the Amazon

Rethinking Democracy From the Perspective of Political Ecology

By Victor M. Toledo, Resilience.org

Ed.note: This piece originally appeared in Spanish in La Jornada, December 1, 2020 Translation into English by Jane K. Brundage The issue of the governance of human societies immediately leads us to the issue of democracy, since the so-called democratic model is one of the pillars of modern civilization, today in crisis. Seen in historical perspective, governance — the ability to make collective decisions that are adequate to the extent that they are fair because they respond to the interests of the individuals who make them — became more complicated as societies grew in number of inhabitants and in functional complexity. In the first extractive and agrarian societies, which make up 99 percent of the history of the human species, governance was carried out in a direct and balanced way. Governance began to become problematic with the appearance of the first cities, the State, class society and the diversity of work tasks. The democratic model, which...

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