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(en) Indonesia, anarkis.org - Genealogy Study of Political Ecology BY M FAKHRU RIZA [machine translation]

Date Sun, 12 Mar 2017 13:06:17 +0200

Background ---- ....there was a time when the science is very advanced as it is today, it seems we are still very rare to find academics and intellectuals who humbly willing to explain comprehensively how a political ecology approach appears? What distinguishes it from a political economy approach? How to integrate the two approaches? Where is the wedge both approaches? Where is the separation between the two approaches? Review of these questions is important, not only as a theoretical need, but further as a foundation that underlies various environmental movements that have sprung up in recent years. ---- Environmental problems today is a central issue of concern for all circles both in Government, academic and intellectual, to social activism. The emergence of various social movements in Indonesia on behalf of the environment seems to portray that "ecological awareness" has been attached and embedded in those who have been, are and will fight for it. But the reality on the ground often I come across many infected ecological struggle "paradigm split" or more fatal empty "perspective" . These things make me try to write a little about the unrest.

Political Economy - Agricultural Studies and Classical Ecology - Ecology Politics

The concept of political ecology with a clear concept of political economy differ from one another. The concept of political economy appeared to understand and cope with drastic changes in the system of satisfying human needs, both by understanding the nature of the need / desire, or to understand how the production and distribution of goods (goods) are. Referring to Caporaso and Levine (1992, 2003) in the political economy of the classical period begins after the publication of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith in 1776 until the publication of the book Principles of Political Economy by John S. Mill in 1848. Of the various economic thinkers masterpiece classical political, Karl Marx believed to be an important political figure of the last economy.

In his very popular, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy , Marx (1859, 1904) describes how a process of production and reproduction of a commodity is always based on social relations between capital and labor. These views are then used to analyze the process of transition from an agrarian mode of production (feudal) one to the other mode of production (capitalism) can be understood by looking at the dynamics or internal contradiction, namely the relationship mutually determine / influence between the productive forces with the relation- relations of production. That Marx in one of the chapters in his book that he called "primitive accumulation". So in short, agrarian studies is the biological child of Marx's critique of the classical political economy and is closely related to the spread of capitalism studied by Marx. As a consequence, the agrarian studies will always use a political economy approach.

Meanwhile, ecological outlook was originally a view of trying to untangle the mechanistic world view typical of medieval times. Medieval mechanistic view sees the world as an atomistic separate unit, while the ecological view is a view that sees the world as a whole is not tepisahkan one another, holistic. According to Capra (2001) in Adiwibowo (2007), this paradigm shift started in the 1920s in Germany, where at the time of quantum physics, the biology of the organism, and the psychology of gestalt grow as anti mechanistic trend in academic circles. Ecological outlook is a logical consequence of the development of science and the end of the Dark Ages. The period is called Nietzsche as a bell that marks the death god.

Since the initial introduction of the term "ecology" by Ernst Haeckel in 1866, the development of these disciplines can never be separated from the tradition until the term Darwinism Social Darwinism of an American named Richard Hofstadter in 1944. Hofstadter (1944, 1955) in Weikart (1993) defines social Darwinism as an ideology that uses a competitive view of seeing the world, and Darwin's concept of "the struggle for existence" which is applied in social theory as a base ideology. Ernst Haeckel himself is a biologist who greatly admired Darwin, more than anyone else. He is the person most instrumental in describing the evolution of ape to human. Speculation on the transition from ape to man through Pithecantropus alalus (ape-man who can not talk) which is housed in Borneo, Sumatra and Java eventually inspire Eugene Dubois; Dutch people who do research in the region and surprisingly discovered Homo erectus as a "missing link" in the evolution of apes - humans.

Since the emergence of the term ecology, much to develop the knowledge through a wide variety of approaches. Not limited only to biology, but evolved into the field of social sciences; goegrafi, anthropology, economics to sociology. Ecological transition from biological sciences to the social field, starting from the geography that develop environmental determination approach. Ellen C. Semple (1911) states that all cultures and human behavior is basically the direct influence of environmental factors (climate, topography, natural resources, geography). That view according to political ecology expert Dr. Soeryo Adiwibowo in the lecture session in FEMA-IPB is highly reductive. This view was concluded that the British people could be reliable because geographically sailor in UK is the land (islands) surrounded by sea. Arab nations are monotheists since settled in the empty desert drives them only worship God Almighty. Eskimos are primitive societies, nomadic and impoverished because of the harsh natural conditions and limited natural resources. Variety of other approaches such as following each other then posibilisme approach to environmental, cultural ecology, ecosystem ecology, etc. developed by the discipline of anthropology. While political ecology emerged as a reaction to the apolitical nature of the field of cultural ecological studies and studies on environmental risks (Watts 1983).

