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Lettre de soutien aux Tribunes Internationales Cinéma Vérité 2009

Building Non-Violent Economies

The bruises and damages caused by a violent economy are evident all round. The economic crisis has robbed people of livelihoods, jobs and homes. The ecological crisis has destroyed biodiversity, land, water and air and destabilized the very patterns and rhythms of the climate cycle, threatening the biosphere in which humanity has evolved and thrived. The food and water crisis are denying one sixth of humanity their right to quench their thirst, their human right to stay alive.

The roots of this violence are mechanistic; reductionist knowledge a violent way of thought. Violent economies are associated with violent modes of thought and violent technologies.

Building non-violent economies is no longer a luxury, it has become a survival imperative. Non-violent economies establish peace in our way of thinking and knowing, from fragmentation to holistic science, from monocultures to diversity. They establish peace with nature, therefore they are sustainable. They establish peace within society, therefore they are just.

Holistic ecological ways of seeing the world allow a paradigm shift in which abundance flows out of giving more, not taking more. Giving and sharing, solidarity and the common good, shape the contours of economies of peace based on love and compassion. This is the experiment we have been carrying at in Navdanya over the past two decades. And it works.

Non-violence (Ahimsa) becomes the inspiration for crating local, living economies which give more to nature and society, and overcome the crisis of hunger, poverty and ecological instability.

Gandhi made Ahimsa the basis of Swaraj (freedom) and Swadeshi (local economies). We use his inspiration to create Bija Swaraj (Seed Sovereignty) and Anna Swaraj (Food Sovereignty).

Non-violence creates the possibility for humans to become co-creators with nature, unleashing our full potential as earth citizens.

Building non-violent economies allows us to start building Earth Democracy and re-establishing peace with the earth and within our communities. The road to peace is also the road to freedom, sustainability and justice.

Dr. Vandana Shiva