The Ecology of Rich and Poor

WSY Home > global crisis > Themes

Summary: Social ecology, stressing hierarchy and domination, provides an engine to understand the social dimensions of World Sustainability. This page reflects the legacy of our late colleague, Murray Bookchin, who founded the field of social ecology.

Social Ecolgy

Today, 25,000 children will die around the world, deaths easily prevented. These are the innocents who are the most vulnerable members of our species. Their suffering is inexplicable and totally absurd. Their travails. largely undocumented, reveal the intolerable defects in the very global order that we, the privileged who can access this document, thoughtlessly celebrate. Our paradigm, our world view, thus fails, providing an appropriate place to being a needed and frank discussion.

We inhabit worlds in which all is relatively well and those, like us, who access the Internet, enjoy privileges such that we neglect to consider those who are excluded from modernity. Hence, the Earth is populated by a connected, privileged, and mobile minority and a traditional, localized majority. Access to the automobile and to the Internet serves to demarcate this division, which I, following Tom Athansiou, call the Divided Planet: the Ecology of Rich and Poor -- see his recent article and his web site, EcoEquity. Note the way that 350 takes on a social dimension.

As the global crisis unwinds, those at the bottom will suffer far more. Those in a virtual global gated community will last longer, but will eventually be touched by the unraveling.


©Wayne Hayes, Ph.D. | Initialized: 11/30/2009| Last Update: 12/07/2009