Sliced Political Economy with Political Ecology

The term political ecology is already used in the early 1970s. Eric Wolf (1972) used it to refer to the relationship of land ownership and political management of natural resources. Ezenberger (1974) used the term to refer to the environmental movement by the bourgeoisie in Europe and North America in the 1960s and early 1970s, he saw is fundamentally rooted in capitalism. Therefore, the development of techno-science will not be able to address the structural causes of the environmental crisis. The term political ecology was first used in academic publications in the late 1960s, while starting to become the subject of research in the early 1970s (Forsyth 2003). The term emerged in response to the theoretical need to integrate the practice of using natural resources with a political economy approach locally-globally, as well as a reaction to the political development of the growing environment (Peet and Watts 1996). Political Ecology started developing since the late 1970s and early 1980s (Satria 2009). Broadly speaking, political ecology is the type of field research that examines the relationship between the political economy of the community or society at large to environmental changes (Adiwibowo 2005).

This intellectual currents developed in relation to the background of widespread social upheaval during the 1960s and early 1970s (Watts 2001). It is a period marked by a wave of anti-authoritarianism and activism where violence in the streets of Mexico City, Paris, and Los Angeles. Protests against civil rights, women's rights and environmental movement in the 1960s and 1970s who later experiences simultaneously shape the experiences of individual academics that eventually form the social and political context that gave rise to political ecology itself.

Field of political ecology committed to intensive research and field-based rigorous empiricism. In addition, the authors of the initial political ecology is affected by the resurgence of Marxism in the 1960s in the study of political economy and agrarian studies, as well as the theory of dependency and world system of Andre Gunder Frank, Samir Amin and Immanuel Wallerstein. Political ecology itself is an epistemological project, which appears to destroy the established apolitical structure of the relationship between society and the natural environment. Thus, the beginning of the academic work in the political ecology seeks to deconstruct the dominant explanation of the time, among others, about the famine in Nigeria, Nepal soil erosion, and deforestation in Brazil that previously rooted in the concept of Malthusian over-population. Therein the authors of the beginning of building an alternative explanation to the phenomenon of the environment, which is rooted in political economy, marginalization, colonial capitalism, and the abuse of state authority (Perreault et al 2015).

Intersection Political Economy with Political Ecology

Theoretically, the field of political ecology was arguably more oriented towards a specific understanding of the range of dynamics in specific locations rather than to generalize the epistemological framework oriented in a particular discipline. So that's why this field needs to be balanced by a theoretical framework and diverse disciplines, which will be able to sustain an explanation for the dynamic. Methodologically, orientation for understanding in a specific location, combined with deep roots in the historical search, which means that political ecology must have broader visibility especially on field-based research methods, especially ethnographic, coupled with in-depth analysis.

Blaikie and Brookfield (1987); Bryant (1992); Greenberg and Park (1994); Zimmerer (2000) in Forsyth (2003) states that political ecology refers to the social and political conditions that include causes, experience, and the setting of environmental problems. Use of the term political ecology is growing definition raises a variety of different perspectives.

In the perspective of structuralism, political ecology appear to agree on two basic points. First, the environmental problems facing the Third World is not only a reflection of the failure of the policy and the free market, but rather a manifestation of political and economic power more widely. The strength associated with the spread of capitalism around the world, especially since the 19th century Second, political ecology is the need to see further changes in the process of political economy multiscale; local, regional and global (Peet & Watts 1996 in Bryant and Bailey 1997).

Ecological perspective of political post-structuralism believes that nature is a "social construction" because what we noticed, interpret and give meaning comes from direct experience and cultural repertoire (value systems, traditions, religions, educational content, etc.), economics, technology, science and myths (Escobar 1996: 46; in Adiwibowo 2005). Post-structural political ecology focuses attention on how, by whom and why environmental knowledge, discourse and narrative is produced, represented, contested (Blaikie 1995: 143; Peet and Watts 1996; Adiwibowo 2005).

Liberation Ecologies or who prefer I call the Post Political Ecology is a variety of new approaches that claim goes beyond the approach of Classical Political Ecology . The term was introduced by Richard Peet and Michael Watts in his book "Liberation Ecologies; Environment, Development, Social Movement " in 1996. In his book Peet and Watts (1996) mentions that the Liberation Ecologies as " .... new theoretical engagement between political ecology and post-structuralism on the other hand, and practical engagement with new political movement, organization, and institution of civil society, challenging the conventional notion of development, politics, democracy, and sustainability on the other " . The definition involves three approaches science as well, Political Economy, Post -Strukturalisme, Ecology and Politics itself.

