Once a month, we put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: things you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental and social justice, cities, science fiction, current events, and political theory.
We try to include articles that have been published recently but will last, that are relatively light and inspiring, and are from corners of the web that don’t always get the light of day. This will also be a space to keep you up to date with news about what’s happening at Uneven Earth.
This month, we once again feature a debate on eco-fascism—in the limelight once again after the contents of the El Paso shooter’s manifesto were released. From The Guardian to the GQ, many authors sought to explain the phenomenon of white nationalist environmentalism. On the other hand, authors like Jesse Goldstein and Max Ajl called attention to the danger of eco-fascism under the guise of high-tech eco-modernism.
With the panic around the Amazon forest fires, we of course are also featuring some responses and news around it. Many readers may be unaware that their own governments are, despite international outcry, finalizing free trade agreements with Bolsonaro’s Brazilian government as we speak. We also encourage you to look through our past newsletters for more news and analysis on Brazil—we’ve been actively trying to feature the issue since Bolsonaro’s election.
The good news is that there are some inspiring uprisings around the world. In Mexico, the Zapatistas have announced new rebel municipalities. In Puerto Rico, citizens’ assemblies are gathering to address their economic and political crisis. In Sápmi/Sweden, land defenders are setting up blockades against mining. In Indonesia, women and forest people are fighting together to resist land grabbing. And the Black Socialists of America have put together a map of autonomous spaces and initiatives in the United States.
As usual, we also feature articles on new politics around the world and radical municipalism, though news about degrowth was largely absent this August—because the whole movement is on holiday?
Uneven Earth updates
Micro effect | Not afraid of the ruins
A toy keyboard for a Coca-Cola bottle of gas: Amadeus’ story | Not afraid of the ruins
The founding of New Crockett, Texas | Not afraid of the ruins
Top 5 articles to read
Progress and its discontents A reasoned argument against Steven Pinker’s progress narrative.
Fight for the Future On Mauna Kea hundreds are holding a refuge and defending land from the proponents of false progress.
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally? An essay by Brian Tokar on contemporary strategies for local-based action and the political theory behind it, with responses by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Jackie Smith, Aaron Vansintjan, David Barkin, David Bollier, Arturo Escobar, Richard Heinberg, and others.
News you might’ve missed
The struggle in Kallak/Gállok In Jokkmokk municipality in Sápmi/Sweden, land defenders protecting Indigenous land and old-growth forest set up a blockade camp to try to stop Beowulf Mining from prospecting for iron ore.
Enemies of the State? How governments and businesses silence land and environmental defenders, a new report by Global Witness. And Environmental Defenders—Often Fighting Agribusiness—Are Being Violently Silenced Around the World.
Current negotiations for Free Trade Agreements between Brazil and the West are highlighting the hypocrisy of Western nations in denouncing the wildfires in the Amazon.
EU piles pressure on Brazil over Amazon fires
In response to the eco-fascist manifesto of the El Paso, Texas shooter, there has been renewed attention to the phenomenon of eco-fascism. We compiled many of the analyses here, thanks to Peter Staudenmaier for the links.
‘Bees, not refugees’: the environmentalist roots of anti-immigrant bigotry
Eco-fascism: justifications of terrorist violence in the Christchurch mosque shooting and the El Paso shooting
White nationalists’ extreme solution to the coming environmental apocalypse, by Alexandra Minna Stern, author of Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination (Beacon 2019).
Eco-Fascisms and Eco-Socialisms by Max Ajl, whose “report card” on Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal was published in Uneven Earth this month.
And this older article by Kate Aronoff is still relevant: The European Far Right’s Environmental Turn
Where we’re at: analysis
Just think about it…
After the wildfire: treating the mental health crisis triggered by climate change and this other piece on Greenlanders’ crisis of mental health: Life on thin ice: mental health at the heart of the climate crisis
Puerto Rico: The Shift from Mass Protests to People’s Assemblies. In the wake of the massive demonstrations that forced the resignation of Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello, dozens of people’s assemblies have sprouted across the island to discuss the critical next stage in the struggle for popular democracy.
Socialize the Grid. Energy companies are more concerned with raking in profits than delivering affordable, sustainable energy. We need to wrest control away from them — and socialize the electrical grid.
African Philosophy & the Enlightenment Ethiopian philosopher Zera Yacob came up with philosophy that prefigured Enlightenment thinkers Hume, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and the US Founding Fathers
If You Hate Capitalism You Will Love This Map A feature in Vice Magazine of a map put together by Black Socialists of America of cooperative economy and autonomous democratic initiatives
Was Sweden Headed Toward Socialism in the 1970s? On the messy making of what is often seen as a Social Democratic utopia: from the post-war boom to the pressure from radical social movements in the 1960s and -70s.
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