitory housing with six to ten people in a ten foot by twelve foot room, in some cases sharing a bed with two other workers on different shifts. Sterilization of young women is encouraged by companies for the least disruption of work – one company, Mattel Toys, awards prizes to women who get sterilized…In the Philippines, women in the electronics industry display critical health problems within about four years (after which they are let go) as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals… 2
Also demonstrated in chapter two is environmental degradation - as evident in more than just our natural resources. They include how we choose to produce supplies and cope with demand for the products. The research will investigate socio-economic and environmental issues as identified by several scientists who argue that there needs to be solutions created to defeat environmental devastation. Succinctly, this research will demonstrate the positive power of community cohesion in one Canadian example of a short-term successful socio-economic solution constructed by a Montreal group called RESO. In response to the devastation of industrial capitalism through the process of globalization, the RESO coalition demonstrates the ability to create a new and vibrant ‘operative-effective’ socio-economic framework for many of Montreal’s Lachine Canal communities.
Thirdly, in chapter three, this paper introduces a new concept that I call Global Enhancement (GE), Copyright © by Paula du Hamel, 1999. GE acts as a framework with a strategy that stems from a platform I call a change of focus (CF). CF is initiated from a microeconomic base where community pressure influences the political chain of power from the individual locality, to the national level of the state. Thereby, political power is secured by the politician’s subjugation to community initiatives, and continues to provide political stability to the party as long as they put into action the community’s needs. However, this structure loosely exists now for business initiatives both at the community level and the global level. For instance, the previous example of transnational companies operating in free trade or export processing zones are the result of political deals and investments made by people in power. But, what is the key to GE and critical for its success, is environmental education to the masses at the microeconomic level. Thus, the following process begins to take effect:
· People become aware of their immediate environment through education on the seriousness of environmental dangers and destruction occurring in their surroundings;
· People learn how environmental neglect threatens the health of their person or community;
· People acquire a new knowledge of how to solve environmental problems that will propel them to get involved in the political process that institutes rules and regulations regarding environmental investments.
· Therefore, people will act by demanding the need for environmentally sympathetic actions in state or individual affairs.
As a result, a strategy for a ‘synchronous’ socio-cultural conscious in the state is created - based on the community needs. By recognizing ‘evolution’ as a process that is inherent to all life on Earth both physically, structurally, and mentally, and, that creation is inherent to evolution, the GE strategy identifies social construction as not only being organically evolutionary, but also evolutionary in the creation of goods and services (commodities). All life is constantly creating and changing. We have the possibility to influence the direction of change that life may follow including the goods and services that are produced. Thereby, the cultural evolution of a global social consciousness is logical as determined through the GE strategy.
The key terms that define the GE framework are at the following levels:
· Microeconomic level – Change of Focus (CF): Crucial to the success of the GE strategy is the role of education and how education is provided to the public. Local community groups, collectives, specialized action groups and institutions send lobbyists and educators to the community and local governments to persuade knowledge in the direction of the initiative to be undertaken. This results in a change of focus of social consciousness by people - based on community objectives.
· Mesoeconomic Level – Table Economy (TE): The CF platform erected from the microeconomic level, directly influences the mesoeconomy that I call Table Economy (TE). The TE includes the masses of peoples within a specific area such as a provincial area. This affects more than the community perimeter and influences the operations of the society at large. A global environmental ‘cultural awareness’ for the production of goods and services is found at this level. I call the production of goods ‘creations in visionary production’ as they are created in mind and design for environmental health.
· Macroeconomic Sphere – Global Sympathetic Governance (GSG): It is here that the action taken at the microeconomic level leads society at large to influence state policies. Knowledge in the overall society of the state has become synchronous or symmetrical with individual community needs. At this level the state governs itself and peoples according to the demands put forth from the peoples views. This is democracy…with the power of the people dictating the actions of the state.
· Global Enhancement (GE): Once the state involves itself with the peoples it governs, the choices the state pursues to succeed must interrelate with other states. Therefore state dynamics involve establishing business relations in other states that reflect the state’s values.
GE is committed to start the evolutionary acceleration of the current capitalist system. This is achieved from a strong foundation (microeconomic base), to the global domain (macroeconomic sphere) by providing an evolutionary socio-cultural construction ‘stratagem’, intended for specialized environmental groups. The GE framework is intentionally structured to change the social and cultural conscious of society. Thus by suggesting a strategy that can be implemented within the current capitalist economy, I provide a methodology to reconstruct environmental sympathies that exist in many Indigenous and alternative communities. Within this paper, examples of theories, coalitions and group works illustrate that already there are isolated environmental frameworks being constructed to incorporate change globally from micro and mesoeconomic levels.
Finally, in conclusion, chapter four implies that the GE strategy used by environmentally conscious organizations may effectively contribute to the global evolution of an environmentally conscious global culture. Furthermore, it is established that the GE strategy stems from a preservation approach for natural resources used as capital equities. As a result, the GE Framework is found to support environmental awareness on Earth.
1.1 The Millennium Approaches
To determine where a society should begin to construct solutions for social and environmental problems, we must first identify the root causes of socio-political and socio-economic patterns. It is not a new generalization that wealth is associated historically and contemporarily with raw resources(3). Nor is it new found that Imperial societies determined their economic objectives through creating political actions to exploit resources(4). Historically, in order for non-native peoples to secure access to resources, it was necessary to dislodge the Native occupants who governed these natural land resources. Aboriginal peoples were firstly reduced in population through war and disease(5) ; secondly restricted to land areas through the treaties made between them and Europeans ; and thirdly restricted to land areas known as Reservations(7). That is how the European(6) occupation of North America stole lands for raw resources to produce commodities – by pushing Native populations to inhabit pockets of lands, claiming masses of lands as unoccupied areas. For Imperialism’s expansion effort this meant less expenses incurred to acquire the land with resource capital(8). Thereby, social constructions were purposely set to commit Indigenous populations to genocide, segregation(9) , and cultural expropriation - to uproot the Indigenous populations and their rule over the lands they occupied that held resources sought by Imperial expansionists(10).
Today, many peoples’ social, economic, political, and environmental conditions are dependent on the economic and environmental direction of the industries that surround their communities. Stealing the use of land for acquiring resources still exists today although Imperialism’s expansion mostly operates by paper/investment transactions(11). The capitalist enterprise is based on altering production to increase creative capability. However, industries may increase financial profit by over-producing quickly, but resources do not have the chance to regenerate. Thus a transformation or alteration of capital takes place(12).
What formerly was treated as an external and exploitable domain is now redefined as itself a stock of capital. Correspondingly, the primary dynamic of capitalism changes form, from accumulation and growth feeding on an external domain, to ostensible self-management and conservation of the system of capitalized nature closed back on itself…So, while capital has a crisis concerning the costs/feasibility of its own reproduction and accumulation, people have a crisis concerning the viability and regeneration of their material and social conditions of life. Correspondingly, while the contradictions inherent in the capitalization process can be analyzed abstractly as contradictions at the political and economic levels of the capitalist accumulation-reproduction process, behind this abstraction are the personal, existential, and social dimensions of struggle and crisis(13).
In its wake, capitalism leaves more peoples suffering the environmental ramifications of capitalist actions. In general, people are struggling to stabilize their community’s economy within this system. An example of people who are determined to restore their communities, despite economic politics involved in capitalism, are the Indigenous populations. Today in Canada, First Peoples are making progress to regain the recognition of their political, cultural, and environmental social structure by state governments. They recognize that the implementation of Self-Government can or will only be successful providing that there is "independent self-sufficiency" for their economic sustainability. For Canada’s First Peoples, re-acquiring their lands (for land capital), means that they may provide their communities with resource opportunities for the production of land based commodities. Also, Canada’s First Peoples believe they will be able to achieve a great portion of their communities financial gains to support Self-Government from land based businesses. Therefore land as invested capital must be acquired from which marketable commodities can flourish(15).
Aboriginal people must have the tools to escape from the poverty that cripples them as individuals and as nations. Redistributing lands and resources will greatly improve their chances for jobs and a reasonable income. After that, the tools most urgently needed are capital for investment in business and industry and enhanced technical, management and professional skills to realize new opportunities(16). <BR>
Henceforth, the production of land based goods and services in Canada such as logging and fishing or pulp and paper , are dependent on and flowing through, economic avenues that resemble those practiced by the mode of production realized by most G7 countries.
And, even in proclaimed non-capitalist societies like Russia, there is similar industrial production that continues to harm the environment. The problem is that regardless of the many political systems in operation today, the industrial method to increase production to maximize profit encourages the continual exploitation of resources. Therefore, the current global industrial social construction will not, in the long run, be able to provide sustainable resources - globally.
The Earth’s resources sole purpose is to provide sustenance for all life. (Remember photosynthesis, and the ‘food chain’ in science classes.) There is no doubt about the human need to acquire nourishment from the lands, waters and skies. But now, more than ever, the opulent desecration of natural resources by industries is consuming resources beyond our Earth’s creation capabilities.
Now is the time for all peoples to examine and forge structures that reflect upon historical Indigenous partnerships with the Earth within a new socio-economic framework that will support local communities. In addition, it is time for a new economic social order to evolve on a worldwide scale. Thus, a new social order would contribute to humanity’s survival, thereby demonstrating to all peoples that humankind can be consciously responsible to preserve their home environment. Correspondingly, humankind should pursue endeavors that will provide both financial and social security. It is an opportune situation for Indigenous communities to develop strategies that will initiate communal, regional, national and international "real investments" focused on environmental preservation while establishing strength in local governance.