Critics; Eco-Anarchism as a political ecology that transcends

The historical-theoretical elaboration of the above at least shows how the political ecology approach to post-political ecology has been dominated by the Marxian tradition which stems from a political economy approach, further than Darwinian evolutionist view. Post a political ecology actually surpassed anything, he stays in the same tradition and perspective, only coupled with post-structuralist approach. Darwin was not without criticism, in 1902 Peter Kropotkin made an essay entitled "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution" that essentially denied the central thesis of Darwin claimed that in nature there is also a law of mutual aid to survive and progressive evolution of a species. It is far more important than the law stating mutual struggle. This description I ever wrote in my previous article "Sharing Power: Perspectives Egelitarian Natural Resources Management" .

Emptiness perspective Kropotkin and Darwin thought that continuously direpetisi make eco-anarchism is increasingly alien and taboo for intellectuals who studied and conducted studies of political ecology. It also led to a lot of the environmental movement who felt that the fight and struggle is a political struggle ecology (practical), where typically, the struggle will leave only the political struggle (with kepentinganya), but the struggle ecological (and their interests) has been lost somewhere.

Bookchin is the most meritorious continue the tradition of thought Kropotkin. Amid the intellectual emptiness of the notion of "ecological anarchists" who at that time was dominated by the Marxian tradition. Not only forward, Bookchin also exceeded Kropotkin to further develop the Mutual Aid his Kropotkin to make the theory of Social Ecology. Bookchin known to begin to realize about the crisis of environmental developments in 1952, when he wrote an article entitled The Problem of Chemical in Food where in the article Bookchin not just talking about environmental pollution, but Bookchin mendudukan problems environment as social problems are similar and equally important.

In the 1960s the view Bookchin could then be summarized and sharply Formulated by concluding that the idea of the domination of nature by man, comes from a very real domination of man against man. Post-1952, various articles and books related to his views published in which almost all of his work is an effort quest to explain the emergence of social hierarchy and domination and to explain how, sensitivity, and practices that can generate an ecological society that is truly harmonious. The book "Post-Scarcity Anarchism" (1971, 2004) is a pioneer of the vision. The book consists of several essay of 1964 which addressed criticisms over the hierarchy than classes, domination rather than exploitation, creating institutional freely rather than abolition of the state, compared with the freedom of justice, contentment rather than happiness. For Bookchin change the emphasis is not just a rhetorical counter-cultural , these changes mark the removal of the views of previous commitments in the form of socialist orthodoxy. Bookchin crave what is referred to as the Libertarian Social Ecology, or what is called Victor Ferkiss as Eco-Anarchism .

At that time in the 1960s, words like hierarchy and domination is still very rarely used. Traditional radicals, especially the Marxists, they speak almost exclusively in terms of class, a class analysis and class consciousness; their concept against oppression primarily limited to material exploitation, poverty, and inequality in employment. Likewise, orthodox anarchists who put most of their emphasis on the State as the source of all forms of social injustice. Just as the emergence of private ownership as the "original sin" for the orthodox Marxists, as well as the State is considered the "original sin" for the Anarchists orthodox. Even in the early 1960s, the use of the term hierarchy is avoided, and more often referred to as "debates authority", without exploring the origins of authority, relationship with nature, and its importance for the creation of a new society.

Bookchin then focuses on how should a free society based on ecological principles, may mediate the relationship between humans and nature. As a result, Bookchin began to explore the development of new technologies that can be measured comprehensively the human dimension. Such as, solar technology solar, windmill installations, organic gardens and the use of local resources, which is done by a decentralized community. That view is directly aware that it takes a direct democracy, decentralization, self-fulfillment, self-empowerment in the form of communal social life. In short, the commune which will be formed is a non-authoritarian community

The view of Social Ecology Bookchin has a socio-political dimension that sharply was in a pillowcase in the book " Municipalisme Libertarian " written by Janet Biehl him his friend and successor of thought Bookchin. This is supposed to be referred to as something beyond political ecology, social ecology where historically separated from the tradition of political ecology and not rooted in the source of analysis and the same approach.[]

The author is a student of the Faculty of Human Ecology, Graduate School of Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB).


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Adiwibowo S. 2013. Back to the Straight Path. Yogyakarta (ID): Forci Development.

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