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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Agroecology or Collapse: Part 1 – From Emergency Responses to Systemic Transformations

Annual demonstrations in defense of women’s lives and agroecology in the territory of Borborema. Foto: Nilton Pereira/AS-PTA

Agroecology or Collapse: Part 1 – From Emergency Responses to Systemic Transformations

In this first of a three-part contribution to Agroecology Now, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro present the current moment as a crisis in capitalism that demands systemic and structural responses based in solidarity and feminist economics. This lays the foundations for agroecology as a new organizing paradigm for food systems that holds the key to preventing the collapse of our living systems as we know them. Earlier versions of these pieces were previously published in Portuguese. Part II available here.

As we try to reimagine our world, we must look at the countryside. There we can find a cooperative and sustainable production system based on peasant agriculture. Underestimated, even by orthodox Marxism, it is being rediscovered. Recognized and reinforced by the agroecological perspective, the peasantry  will be one of the foundations for post-capitalism. Based on the Brazilian experience, the political meaning of this proposal is presented in this historic moment of extreme gravity marked by the sudden deepening of pre-existing crises triggered by the spread of the coronavirus

The need for a systemic perspective

The growing number of ecological, health, economic and social crises situations are compounding and are based in an exceptionally complex political reality that demand a systemic and holistic perspective. Yet, governments and public policy around the world are plagued by sectoral approaches. These need to be overcome if we can respond to this crisis in a way that dismantles the vicious regressive circles that make the causes seem like the effects, and vice versa.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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