In addition, erecting commercial and non-commercial frameworks that are entirely self-supporting, would include those that provide sustenance from natural resources for communal living. And, these frameworks may be sold (as services, skills, construction, education, etc., resulting in them being real investments for the community) regionally, nationally, and internationally. Thereby, Indigenous communities will create examples of social frameworks that succeed in a sympathetic environmental direction - marketing alternative communal environmental methods of production that support the environmental evolution of the established socio-economic framework (industrial capitalism) to a new form of environmentally conscious industry. Furthermore, examples of different sympathetic environmental structures and their feasibility will be proven from people’s record of successes in their own communities. Technology and science, integrated with Indigenous ideals, could renew human lifestyles at the global level.
Thus it is hoped that by investing in an infrastructure that promotes a World ecological conscious akin to Indigenous ideologies, the evolution and development of this infrastructure will result in the global production of sound environmental goods and services. In other words, human self-interests in the production of commodities will once again evolve, incorporating a futurist and visionary strategy for global production in long-term investment and partnership with the Earth.
For instance, there are many new environmental efforts being exercised that can change the focus of what we produce, and how we produce commodities. To be aware of how we live, and, to care about our everyday actions, is imperative. We must incorporate the production and uses of commodities that stem from an environmentally conscious investment into our communities.
All peoples must remember that we are the keepers of the Earth. The Earth’s environment is what we depend upon for our livelihood despite how we have shaped our global industries. We must recognize that many social constructions are introduced by people from various upper echelons that do so to create a market for their investments. Also, as a World community, we have neglected to demand interests to focus on the future and production of environmentally safe commodities. In many instances, we have become dependent on a certain form of industry that leaves waste and destruction in its wake. Therefore, as it is the time of the Seventh Fire , we must correct the distribution of resources and restore balance on the Earth. An environmentally conscious society can exist - by exercising creative environmental production and distribution.
1.2 Education For The Future
Essential to awareness and change is the role that education plays in shaping our viewpoints and career paths. Social constructions are taught through many educational mediums such as school, radio, television, and literature. Primarily, institutional education influences state social and economic environments.
In education, the function of schooling was to change societies from primitive stages of evolution to complex and civilized stages, as if the process were linear. Colonialism was justified as an attempt to make the non-industrialized societies (which were seen as primitive) advance to a more developed stage.
The assimilation of Canada’s First Peoples children in Residential schools was initially devised by governments to aid Imperialism’s expansion. The immersion of First Peoples was to condition them into the mindset and socio-economic culture of Eurocentric society. Children were taken from their homes and families, exposed to Euro-Christian doctrines, and were physically punished or severely penalized if they did not succumb to European ideological thought. Once reintegrated with their communities, they had difficulties connecting with their people. Moreover, health problems such as starvation, disease, diet, or mental depression occurred due to continual oppression and the absence of connection to Aboriginal culture. In regards to the career options, Canada’s First Peoples were subjected to menial labour positions that did not threaten powerful European leadership or industrial positions. On top of that, capital and other financial methods for economic prosperity, facilitated by society at the time, were made unavailable to Canada’s First Peoples by law in the Indian Act of 1876.
This social construction for Canada’s First Peoples communities, indoctrinated by Imperialism’s expansion, sounds all too familiar when we examine the fate of other Indigenous peoples around the globe. Both historically and currently, Indigenous peoples experience Imperialism’s expansion as exemplified in many Third World countries.
Education in the socialization of peoples can be taught or learned through many different communicative strategies outside of the formal classroom educational institution. Ratna Ghosh (1995) reminds us that other educational avenues include religion, family, colleagues, and news, which deliver opinions valued as educational knowledge. In fact, French sociologist Emile Durkheim argued education as the tool that influences the "methodical socialization of the young generation".
Education can also be delivered through the media. The general public considers media information via radio, television, or paper, their access to state and World news. Although we rely on the media to present whole issues, sometimes information can be misleading. For instance, one of the most publicized natural resource controversies pertains to the Nisga’a Treaty Agreement in British Columbia (B.C.). Hereby the media - as the educational tool - educated the Canadian public on the many provisions in the treaty. However, a variety of media targeted their lands and resource claims to create heated public debates.
One very outspoken writer, Melvin Smith (1995), stated that since 1980, Pacific First Peoples have over-harvested Salmon to gain surplus income.
The governments reluctance to prosecute natives for fishing offenses and the repeal of the marking regulation led to a dramatic increase in salmon poaching. In the lower Fraser River, annual native "food" fishery catches of the valuable sockeye salmon increased from 66,364 pieces in 1980 to 487,198 pieces in 1990 (approximate wholesale value in 1994 prices is $10 million). By 1990, annual native salmon allocations for "food" in the region exceeded over 450 pounds of salmon for every native man, woman, and child.
As a result of Smith’s comments and the media’s powerful influence to reach many people at once, a general negative public opinion of the treaty was formed. Opinionated public statements by Smith naming Nisga’a peoples as destroying Salmon resources were made without the specific details of official reports. (i.e., without education of the facts) Smith avoided the discussion of researched critical arguments. In the end, researched reports specified that Native fishers were not the cause of decreased Salmon harvests.
For example, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) researchers Larkin (1992) and Pearce (1994) stated that fewer Salmon were due to many variables. These variables would prove that the Nisga’a could not be blamed for losses. Salmon measurement systems were inaccurate; water temperature was to warm; industries had displaced wildlife who ate more Salmon for food than normal; and other countries over fished their quotas in Pacific waters. But what’s strikingly evident in this media fiasco and unbelievable that it was allowed, is that the media let Smith paint the image to the public that the Nisga’a were to blame for decreased Salmon stalks. Additionally, Smith did not discuss industrial production and its contribution to decreased Salmon stalks.
A Publisher and Senior Editor of a Vancouver magazine, phrases the uninformed opinion eloquently:
It is amazing how quickly opinions are formed. Right or wrong, people, organizations and cultures lock on to conclusions then obediently defend "their" positions. It takes effort to form an informed opinion. You need source information, unfiltered by the controlled media, and you need the wisdom to know the difference. Today, for instance, it seems most have an opinion about the Nisga’a Treaty. Like the flu, opinions are easy to pick up but harder to shake off. I, too, had "my" opinion formed about the Nisga’a "thing", having listened to Cross Country Check Up on CBC and scanned headlines in the dailies. I was intrigued by my own gullibility and just how out of touch with this issue I was before actually reading any source documents…The unexamined opinion is not worth living.
However, so too it is worth examining the generalization that resource industries will provide careers and increase self-generating revenues for communities. At this point in time, it is impossible to determine ‘what’ resource businesses will yield in the future. Our ecosystem is continually changing to maintain biodiversity because of environmental devastation. Humanity’s future depends on the healthy conditions of natural resources to flourish in order to continue harvesting these resources. And, the only way to achieve a relationship with nature is to understand, through education, what we need to do to establish healthy environmental conditions.
I believe that people need to educate the young towards careers that will implement environmental ideologies within a new scientific socio-environmental framework.
For example, in the last decade First Peoples in Canada have made ground breaking progress in gaining control of their children’s education. Many Native communities have created First Peoples language and cultural study courses. In addition, Elders are being brought into the schools to teach children their community’s Traditional ideologies. This has helped both young and old to fill the void created by the Residential school era whereby many of Canada’s First Peoples were torn from their traditions and linkages to nature.
More closely examined, First Peoples in Canada are trying to integrate their Traditional respect for the land into healing their communities psyche. Education of their children plays an important role for the future and the present wherein, by participating in the structure of the education their children will receive, adults are relearning their traditions and culture. And, Canada’s First Peoples know it is imperative to repair their spiritual beliefs before they can put them into practice.
Therefore, if all peoples can approach social constructions in society with a future vision, it should be possible to repair the damage to resources. However, education is a challenge in any form. Knowing what will be needed as knowledge for the future to govern and sustain people is a learning process. Correspondingly, we must remember that our environment is created by us for the future peoples to live within.
Berberoglu, (1994), describes Indigenous peoples social and political organization of their communities as based on the commune. Therefore a form of socialism or collectivism would more accurately describe the socio-economic and socio-political structure of Indigenous communities. This would indicate that the education of Indigenous ideologies that respect nature, solely functions in harmony with a society that embraces the practice of collective ownership and responsibility of property. Such social cohesion constructions can be seen today in splintered specialized groups such as NGO’s, local group initiatives, and community action projects.
Concurrently in Canada, First Peoples are collectively arguing at the National level for the respect of their Traditional lifestyles. They are equally arguing for the international recognition to develop resource businesses that will sustain the socio-economic framework in their communities.
There are two forms of social organization implied by Canada’s First Peoples. One, is that they want collective community actions, seen as microeconomic initiatives, to lead to, and be recognized through, participation at - two, - the National macroeconomic investment level.
The analysis suggests that Canada’s First Peoples are hinting that this socio-economic cultural construction works together in partnership. Therefore, if this social order is to be constructed, then an environmentally conscious lifestyle and culture, taught to youth, also needs to include skills for adulthood to financially sustain businesses within an industrial capitalist infrastructure. Thereby, if closely guided, this could lead to a new framework that is collectively responsible to regulate environmental conditions in public and private ownership.
