How can we move ‘beyond extractivism’? Explore emerging alternatives to development that are challenging the extractive status quo.
In this extended article, social ecologist Eduardo Gudynas explores the possibilities for drastically reducing all kinds of extractivism.
Gudynas critiques developmental and economic models that, through a myopic focus on GDP growth, support an oppressively extractive, non-reciprocal relationship between human societies and Mother Earth, as well as the plunder of ‘peripheral’ societies in the Global South by wealthy ‘core’ societies.
As a critical part of the transition to Buen Vivir (Good Living) and other alternatives to development, Gudynas proposes post-extractivism as a radical alternative to current models of development thinking. He explores fields of action for a just transition towards new, reciprocal ways of being present to one another and our living planet.
Buen Vivir seeks to ensure people’s quality of life, in a broad sense that goes beyond material well-being (to include spiritual wellbeing) and the individual (to include a sense of community), as well as beyond anthropocentrism (to include Nature). Under Buen Vivir, the values inherent in Nature are recognised, and therefore also the duty to maintain its integrity at both the local and the global level. This perspective aims to transcend the dualism that separates society from Nature, as well as breaking with the linear idea of history that assumes our countries must imitate the lifestyles and culture of the industrialised nations.”