Book review: Pablo Solon, G. Azam, C. Aquiton and E.P. Beltran, Systematic Alternatives

Published date01 June 2018
DOI10.1177/0019556117750909
Date01 June 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
64(2) 306–329
© 2018 IIPA
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI:10.1177/0019556117750909
http://journals.sagepub.com/home/ipa
Book Reviews
Pablo Solon, G. Azam, C. Aquiton and E.P. Beltran, Systematic
Alternatives. Bangkok: Fundacion Solon/Attac France/Focus on the
Global South and Co-Publishers in India: Focus on Global South and
SADED, 2017, 202 pp.
This is a very significant although short book of about 200 pages which has eight
sections including the Introduction.
This is the first edition of a book published originally in Bolivia and translated
by three persons and co-published in India by Global South and SADED.
The objective of the book as stated in the Introduction itself is to emphasise
the fact that the world is ‘living in a systematic crisis that can be solved through
systemic alternatives’. The world is facing environmental, economic, social and
civilisational crises that need to be addressed not in isolation of one another but
taken as a whole since each aspect is linked to the other in an organic and intricate
way. The authors feel that the crisis affects all corners of the world and is serious
enough to imperil the humanity that we are familiar with today and may even
trigger extinction of life on the earth because of civilisational and environmental
degradation. The planet itself may survive, but all forms of life would come to
an end.
According to the authors, the modern capitalistic system that is based on
maximising profit without bothering about the earth and humanity is responsible
for the crisis. They also aver that this is not a cyclical crisis of capitalism that
would become normal again after a period of time but is relentlessly pushing the
limits of the earth beyond survival and resulting in biodiversity loss and extinction
of several species.
Capitalism is based on maximisation of profits by over-exploitation of resources,
over-consumption without any regard for the resulting waste; it is also flexible
enough to be able to adjust to the challenges it occasionally faces and contin-
ues towards its objectives. However, its relentless path towards profiteering and
economic growth is resulting in problems both social and environmental. The
environment is so degraded and polluted that it is leading to global warming and
climate change that is disastrous for the earth and all forms of life on earth. A related
concept that promotes degradation and pollution is the concept of anthropocentrism
that believes that the earth is mainly meant for the human beings and disregards the
needs of the ecosystem and other living bodies such as flora and fauna.

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