1.3 An Example Of Education: A Study On Educational Guidance Towards An Environmentally Sympathetic Worldview
It is apparent that the emphasis for Canada’s First Peoples education today is languages and culture. The curriculum focuses on their community social, economic, and environmental issues. They know that what is first and foremost crucial for their Nations is to repair their culture and languages in order to restore their independence and environmental partnership with the Earth.
Thereby, for this community, understanding the spiritual connection to all living things must first come from within the individual to understand her/his own spirituality. So far, introducing children to Aboriginal culture that includes their relationship with the land, is of paramount importance. And, by living on and from the land, I believe this nourishes within the individual, the awareness of that individual’s spiritual presence in connection to the environment and what it provides.
However, outside of Indigenous societies, Western nations’ connection to land and respect for the environment reveals endless environmental neglect. I still can’t believe that herbicides and pesticides for lawns/gardens are sold in hardware stores and supermarkets - despite Environment Canada stating their dangers to health. What is equally disturbing (when I’ve argued with members of the public who use these regularly), is that Environment Canada lists pesticides and herbicides that are acceptable in certain amounts of distribution – the same ones they declare will kill you in any amounts of use.
In Canada, I surmise that the vast majority of Canadians do not participate in Indigenous healing circles; seasonal camping; or deep country living that force an awareness and connection to the land. Mostly, our populations are heavily concentrated in a city/village built around a concrete atmosphere like the rest of western societies. I am convinced that the separation from the natural environment contributes to our environmental neglect. Is it any wonder that people are unaware of the importance to care for the natural environment on which the artificial environment is placed?
There is a definite need for concentrated environmental education to be taught to all peoples – publicly and in educational institutions. And, this should be swiftly implemented if we want an environment in which to live comfortably.
An example of a weak environmental educational curriculum designed by the Canadian government is the Social Studies Curriculum published by the Department of Indian and Northern Development (DIAND). Although Canada’s educational curriculum is currently in transition, strategies found in this book are still circulating in our society. The curriculum exposes children to methods that ease or retard environmental damage. Unit III for grade nine children covers topics such as environmental stress; world issues pertaining to diminishing resources; and, sustainable environmental development. To answer the problem of environmental sustainability, the curriculum recommends World population control. In terms of communities, the numbers of peoples must match those resources that are immediately available.
Sustainable global development requires that those who are more affluent adopt life-styles within the planet’s ecological means – in their use of energy, for example. Further, rapidly growing populations can increase the pressure on resources and slow any rise in living standards; thus sustainable development can only be pursued if population size and growth are in harmony with the changing productive potential of the ecosystem.
This statement creates many other environmental problems - to many to discuss in this paper. However, one is already under discussion – industry. Using population control as a method to address decreasing resources perpetuates industrial development. In other words, the government’s statement implies that its okay to continue the exploitation of natural resources by over-producing commodities to increase trade, so long as humankind forgets to procreate. Establishing ‘nuclear family’ ethics may temporarily solve some immediate socio-economic restrictions - but in the end, it really just prolongs the final or ultimate retribution of global social and economic ruin due to state policies or lack thereof. Case in point. What’s equally interesting is that when making a comparative analysis of ‘population control education’, I find that this type of education is practiced. For instance, currently there are discussions among ‘Reservation communities’ and the Canadian public concerning Canada’s First Peoples who are being denied band registration because the bands only have enough money and social programs to deal with their immediate members. In addition, established Reservation communities are worried that there are not enough resources, educational or otherwise, available to absorb returning members. These concerns are even more emphasized when Canada’s First Peoples are seeking to institute Self-Government and create self-generated revenues from lands and resources.
Questions of status, the treatment of off-reserve Indians, and problems arising out of Bill C-31 were frequently raised. One of the major complaints was that bands would not take back persons whose Indian status had been restored. Geraldine Desjarlais, Mayor of St. Georges Hill, told the Commission at La Loche that 77 per cent of the residents of her village were people reinstated under Bill C-31, but that the neighbouring Buffalo River Band refused to facilitate their wish to move back to the reserve.
It seems that we as a people do not have the skills to provide for our people by a new economic means. In addition, it advertises that we have not absorbed the humanist values taught throughout our history. Instead, as illustrated in the above example, we have continued to validate the practice of historical social construction – i.e., Reserve population policy that recognizes Band membership via a patriarchal system established by Imperial expansionists.
Therefore, the government of Canada’s population control education, is a prime example of a social construction that has reached and influenced the macroeconomic sphere of society. It does not introduce the need for new initiatives and actions. It supports industrial practice (acquisition, production, and sale), global trade and environmental destruction, further indemnifying Imperial social construction, not stopping it.
Still, sustainability, financial or social, is a global problem. Whether or not one community or state struggles more than others, sustainability should be addressed by creating an environmentally sympathetic World socio-economic structure. I truly believe that we can nourish a new socio-economic order. It is possible to create and implement solutions to prevent environmental destruction by industries.
Inventive solutions for socio-economic practices can be developed through educating people to be aware of their surroundings. This would involve establishing organizations that would monitor and develop new methods for energy, agriculture, technology, and forestry etc. Also, new and environmentally sympathetic industrial methods will reduce and protect the use of natural resources. My suggestions are similar to recommendations made by Swedish scientist Gösta Ehrensvärd. Ehrensvärd‘s ‘crash program’ supports cutbacks to fossil fuels and luxury items. Although not providing a solution, Ehrensvärd believes this will retard environmental decay while new environmental strategies are developed to gain the time needed to deal with restructuring the global community.
Already in line with this thinking is Wilbert Fish of the Peigan community in Montana, U.S.A. Fish has instituted an environmentally conscious program at Blackfeet Community College in Browning. His program donates to the environment without drawing on any significant natural resources to sustain a business. The project, which consists of greenhouses that produce extinct natural plant life, has been Fish’s creative dream for 20 years. Only recently, in 1998, did he get the community’s support to implement the program. So far, the greenhouses have produced 5 species of plants that have never been grown in any other greenhouse on this continent. In addition, Buffalo grass that had almost literally disappeared from the area, is now in the rejuvenation process - thanks to Fish’s vision. Alternatively, to sustain financial capital for this project, Fish markets Echinacea and other herbal medicines that are currently in demand.
Correspondingly in Canada, a document produced from a post-secondary educational facility for Aboriginal students in Winnipeg promotes environmental studies. Courses like Environmental Policy, Environment As An Idea, and Environmental Auditing are some of the choices available for youth to enroll in at the Centre For Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER). On top of that, CIER promotes: "Leadership – Help your community make responsible decisions that respect Mother Earth".
CIER’s curriculum entails extensive examination of environmental issues. Mostly, curriculum issues focus on sustaining ecology that is constantly repairing and balancing biodiversity to compensate for industrial pollution. In addition, great efforts are made to teach students critical thinking skills; creative business techniques; and community problem solving regarding the sustainability of natural resources. This type of educational curriculum is a good start towards educating youth to be environmentally conscientious.
I recommend that synchronization between Canada’s First Peoples educational approach to environmental sciences vis a vis contemporary public technological sciences be implemented in all provincial educational curriculums. This program should correlate between primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions. It is obvious that learning the sciences play a major role in the ability to analyze and create solutions for socio-ecological/economic problems in communities.
In contrast and imperative to the design of CIER’s curriculum, is solidifying a new competitive social and economic structure based on preserving land resources. For instance, course 28-040 offered by CIER called ‘Development, Environment And Socio-Cultural Change’, initiates thought towards this process.
This course will provide students with the theory and skills necessary for accurately assessing social changes flowing from present and future impacts upon the community. Students will identify local socio-cultural systems, and study the interrelationship between socio-cultural constructs and environmental and economic issues and outcomes.
Yet insofar as realizing an actual new social thought pattern, and developing methods from this to study for physical application, this course is unable to state what the immediacy of necessity is - providing economic environmental solutions. It is however, adequate for stimulating critical analysis. Today, it is certainly progressive action to declare that the environment vis a vis culture necessitates intensive study due to our current cultural record for creating pollution and waste. In addition, it seems that creating design adaptations for resources that have been devastated, is equally satisfying for society. The outcome accommodates industrial society by making industrial society feel like there is something being done to fix the problem. However, the truth is that overall, people have got to acknowledge that ‘fixing’ a problem doesn’t eradicate the predicament - it will remain in existence. And, that it is only by increasing our knowledge through education that we can effect actual change through intentional designs that provide solutions.
2.0 Capitalism and Socialism – No Social Or Economic Structure Is Sound
Sociologist Ted Benton (1996) argues that the capitalist production of commodities extends to socialist frameworks. He further states that "ecological catastrophe", (in relation to the capitalist production of commodities), deduced by environmental activists from Marx’s theory on the capitalist society, is undeterminable and requires examination in each particular situation. Benton fulfills this example by arguing the Soviet Union’s ecological destruction under socialist policies as examined by Rossana Rossanda in Die Sozialistischen Länder.
Socialist society has remained a transitional society in a very precise meaning of the word – a social form in which the capitalist mode of production, compounded with new elements, continue to exist and exercise a decisive pressure on the political sphere, on relations between human beings, and on the relationship between rulers and ruled.
For Benton, his central hypothesis is that environmental destruction is a plague produced by the social construction of industrialism. And, Benton perceives the devastation of nature by industries in both the socialist and capitalist economies. Primarily, devastation occurs because of the over-production of commodities to serve economic or political social development.
