A product of twenty years of analysis and activism, this unique book poses a radical alternative to the current free-market industrial system. A book of history, theory and polemic, the authors show how, if we are to survive, economies must become needs-based, environmentally sustainable, co-operative and local. They explain how the current capitalist systems is none of these things, is inherently unstable and is dependent on the exploitation of various marginalized groups, particularly women, and of the environment. They call instead for a new politics and economics based on subsistence and present examples of such a perspective in practice. They describe current peasant economies and show how they are not only alive and possible but necessary and sufficient - far from being a brutalizing way of life, it is seen to be an empowering form of work on something - agriculture - which is fundamental for a modern subsistence-oriented society. We see indigenous communities in Guatemala setting up their own village-based subsistence economies as a way of liberating themselves from colonial subjectification via wage labour.
With examples from Africa, Latin America and Europe, the book shows how the subsistence principle can and does have a positive effect on market exchange - with exchange oriented towards the social good rather than profit. The book concludes with a call for a new politics based on the view from below, rather than one concerned with power and dominance. The authors' subsistence perspective poses a powerful alternative to the top-down ideology of development politics. The book as a whole brilliantly demonstrates how development only works when it is done from the bottom up.
Buy The Subsistence Perspective book by Maria Mies from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(216mm x 135mm x 21mm)
Zed Books Ltd
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
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Author Biography - Maria Mies
Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen is an ethnologist and sociologist at the nonprofit Institute for Theory and Practice of Subsistence. Maria Mies is a renowned Marxist-Feminist scholar. Her books include Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale (Zed 1986, reissued 2014) and Ecofeminism (with Vandana Shiva, Zed 1993, reissued 2014).