Towards a Nonviolent Economy: For a sustainable and interdependent economy

We all know the structural violence of « growth economy », at all local, national and global levels. Our environment has been disastrously damaged enlightening the new function of GDP as an indicator of environmental destruction and global poverty.

When more than 2 billion people leave below the poverty-line; when farming conditions became so difficult that many commit the desperate act of suicide; when activists are being silenced or imprisoned… we are outraged to see fat-cats getting fatter, despising all ethics and justice, and bringing down our common world.
The intrinsically violent mechanisms of capitalist economy have been known and denounced: speculation; debts; privatisation, deprivation and exploitation of natural ressources. Nowadays, this economy has taken on an even more perverse turn, under the cloak of marketing, promoting the use of publicity to lure people into massive and unethical consumption. We have to maintain awareness and actively mobilise against the organised forces of capitalism.

Such practices must be put to an end. They are meaningless. Businesses and people must organise for a green and clean future, and a carbon-free world should be the objective to attain by 2030. It is our job, citizens of the world, to introduce our values of equity, justice and respect for the living and the weak into the big center of decision of
our modern world.
I am not saying anything new when mentioning that the current state of the economy is only profiting a few and hurting the great many, in tremendous and outrageous proportions. And it is not getting better. Concerning the environment, it is already catastrophic: three balancing
biochemical threshold of the planet have been exceeded (biochemical fluxes, the biospheric integrity, the genetic biodiversity), two other are highly threatened (soil exploitation, climate change and the sea-level rise induced), and three are in alarm (the ozone-layer depravation, the ocean acidification, and fresh water reserves). All those natural disasters are caused by men and are directly threatening their health. But there are many solutions for us to organise and act: the « slow cities » or « carbon-free cities », the transition movements, the School of transitions… all are seeds for a global movement for change. It is our responsibility to amplify it.

We know this violence takes roots in the cupid and greedy behaviours of a few. Yet, it happens on big but also small scales, everywhere in the world. All of us are culprit, as we all are members of this violent economy. So how can we get out of it, in order to support the rise of a new economy ?
Famous philosophers, writers and activists have been showing us the way for many years. In most recent times Satish Kumar, Vandana Shiva, Erich Storm, André Gorz, Schumacker, Eleonor
Ostrom, or Tim Jacskon -only to name a few- gave us structured and resourceful advises on how to make the world a better place. The Jai Jagat 2020 Campaign started by Ekta Parishad is impregnated by those philosophies and guidances, and is an invitation to explore an economy that cares about the planet, about all its living being, in order to build a common well-being.

By calculating the wealth of its inhabitants not in terms of growth or money, but in terms of well- being, Bhoutan has developed an alternative model to what we usually consider to be wealth. Well-being in Bhoutan comprises nine dimensions, that have to be met both individually and collectively: (1) quality of health, (2) inner peace and absence of stress, (3) psychological well- being, (4) education, (5) cultural diversity and resilience, (6) environmental diversity, (7) vitality of the communities, (8) quality of governance, (9) sufficient loving-standards. On this ground, the activists of Amis de la Terre (Belgium) started a deep reflexion on what could be a simple life, in harmony with the rhythms of nature. We believe this harmony can be found in permaculture: this agricultural strategy respect the principles of stability and interdependence of the living, and is an introduction to a society based on the commons, where everyone has to take responsibility at the local level.
There are so many initiatives that are already being experienced: local money, cooperatives for protecting the soil and forests, individual production of green energies, shared gardens, support to local agriculture, etc… This is the future. And we can all amplify this movement for a more local and respectful economy, a nonviolent economy, by taking care of others through the way we consume and act. The image of the most disadvantaged people should always be with us as we take economic decisions, and their voices should always be the one dictating the resolutions and orientations taken by the United-Nations.
Food sovereignty, fair trade and fair price, a carbon-free society… all those are principles we
have to promote in the international community, and we will bring them together in Geneva in
To all, Jai Jagat !