No less decisive is the pressure that the persistence of the capitalist mode of production exercises on the relationship between man and nature – a pressure that, on very similar lines to industrial production in the West, also leads to the destruction of the environment in the countries where the capitalist class has been expropriated.
So if the destruction of the environment is caused by the industrial production of commodities, (be they under a capitalist or socialist framework), then the problem lies in what and how much of it is produced to sell. More directly, it is the product itself and how it is produced and sold by humankind that destroys nature. Thus, this further verifies Benton’s referral to human versus nature and humankind in a relationship with nature. Moreover, industry doesn’t have a relationship with nature, it has a dictatorship to nature - and therein lies the problem.
For example, most people depend on the hydro company to provide electricity for their homes. There have been alternative electrical power methods developed (such as solar energy) that will provide the same electrical energy for our needs. However, as a people, we are not being given the choice to acquire alternative electrical suppliers.
Instead, we are victims of an economic elitist structure that pushes us through marketing tactics to consume from only one source or one type of product – that being a source in which we pay highly for from an upper echelon institution (private in some cases) – the hydro company. In fact, we do not need to pay for our electricity. Both wind and solar energy are free. For example, solar energy will not ever become obsolete or a commodity that can not sustain us. If this happened, it would mean that the Sun died. Therefore the planet would die anyway and there would be nothing we could do to rectify this problem.
So my question is… why do governments make environmentally safe commodities so difficult for the people to obtain? Furthermore, why do governments support partnerships with private industries, such as hydro companies, when there are alternative sources for the development of commodities that pursue environmentally safe industries? Surely it can not be that hydroelectric power structures believe that commodifying water is the only way to obtain revenues? Because if they haven’t thought this through - that by constructing solar cells or building wind-mills there will still be a need for maintenance and they could still obtain revenues - I would be extremely surprised!
Yet, in the example of energy, what we as the consumer are experiencing, is the social construction of what is viable for us to purchase. In Canada, most of us have been educated to think that the only way to obtain electricity is to pay for it from the hydro company.
For instance, the implementation of The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, a modern ‘treaty’ per se between Canada’s First Peoples and Quebec, resulted from the many catastrophic events initiated by the James Bay Hydroelectric Project. All of the land in this area was once used by Native peoples for hunting to support their economy. The plan also involved damming many water arteries, diverting major rivers, and flooding thousands of acres of lands, stripping wildlife of their food sources. In the end, many animals never returned, Native peoples lost their livelihood, and the worst was that the devastation incurred to the environment would never be rectified.
The irony of our current environmental problems is that there is little co-operation to fix them by elitist structures. They make it hard for us to obtain environmentally conscientious services in order to protect their interests. So heavily is this point made and enforced throughout the World, that we buy whatever the elite have socially constructed as easily obtainable commodities. This theme is culturally perpetuated in our global economic order. What needs to be developed is a new focus that will deliver goods including energy, food, and health care. A new economic focus could provide revenues through investing in a long-term environmental economic plan that creates a different social construction of how to produce commodities. Henceforth, numerous strategies where the aim is to preserve resources while maintaining or increasing revenues must be investigated.
James O’Connor (O’Connor, 1994) argues that any type of capitalist infrastructure, creates poverty, crisis and extreme irreversible damage to the Earth’s ecology. Moreover, O’Connor believes that the capitalist economy produces "serious bottlenecks in the supply of labor power, natural resources, urban infrastructure and space" , that, "threaten the viability of individual capital units". Thus for O’Connor, there are multiple threats constructed once the capitalist infrastructure is in motion that impair sustainable capitalism. One common everyday example supporting O’Connor’s theory is the commodification of trees. Today, prime lumber is more expensive due to curtailed or diminishing resources because of higher costs in production. Herein, capital that was once a malleable commodity is transformed to a limited product. When this happens, the capitalist infrastructure commits the state to intervene, leading to the rationalization of production costs. As a result, the individual capital enterprise then faces "a demand-side crisis or fresh competition from other countries".
For many businesses that are based on the harvesting of natural resources, economic prosperity depends on the quantity and quality of the goods they render. Nevertheless, businesses that expand to meet high demands often find themselves showing reduced profits when the economy slows.
Stagnant or falling profits force individual capitals to attempt to reduce the turnover time of capital, that is, to speed up production and reduce the time that it takes to sell their products.
What’s more, the problem escalates because nature takes a longer time to produce natural resources than that which is foraged for the markets. Inevitably there is no room for expansion or growth, only the relocation or transfer of conditions necessary for producing capital that is used in acquiring profits.
Most natural resources on this planet are subject to continual devastation by industrial practices. Perpetuating global economic policies, instituted by industrial methods of accumulation, support the current global infrastructure. Therefore it is hard to break a cycle that continually holds a financial grip on World societies. For many countries, economic freedom is professed as ‘industrial development’. In order to pay off debts they are forced into industries and forced to cut production costs. But, as a society, we can initiate demands to industries that we simply do not accept their current methods of accumulation, production, and delivery of commodities. This we can achieve by ‘changing the focus’ of what we want to purchase and how we do business.
Adriana Vlachou, Professor of Economics at Athens College in Greece, describes the indoctrination of capital production as needing "natural conditions and resources to be available in requisite quantities and qualities". Vlachou is perfectly clear in her concluding analysis of nature versus capitalism that calls for a new World socio-economic order.
…new political and ideological processes need to be combined with alternative postcapitalist economic (productive and distributive) processes in order to create a new articulation between nature and society. Social movements and struggles can effectively pave the road to (and shape) the new society. But capitals are also in constant change and readjustment with the aim of meeting these challenges. This contradictory interaction, however, is open-ended. It is in this open-endedness that the significance of social movements and struggles is grounded, so that the transcendence of capitalism can be hoped for and worked for.
Additionally, O’Connor further argues in agreement with Vlachou’s recommendations. He states that the first steps towards a social framework that could stimulate a more environmentally conscious social order, stems from communities demanding environmental action from local governments; and designing environmentally conscious production methods.
First, O’Connor suggests that governments highly tax natural resources (like coal, oil, and nitrogen), both for the use of them and pollution they emit. Secondly, more taxes should be applied to unfriendly consumer products such as cans, plastics, cars, boats etc. Thirdly, ‘green label planning’ should be initiated thereby informing consumers what products are exempted from ecological destruction. Therefore, green labels would identify every stage of a commodity’s production and development through to its end use by the consumer. And finally, O’Connor states that a variety of supporting government policies be established to finance projects that will reshape our way of thinking. They are the following:
· Subsidize solar and alternative energy implementations; and,
· Subsidize science and technology research to eradicate harmful toxins; and,
· Establish new environmental methods of travel; and,
· Provide occupational health and safety standards enforced for all peoples; and,
· Develop new science and technology goals in compliance towards a safer natural environment.
The above suggestions would support the evolution of industrial capitalism. It would temporarily reduce pollution until the metamorphosis to a new socio-economic order was functioning in modern societies. But still, neither Benton, O’Connor nor Vlachou can target any one area that would be specific to effecting change by providing a solution to empower a ‘change’ in World societies. Therefore it is important to discover where social constructions are formed, and how they can be changed to provide solutions that are derived from environmentally sympathetic goals.
2.1 Microeconomics, Mesoeconomics and Macroeconomics: Where Do We Apply The Economic Bandaid?
In the past, a collective or communal socio-economic framework functioning in a society has proven to be both profitable and beneficial to a given community. However, history has also demonstrated that these collectives could not survive or compete globally because of the intervention and formation of the state. The state functions by the accumulation of private property that guarantees the state hegemonic strength and wealth. State wealth and power provided the state with the ability to offer social safety mechanisms for its peoples through the production of good and services within its borders - and in trade relations with other nations. In the past, most G7 countries operated from this economic platform until state economic policies initiated private partnerships that encouraged private industrial expenditures in out of state areas. Thereby, in passing economic power to private industry, globalization means to break down the hegemonic control of the state and pass it to private enterprise. With the privatization of goods and services, we see the state loose control of the nation, (as in Third World countries), whereby it can no longer protect the private citizen. The state becomes poor and private industries gain wealth.
The most visible aspect of this impact has been the crisis of public ownership of strategic industries and the wave of privatization that have characterized the 1980s and 1990s. Once again, both political and economic scale factors are at work. At one level, such industries are no longer perceived as strategic. Steel, chemicals, railroad, motor vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding, and basic energy industries were once seen as a core set of industries over which national control was necessary for both economic strength in peacetime and survival in wartime. Today, internationalization of the asset structure of these industries, of the goods they produce, and of the markets for those products – with foreign investment going in both directions – has caused the internationalization of even high-technology industries producing components for weaponry. At the same time, the state is seen as structurally inappropriate for the task of directly providing productive/distributive goods. Public ownership of industry is thought so inherently inefficient economically as to render ineffectual its once perceived benefits of permitting national planning, providing employment, or enlarging social justice.
In the above example, citizens of the state consist of those who creatively control the economy (the political, technological, industrial, and social elite) and those who work to achieve the elite’s social construction of the economy (the middle class and labourers). Thereby, the argument indicates that the wealthy become wealthier and the less affluent become poorer. Corporations and what they produce, govern the economy in globalization. The private citizen’s welfare and environmental welfare in the production of state institutional or industrial structures are no longer seen as a state priority. It is the corporations that dictate to the state the political policy - to ensure priorities for industry by solidifying privatized industrial profits.
Monetarist and private sector supply-side economists deny that the state has ever been in a position to intervene in these matters in an economically efficient way and argue further that the possibility of playing such a role at all in today’s globalized world has utterly evaporated in the era of "quicksilver capital" flowing across border. However, even social liberal and other relatively interventionist economists nowadays regard the battle to retain the homogeneity of the national economy to be all but lost and argue that states are condemned to tinkering around the edges.
The globalization of trade endangers the social and economic existence of the private citizen in the state. Furthermore, in weaker states it supports the destruction of the environment. Because of export processing zones or free trade zones, the state may not intervene in the industrial process. The state becomes powerless to impose rules and regulations for the protection of resources. As a result, a neo-liberal movement ensues promoting the "rights of the individual against those of the coercive state". Thereby, economic policies support private industry, and leave the masses vulnerable to private industrial social construction.
An example of an embarrassing economic ‘situation’ for Canadians that is non-environmentally conscious, involves the Toronto based Tiomin Corporation. Tiomin has negotiated a contract with the Kenyan government to mine the Kenyan coastline in the year 2000. Tiomin has signed a deal to expropriate lands from villagers for the extraction of Titanium. Already, Tiomin has paid some farmers retribution to give up their lands.
The ancestral lands of the Digo people will be stripped of all vegetation during the mining process, as titanium rich sands are extracted at the rate of 1,500 tons per hour. These impoverished subsistence farmers have already begun to sign over the surface rights to Tiomin for paltry sums based on their land’s current usage rather than the mineral wealth that lies below its surface. Following mining, the soil structure of their land will be lost, since re-vegetation of sands is difficult, extremely expensive and, in fact, has never been demonstrated to be feasible.
The damage that will be done by the Tiomin Corporation to the environment, wildlife, aquatic life, and human life, is insurmountable.
Evidence of the impact of global trade can be seen in many Third World countries where health and safety for laborers is ‘high risk’ in the work environment. Simultaneously, they are paid very little income for the work that they perform. Weaker states do not intervene in business to set safety and health standards or to decree a minimum-working wage. Therefore if globalization of the economy supports a global neo-liberal attitude, directly profiting those whose abilities can control economic power - it will leave the masses of all states behind to fend for themselves as they become the victims of social constructions by privileged upper classes. The globalization of trade has increased this risk - even in stronger states. In addition, globalizing the current economy will lead to a path of global environmental destruction (human, land, animal), because it is without checks and balances (such as state intervention) to control how capital is developed. In order to rectify the current wave of global structures, people need to assert new environmentally conscious values to future political interests, business/trade, and investments.
For example, Robert Cox (1995) describes the globalization of products, goods, and services as not only creating weak or marginalized social structures, but also supporting "environmental destruction". Cox suggests that non-focused "relations among peoples" and the "relationship of human organization to nature" has caused the current economic World order.
The aspect of relations among peoples has also been seen as a trade-off between environment and development. Rich countries have appropriated most of the world’s non-renewable resources and done most of the polluting. Poor countries respond to the rich countries’ efforts to press environmentalism upon the poor by demanding some support for their aspirations to become wealthier. If they are to be precluded from doing what the rich have already done to the environment, they expect some compensation.
Furthermore, Cox prefers to call the environment the ‘biosphere’. Thereby, he stresses that humans should not be separating humankind from nature - drawing attention to the fact that humankind and nature are interdependent. By establishing these parameters, Cox is able to argue that when humankind acts aggressively with nature, nature reacts actively back. Specifically, Cox points out that global warming, ozone layer depletion, and "the decline of world fish stocks", (among other planetary imbalances currently occurring), are all part of how nature is telling humankind to stop devastating and exploiting what has been provided to sustain life on this planet.
Ironically, this is what Indigenous ideologies have always professed. For example, Joseph Bruchac (1993) an Abenaki Native American, reiterates humanity’s obligation and interconnectedness with the Earth.
When we follow our original instructions, we are equal to the smallest insects and the greatest whales, and if we take the lives of any other being in this circle of Creation it must be for the right reason – to help the survival of our own people, not to threaten the survival of the insect people or the whale people. If we gather medicinal herbs, we must never take all that we find, only a few. We should give thanks and offer something in exchange, perhaps a bit of tobacco, and we should always loosen the earth and plant seeds so that more will grow.
Clearly this argument is practical. And, the message sent is applicable to all the relations that humanity engages in to sustain human life. The question is, how do we define our evolution - in our progress of technologies and industries? Or, is our evolution in our ability to understand the spirit of all other life which whom we share this privilege of living? And, where do we begin a new social construction that will keep our sympathetic environmental promises in a World that is rapidly becoming a global community of free markets?
2.2 Globalization In Question: What’s The Real Target?
At the macroeconomic level, much of the emphasis for business has been on global trade. Global trade has created the development of interdependencies, rather than state (community) self-sufficiency’s through real investments. The damage that has been done through global trade is extremely evident in states that suffer high unemployment leading to poverty and death by starvation. Environmentally speaking, without investment in the people or other life forms, this could lead to nothing to trade with when resource capital of the state is depleted. Realistically, without real investment in the immediate environment of any community, there will be no resources to act as capital - to be produced as commodities - that would create a business transaction for trade.
Therefore, a key element to control the production of commodities and to protect our environment is through a new socio-economic construction. This would stem from a ‘cultural’ conscious that I call a Change of Focus. I believe that we must strive for a global culture that will recognize the importance of our environment, and accept the environment as humanity’s only resource to ensure our survival. We must come together to adopt a new cultural identity – one for environmental protection and creation of further environmentally conscious acts.
Currently in Canada many communities, groups, specialized institutions and businesses, are working to achieve a more environmentally conscious community. They have achieved this through erecting effective structures that combat issues or political policies which have in the past, led to socio-economic ruin.
Stewart Perry and Mike Lewis (1994) identify RESO (Le Regroupement pour la relance économique et social du sud-ouest ) as one of Canada’s strongest examples of community economic and social development. Founded in Montreal’s southwest district in 1989, RESO originally stemmed from a community organization called PEP (Programme économique de Pointe St-Charles) where the residents collectively decided to combat an industrial infrastructure that was rapidly declining.
Technological advances and industrial progress infiltrated Montreal after WWII, and the Lachine Canal industries, (established from as early as 1850), were shifted to locations that could accommodate more spacious industrial activities. The community that had once depended so heavily on the St. Lawrence River traffic that serviced Montreal merchants and manufacturers, suffered a withdrawal of industries and peoples. Many of those who remained could not find employment, and poverty ensued. There were many community initiatives over a span of 40 years such as increased housing projects and retail businesses.
However, a successful and stable socio-economic condition within the community was still unattainable. The community lacked these initiatives because they had no foundation for investment. The fundamental basics of growth in commerce could not be solidified. There was no support for commerce by consumers because there were no consumers to support the commerce. People were unemployed and could not spend money in their community.
It wasn’t until 1984 that nine communities joined to form PEP and conducted a researched renewal strategy. What they found out through an economic and cultural study, was that by concentrating on a multifaceted socio-economic strategy, socio-economic stability in the community was achievable.
The report issued in the spring of 1985, offered statistical analysis to show the continued decline of the area despite millions of dollars of provincial aid for welfare and other programs. The report concluded that a locally designed and controlled strategy could reverse the process and create wealth rather than dependency by pursuing a multi-dimensional program in commercial and industrial development, job training, assistance for small business and community services.
PEP’s plan included the development of job skills; networking; funding initiatives; and commercial/industrial development stimulating stability in their community. However, despite the energy and preparedness of PEP to construct an agreeable and stable infrastructure in the community, there were still many obstacles to overcome. Increasing unemployment and industrial shifts spurred unions and other coalitions to join PEP by participating in conjunction with PEP’s primary goals. PEP instigated the birth of many other collectives and coalitions that acted as check and balancing systems. Also, PEP studied the successes and failures of various socio-economic structures in the community. Businesses, workers, unions and the unemployed established committees to increase attention to economic opportunities and entrenched a communicative socio-cultural scheme throughout the community.
Urgence Sud-ouest, a broad-based pressure group of unions, local institutions, and community organizations, arose out of the Pointe St-Charles and the nearby neighbourhoods along the canal to make waves throughout the area. Their protest demonstrations were well organized and well attended. The local politicians got the message and established their own group of city, provincial, and federal elected officials (for all parties) to address the local job crisis. The city put its plans on hold for rezoning the industrial areas, and the federal government awarded a major contract to a local manufacturing facility. The community was beginning to have an influence on the critical events that affected it.
PEP activities expanded further with CREESOM (Committee for Economic and Employment Revitalization in Southwest Montreal), and became known as a serious Community Economic Development group (CED). PEP implemented the l’Institut de formation en développement économique communautaire (IFDEC), creating a CED training and development program with the University of Quebec. PEP set a precedent for broader partnerships with other CED programs throughout Quebec, and held an international conference in Montreal that drew the attention of CED organizations throughout the globe. RESO followed in the steps of CREESOM, advocating a more national and international agenda of CED activity - promoting and strengthening the private business sectors in communities through the PEP networking/development platform.
What is definitely evident in the examples of PEP/RESO and the successes achieved by various committees, is their commitment to investment through diligent research. PEP/RESO were committed to find a socio-economic structure that worked in their community. The amount of supporting ‘check and balances’ systems that were constructed to analyze each step a committee undertook to acquire socio-economic stability in the community, helped to formulate a successful investment strategy. And, this was secured at the microeconomic level, providing a strong foundation on which to base a future overall economic strategy – a strategy that could influence macroeconomic social constructions.
At the time of this report by Perry and Stewart (1994), RESO was analyzed as a powerful and dynamic community economic coalition that would continue to effectively solve socio-economic disparities within the Lachine Canal communities. Further, this analysis’ ‘recipe for success’ is based on the original evolutionary growth of PEP over the previous 10 years - and, the many multifaceted avenues in which PEP traveled to secure a social construction that was economically viable for the Lachine Canal communities. Thus, by PEP/RESO working for improvement of social conditions at the microeconomic level, a change in both the social and economic existence of these communities - for the better - was possible.
Clearly it is obvious by the example of PEP/RESO, that by implementing social change at the community level, the possibility of further influencing the birth of a new socio-economic conscious can be cultivated. Furthermore, social and economic evolution is achievable – and, if the blueprint or strategy specifically targets human culture to strive towards an environmentally sympathetic macroeconomic impact, it will be unbeaten.
3.0 The Framework For Global Enhancement
It is blatant that action to change governments must come from the people. Equally evident is that a strategy for change must first be developed, believed in by people, and applied by people in order to succeed. For example, Marx wrote a strategy for revolution that he thought would "overthrow the capitalist system and liberate human potential" . In addition, Marx predicted the collapse of the capitalist economic system splintering apart because the "centralisation of the means of production and the socialisation of labour, at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument". Also, Marx was misinterpreted greatly by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who justified Totalitarian dictatorship using Marxian concepts to control the people. But the mere fact that Marx developed a blueprint to direct the masses towards an objective, and that this was enacted numerous times, (Russia, China, Vietnam, South America ), is astounding.
Because Marxism/Communism/Socialism has succeeded in stemming from the community level, these political theories give credence to the fact that social change and construction can rise from a microeconomic level to a macroeconomic sphere. Henceforth, the following is a strategy I have created to amalgamate Indigenous ideologies within a new global environmental sympathetic social order. I call this strategy Global Enhancement (GE). (See Diagram 1, p. 52)
The flow of the chart begins from the bottom, building a strong foundation to achieve a cultural Change of Focus.
GE’s sole purpose is for use by NGO’s, coalitions, community groups, collectives and specialized institutions. Specialized groups that believe in a new social construction to bring about global economic and environmental changes, are to use this framework as a strategy. By creating a new socio-economic order through changing the social constructions of societies, it will influence the production of commodities. Thus, it will be possible to reinvent the source from which a product is developed, and the product itself that is to be realized.
The platform from which GE stems, is called a Change of Focus (CF). GE is a cultural strategy aimed at ‘changing the focus’ of our current global socio-economic system to be sympathetic towards the Earth’s environment and peoples. The CF platform is where the reconstruction of language, perceptions, and abilities (within the social, political, and economic framework of society) is consciously transformed to compliment our planet. At the same time, strategies that support economic development in communities must be developed to coincide with the environmental mandate of the GE framework.
There are currently various group actions that have been initiated to replace the destructive consequences (human/environment) of industrial development with a new mode of production that is economically and environmentally conscious. Several specialized groups are working to improve how humankind relates with each other and our surroundings. However, the results are slow and loosely effective - often remedying a situation for a short term - while at the same time remaining entangled with policies and procedures remnant of existing political systems and policy structures. A recent example of an ineffective solution to a crisis would be the ‘forgiveness of debt’ to Third World countries by G8 countries. These countries will have proportionately figured monies deleted from their loans - paid for by stronger countries - yet they still remain entrapped by a world system that propagates yet "another chain of economic and political turmoil".
Earlier I mentioned the Tiomin Corporation of Canada and the impact that their mining will have on the state of Kenya. The Africa, Ncha ya Uvumbuzi (ANU) is a Kenyan coalition organized against environmental destruction in industrial development. For ANU, environmental devastation is wielded by the "spiritually immature culture" that has neglected to live "in harmony with one-self, one’s neighbours and one’s environment." A central aim of ANU is to restore the African culture to ancient beliefs - those that were respectful and in harmony with the Earth. ANU hopes that through the education of ancient culture and environmentally dangerous situations, that people will be able to challenge these actions - thereby rectifying the damage that has or can be caused in many African communities. More or less, ANU feels that hazardous environmental policies reflect western social and economic values.
We are particularly interested in restoring to African peoples a sense of dignity and empowerment by revisiting African history which lies in tatters, hidden under a preponderance of misunderstanding and plain lies…We also aim to challenge the widely held notion that any and all economic growth is good. We feel that, above all, improvement in the quality of life is what should drive economic growth, and that all economic activity should be made to abide by this goal.
ANU supports the Traditional ideologies of Indigenous peoples. ANU believes humanity has stepped "out of tune with nature". Furthermore, ANU is working towards ‘real investment’ with their work. They are committed to network with other specialized groups to achieve their goals and objectives. Most importantly, ANU believes that change of values via social construction for both social and economic evolution, must come from a microeconomic level.
The GE strategy calls for communities, collectives, groups, institutions, NGO’s, etc., to come together in one common interest that is a key overall element supplemental to the mandate of each organization’s effort. This element is education - and addresses the cultural perception of humankind in relationship with the Earth demanding that a ‘change of focus’ begins with the mass education of the people in any given society. Therefore, communities, collectives, groups, institutions, NGO’s, etc., (specialized groups), are to send lobbyists and educators to go out publicly to work with communities - educating the communities by presenting researched arguments with objectives for change. Simultaneously, specialized groups are to send out people to educate local governments. (See Diagram 2, p. 56)
The flow of the chart indicates the dynamics that influence a synchronous change of social consciousness.
In United States, the League of Women Voters Educational Fund (LWVEF) has launched many ‘wetlands’ education projects "developed and implemented by local Leagues of Women Voters across the country." Conceptualized in 1996, the LWVEF educates American citizens on the importance of wetlands conservation and protection. The project is funded in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, who have the financial resources to train localized League members and speakers at national workshops on wetlands management. Topics that were essential to fortifying the LWVEF plan for a national project included the following educational lectures:
· The function and value of wetlands and their role in the watershed national policy on wetlands;
· Media relations, community education and public involvement strategies for local leaders; and,
· Strategy and experience sharing among participants – a field trip to a nearby wetland.
To pave the way of the LWVEF’s platform (which I call and identify as a change of focus ‘platform’), all of the national conference attendees were asked to initiate wetlands educational programs in their hometowns after the workshop finished. During 1997 and 1998, 17 local wetlands education projects were established in the U.S. from New York to Florida and across the continent to Oregon. Also, a web site called the Wetlands Web Walk was developed to help local communities’ effect change through educational actions - free for public access. In whole, the strategy was designed for public access and outlined specific target areas necessary for a successful campaign.
In retrospect regarding the GE framework, these target areas identify the strategy and momentum needed to ensure a new social construction’s victory and validity in task. Henceforth, the GE strategy calls for the duplication of the following procedures by specialized groups (at the microeconomic level) to entrench their commitment to succeed, and, to aid in building the foundation to create a cataclysmic condition resulting in a new social construction:
· Identify Leaders and Get a Commitment: To succeed, your outreach effort needs strong leadership. Select an individual or a group of people to direct the project. A leader must be committed, able to generate enthusiasm and work with partners and inspire the group to make it all happen. The leadership style you select should fit the needs of your project and the talents of your volunteers. Some projects succeed with a single leader who takes responsibility for meeting objectives. Others work well with a committee of volunteers who make decisions together and delegate tasks.
· Identify the interests of the Community: Is your community aware of the value of your project? Do you want to focus on the future by educating the children or focus on the present by targeting adults? Do you need to start with basic education or is your community ready for action? Develop goals and objectives for the project based on current community awareness levels and needs. Your project goal and your target audience are interdependent.
· Build Valuable Partnerships: It is tough to go it alone. A number of organizations in your area are probably interested in your topic. Identify these groups and ask them to join your project. With partners you are stronger, more influential and have more resources available to the project. Also, partners share the workload and the expense. Some partners choose to remain in the background; others will want an active role in the project. Specialized groups around the country have partnered with local businesses, schools and government agencies, as well as with other citizen volunteer organizations to sponsor a variety of programs.
· Fundraising: Be Creative: Partnerships create a bigger pool of resources. However, your partners may not always be your source of funding. Sponsorships, grants and donations can help you meet part or all of your financial needs.
· Package and Deliver Your Message; Engage the Community!: Based on the needs you identify in your community and your selected target audience, package your project appropriately. You may need to raise awareness and promote understanding before you can get your target audience involved. Identify where your community is - on this continuum - and package your effort accordingly. Each specialized group project exhibits this targeted approach to community action. Take a look.
In Oregon, the Lane County League of Women Voters wetlands project partnered with the Native community to produce a wetlands video. The video influenced many adjunct communities - peeking the interests of local education programs and community peoples - even spurring a national conference on wetlands in 1997 sponsored by the Terrene Institute in Washington, D.C. Since then, the video has been progressively marketed across the U.S., and has successfully been distributed to many educational institutions; school boards; community groups; and other informative events.
Therefore, as demonstrated by the wetlands initiative: Instituting education at the community level with well thought out researched arguments; and simultaneously pressuring local governments for change through education, creates the seed of a new socio-cultural construction - from there - growth will occur. Our children are the future, and they, with their parents support, will construct the World’s future societies. So as I believe, the target audience in a community for the success of a specialized project includes both young and old.
As we look further from CF towards the mesoeconomic level, the process for change is already underway. Local governments now have to extend their communities wishes to state governments. Without the support of local governments, political groups will be disassembled by voters support on issues for change. Thereby, state governments will have to change if they are to remain in power, and commit allegiance to objectives demanded by local governments. At this point, the pressure is on to comply with local community reasoning. The Table Economy (TE) which includes a large part of the state, such as a province of peoples, demand change. State governments will have to find a way to cope with the demands of the people whom they represent. They will need to invent new methods to solve problems and objectives for which they are obligated to answer. I call this stage ‘visionary production’, where new methods are developed to sustain life in all aspects for immediate action and future actions on our planet and beyond. (See Diagram 1, p. 52)
Visionary production is where the creative process is engaged to evoke critical analysis and integration of skills to the invention process. People begin to constantly demand goods and services that are at all times beneficial to humankind. Partnerships with peoples and networking with peoples create policies and procedures between groups that work towards the constant solving or ‘rehashing’ of environmental problems. It is here that solutions are developed in what I call Accessible Qualities (AQ) – what is accessible to us without damage to the environment.
For instance in Toronto, the Metro government which consists of 13 departments and "13 agencies, boards and commissions" , are responsible for their public actions to the Environment and Public Space Committee of Metro Council. This committee is one of six public committees that oversee "specific service areas for the public." In April 1999, the City of Toronto released a public discussion document on the newly formed Environmental Task Force (1998) that was established by City Council to "help Toronto respond to its environmental challenges."
Furthermore, it is only recently that the City of Toronto’s environmental policies and procedures have been formed to seriously entrench a strong commitment to environmental issues because of both public pressures and obvious environmental hazards. Dr. Franz M. Hartmann who is employed by the City of Toronto, and whose Ph.D. dissertation (York University, January 1999) discusses urban environmental politics in Toronto, states that there were many years of intricate community environmental negotiations with local governments to achieve today’s Environmental Task Force. The interaction between the many Toronto communities and municipal governments - to a great extent - were the communities ideas and pushed by them to succeed in changing the focus of politicians and policy makers.
Composed of City Councilors, City staff, and representatives from business, labour, education and environmental communities, the Task Force is currently in the process of developing Toronto’s very first environmental plan, one that would make the City a world leader in environmental governance.
The Task Force discussion paper is weighty when it comes to governance, which I believe is very good. For example, the Task Force acknowledges that governance is how ‘things get done’, but admits "while the decisions we make are important, so are the ways in which we make decisions." This newly formed Task Force initiative recognizes the community’s input and gives credibility to community groups efforts when it comes to environmental challenges of government policies, procedures, and decisions. Thereby, the Task Force is endorsing the many environmental movements and processes, precluding its birth, and affirming that they were only successful because of community environmental involvement and demands.
By the community demanding a precedent for all to follow, the state is forced to determine what the design of the mesoeconomy will be - and, has put into action the governance guidelines or infrastructure that will best suit the economy from the CF platform devised by specialized community groups. The ‘table economy’ is the socio-cultural plane that launches all state actions declaring ‘accessible qualities’, and includes all classes - creating a social construction navigated from forces at the community level. (See Diagram 1, p. 52) Once a new social construction from the table economy is determined, every class structure undergoes social transformation synchronically.
The City of Toronto’s Environmental Task Force calls their plan The Evolution Towards A New Framework For Decision-Making. The plan calls for the interconnectedness of equity, environment, and economy, to realize sustainability. By employing the Bruntland Commission (1987) concept, the plan states that community sustainability will be attained through social equity; a healthy environment; and a healthy economy thus providing a "solid foundation for environmental governance". Therefore, the plan advocates that the "benefit of a sustainability approach is that it strives to identify solutions that benefit the environment, communities and the economy", and that "sustainability inspires integrative thinking."
The Evolution Towards A New Framework For Decision-Making
(The flow of the chart indicates how the integration of the 3 mandates amalgamates to consider a sustainable governing framework for the environment.)
However, the plan correspondingly declares that policy and processes "refer to different elements of the sustainability framework." Thereby, I believe that this can allow for the evolution of natural processes in the moment of a community environment that is continually readjusting its governance ethic to provide community sustainability.
Applying sustainability principles to civic life would not only shift how we think about the outcomes of decisions, it also would suggest changes in the way decisions are made.
What we are witnessing in the above declaration is the Change of Focus platform manifesting itself to secure and stabilize a new social construction. Ideally, as the social construction is strengthened, the Table Economy becomes the centrifugal force instigating the expansion of social construction to the macroeconomic sphere.
Thus, if the Task Force plan allows for the identification and distinction between sustainability as an action, or governance function, it is then admitting that it can be associated to a limited time frame dealing with the immediate social concerns, economy, and environment in a community. However, sustainable governance that is within itself moldable to meet the community’s needs, will really be or take the form thereof, as a non-sustainable framework. And, by being in an environment that is creative due to the demands forced upon it by constant environmental change, a new evolving social construction is stabilized and likely to succeed further.
Thus, in the GE framework, the impact of CF rolling upwards puts into action the inherent evolution of creativity for the production of environmentally conscious goods. The value associated to production becomes ‘accessible qualities’ - thought of as ‘living’ in all that is harvested, created, developed, invented, and borrowed. Creative Critical Growth (CCG) is conceived to inspire lasting environmentally sympathetic industries based on what we produce from evolutionary life on earth.
Since all life is connected to evolution, and evolution is an inherent quality of all life, humanity should not be disengaged from evolution as it has been in the past - divorced from nature. Thereby, humanity must evolve itself - by participating in evolution as a creation that is creating the furthering of the evolutionary track for all life.
Every human and other life form is capable of creation. Life reflects the process and practice of evolution as the evolutionary process defines new perimeters. Therefore, sustainability is only the discourse used to describe an action. It is a word that is associated to stability - a word to rectify a desperate situation, such as environmental chaos, thus professing comfort for human life.
However as I discussed in chapter 1, there is no such thing as sustainable resources, or sustainability within a community framework that is in constant change because of ‘vivid’ and ‘polymorphous’ variables. A community must be ready to absorb environmental crisis and rectify crisis by implementing stability through the example of solutions (such as the GE framework) that act to adjust to crisis delivered by invention. The danger in sustainable frameworks, although sustainability is professed as pursuing measures that establish an overall healthy environment, is that actions could be stifled to exclude the evolution of the environment and would thereby be indicative of past social constructions.
The following governance structure is a draft operations chart on how the community and the City of Toronto can work towards creating a new social construction. The chart reiterates the necessity of integrative action between the policy makers and the community.
(The flow of the chart indicates the networking, partnerships, and reactions that will aid in the governance process.)
We must also evolve in our language to reconstruct its use to describe an image. ‘Accessible Qualities’ means to maintain excellence of what we deem is accessible or obtainable. And, as a result of demanding excellence, this ideology is further developed to skillfully analyze ‘Creative Critical Growth’ (CCG). This is where humankind thinks ahead and considers the ramifications of actions that are to be implemented in producing what I call ‘Benefits’ - the products resulting from CCG. Both short term (immediate actions) and most importantly, long term actions (future generation policies, procedures, production) are critically analyzed and are only accepted if beneficial to humanity and the Earth, prior to implementation. (See Diagram 1, p. 52)
In the history of humanity, language has commanded our actions or views thus shaping how we perceive ourselves, our surroundings, and our movements in our environment.
Within the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) report, there are many statements regarding the assimilation of First Peoples and that assimilation occurred because of a European perception and point of view. Coexisting in history is the concept that cultural appropriateness has suffered as many clashes as economic and political constructions have caused grievances.
For instance, in the Caribbean area known today as Cuba and Haiti, the Chief of the Taino peoples gave Columbus his Gold Tiara. He thought this equal in "gift giving" in return of the ruby cape Columbus gave him for his peoples hospitality. To Columbus, the gold crown was a sign that the Taino people surrendered their lands to the Spanish. Columbus's ships returned a year later to enslave the Taino peoples - forcing them to provide the Spanish with raw materials such as ore, gold, food, etc., which they shipped back to Spain. Eventually, all the Taino people died from their enslavement because of the misinterpretation of a mineral object that was perceived as a wealthy and valued commodity. To the Taino, their perception of mineral wealth was one in partnership with nature, thereby appreciating nature by extending its construction in a creation with which they would proudly display. But, to the European, mineral wealth was seen as an Earth chemistry that provided power. What happened between the European culture and the Taino culture, is that the European culture perceived this mineral wealth to what they called in their language as ‘gold’ – and, they associated its use to a business transaction of payment for a Nation.
Lisa Phillips (1996) of the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University discusses the power of technical discourses and the role language plays in "shaping the fiscal order and in reproducing social and economic inequalities."
The glorification of empirical and scientific knowledge in Western cultures can be traced back to the Enlightenment period of the 16th and 17th centuries, and what Susan Bordo has so aptly termed "the flight to objectivity. Bordo describes the reconstruction of philosophical and epistemological paradigms that occurred during this period as involving a radical separation of human intellect from the body and physical nature. The organic universe of the Middle Ages was thus shattered, and nature revisioned as a mechanistic force to be brought under control by a superior human intelligence and will. The human body, its senses and appetites, were constructed in total opposition to reason, and as the chief impediment to knowledge and truth. The purest, most reliable knowledge became that which was free of any perspective derived from bodily location in time and space. The legacy of this reconstruction has been a model of scientific inquiry in which the subject and object, the knower and the known are required and assumed to be radically separate.
Phillips argues that language is used to construct a society’s socio-economic and socio-cultural structure. Therefore, what people deem truth and knowledge in a society "sees language as a site of struggle and a medium for the exercise of power." The way we perceive our environment, and state responsibility for our actions, are consequently dictated by what our society rules as true or false. Power separates the true from the false, giving credence to role of the true by implanting "specific effects of power attached to the true" within the socio-political infrastructure of a society.
Thus, in changing the focus to achieve GE, it is imperative that we change our language to be descriptive of our end results. Therefore ‘benefits’ means attributes, or complimenting nuances created for the uses of humankind. By using language that is positive and respectful of creation, it will direct humankind to create in a respectful and positive manner – ideally mandating production in consideration for long term goals of environmental ‘real’ investment. Meaning that, our environment will be thought of as a living quality - we can never do without our environment if we are to exist.
In addition, the analytical projection of such environmental partnership with discourse will be - most importantly - clarified in what is ‘true’ - lending the power of the ‘true’ in language to protect the environment. Thereby, language has a role to play in providing the social order that will shape social perception, constructing future criterion for the continuation of an environmentally sympathetic socio-economic construction in society.
The production of benefits that I call ‘creation of benefits’ must be from an environmentally visionary focus. By this time, what I call ‘Global Sympathetic Governance’ (GSG) is born. GSG is identified at this level as various corporate enterprises or conglomerates that set the example of global acquisitions, production, labour, trade, and finances. Ultimately, GE is reached, and a form of evolution is taking place depicted by strong foundations of change - ingrained at the microeconomic level - stemming from the people for the people. (See Diagram 1, p. 52)
Canadian Adam Kahane (Rosell, 1995), Director of Participative Strategic Planning at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, describes four scenarios that could possibly emerge globally in the millennium. Published in 1995 by Steven Rosell, The Parliamentary Centre Director, the book recalls the discoveries of a roundtable workshop group consisting of scholars, Canadian government workers, and corporate workers on the future of the Canadian economy :
Adam Kahane then led us through essentially an inductive process to develop a set of scenarios for how the information society might shape the environment for governance over the coming decade. Prior to the workshop, we had worked in smaller groups to identify some of the major certainties and uncertainties in how the environment for governance might evolve in the information society. Early in the workshop we reviewed the reports of those small groups and synthesized them into a preliminary, agreed list of key certainties and uncertainties.
Rosell’s team wrote "short causal" scenarios which Kahane called "snippettes" , illustrating four diverse futures for the Canadian Economy. Influential variables such as education, technology, culture, environment, unemployment, etc., were all considered and interrelated with the many angles of socio-economic potentials in governance. The following chart was designed to forecast the four scenarios:
(As conventionally measured)
Of these four scenarios, (which are named in context to their titles), the Windjammer scenario best describes the change leading to the analysis of the macroeconomic sphere or global enhancement strategized through the implementation of the GE framework.
The Windjammer scenario:
Envisions a new social consensus emerging around a low or no-growth economy, at least as conventionally measured. As in the Titanic scenario, the information economy does not produce enough high-paying jobs to replace those being lost, and there is low or no economic growth. But, unlike Titanic, a series of events triggers growing public awareness and concern, and action is taken in time to change course…Possibilities might include the loss of major regional industries (the Cod fishery many times over), major environmental horror stories, increasing stories of people falling through the fraying social safety net, and incidents that dramatize a loss of Canadian independence in the continental and global marketplace.
Rosell’s team continues to describe events that finally force the government to acknowledge peoples concerns and invite their public representatives’ participation by implementing a "new national strategy". The strategy enables "Canada to be internationally competitive while sustaining Canadian communities, social fabric and environment." Such a strategy develops further by example, propelling Canada as a world leader in "the new, knowledge-based industries, and in the application of less resource and energy-intensive technologies to existing industries".
In a sense, I think this is what Marx had intended when he stated that "In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all". Therefore, as I believe, the enactment of community demands is a solution to environmental problems that can be freely expressed to change the social construction of global societies…Albeit, it is strategerized to compliment the effort!
In this paper, I have discussed the historical significance of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous societies. In Canada, by looking at the framework constructed by Imperial governance, and, by analyzing the steps taken to entrench this framework, I have been able to establish the mechanism of control for the creation of such a social construction – Imperialism’s expansion known today as globalization. Furthermore, by identifying how social construction is matured, it is possible to implement a strategy that will alter globalization’s course. Thus, there is the ability distinguished to formulate a new social construction that is flexible, and open to change - encouraging direction to penetrate the socially constructed fabric of society.
In chapter one, the discussion began by looking towards the future for societies that are already fortified with a social construction anchored to what Rosell (1995) would call the Titanic scenario:
There is a lack of understanding that the economy has fundamentally changed – from labour-intensive, industrial economy to a capital- and technology-intensive, information economy (where not only new sectors, but also traditional manufacturing and resource industries, need to become more technology intensive to be competitive).
Thereby, chapter one discussed the importance of nature, and the partnerships established with nature by people historically - heavily debating the future consequences of divorce from nature, where the environment will no longer sustain itself or a human community.
It is discovered that it is now time for all peoples to act and take the lead in creating the social construction of our society. The comprehension of our environment as the primary source to sustain life must take precedence over all else in the World.
Therefore, by setting the example for all to follow, people will fulfill their role as the keepers of the Earth, while at the same time, they will be instituting and provoking the change of many other communities with the objective of creating communities that envelope environmental sympathies.
Also in chapter one, the importance of education as a facilitator of social construction and the role education will play at the microeconomic level in stabilizing or establishing a strong foundation, is discussed. It is at the microeconomic level where people can launch their renewed community frameworks – and, education is supported as the instrument from which change will occur. Education must incorporate the principles of human/nature partnerships, stressing the sacredness of this joining and positively thwarting any abandonment of environmental sympathies. The level of education and the influence of education in creating social perception/opinion, will dictate how all people will harvest a healthy environmental future for governance in a state. Chapter two analyzes social and capital movements as governing bodies in the industrial age. The mere fact that neither movement have proved beneficial to humankind in relation to the infrastructure created globally, condemns their grip on World societies. Ecological and environmental devastation, coupled with human losses, have crippled governments exposing them to conditional terms of governance that continue to weaken their existence. It is here that the discussion immediates the consensus for change - global change - listing pressures that can effectively drive a wedge between the old and the ‘older’ governance models, thus acting as a catalyst. O’Connor (1994) and Vlachou (Benton, 1996), although not providing a World economic solution, clarify the perspective that the time to act to establish a new structural global condition - is now – before it is really to late. The pattern depicted in this chapter shows the state loosing control in the global economy - with little or no influence over global markets. Corporation’s rule without checks and balances established by governments - trading and farming, digging into whomever or whatever it takes to ensure preposterous profits. In their wake, both human and environmental tragedy increases, with no way of stopping the disarray of chaos and the downward spin of the environment.
Here, the discussion illustrates the importance of Indigenous ideologies and their integration with contemporary sciences in renewed social construction. Not only is it possible to implement this framework within Canadian communities themselves, but the World community can be targeted by creating a blueprint to achieve this action.
Chapter three provides a solution. It describes a tactic to implement an environmental blueprint that will act as an overall tool to provide environmental strategies the chance to aim for and rise to, the global sphere. Global Enhancement (GE) supports a strong foundation of specialized groups ‘agendas’, propelled by public campaigns to ‘change the focus’ of the social fabric of Imperial conditioning throughout the globe. Supported by the role of educating the people in their environment, GE enhances the evolutionary process of life, connecting human and environment in partnership.
Throughout this paper, examples of initiatives undertaken by various groups and coalitions, reinforce achievements and create limitless goals. It is possible to dream positively and optimistically to dedicate these goals to concrete objectives. Having examples of successful models that dealt with an isolated goal will add to the framework of success for overall global change. Global change will not be forthcoming. It will not be rapid, or overnight. It will take many actions by individuals and much understanding by governments, communities and corporations. But, if our children are taught today about the partnership between humankind and nature, they will have a chance to make it right in the future. And, if we create the fundamental framework that allows for the creation of such, then our children and their children will follow its evolutionary path.
As we create, so too will they create. We must be careful to set a guide that will give them the correct directions - to prepare them with the analytical skills and educational knowledge needed to achieve this task. The past has shown the mistakes made in the evolution of humanity in conjunction with what the Earth can produce. Discourse must be adjusted to describe and listen to nature. This includes the environment and its life forms.
A World order that is aware of its evolution with nature, and that thinks ahead of its creation, will be successful in maintaining balance between humanity and environment. Whether commodities are natural or created by human ingenuity, (which as part of the creative process is within its own right a natural continual neural elevation of human evolution), the balancing of environmental life will be perpetually produced in relationship to what is incessantly served. People must have the confidence to speak up for their right to harmonize with nature. People must convince governments that they no longer want to be detached from their rightful existence in partnership with nature. Succinctly, people must realize that they are government, and it is through or by their own hand, that they condemn themselves if they do not participate and rally for change.
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