Vandana Shiva’s penetrating observations and sharp reflections make us rethink the project of modernity – its instrumental rationality, its hyper-masculine doctrine of development and manipulation of nature, and its dualism that separates the knower from the known, science from ethics, and is centralizing/monopolizing tendency. This violence manifests itself in ecological disaster, patriarchal domination and the aggression in the divide between the privileged and the masses. The New Leam is happy to present a small section from her new book to its esteemed readers.
By Vandana Shiva and Kartikey Shiva
The mechanical mind measures, predicts, and approaches knowing, but cannot actually know because knowledge , by its very nature, is pluralistic. Privileging one system over all others, and elevating reductionism as the only legitimate body of knowledge, leads to violence against science itself. This epistemic violence is now being combined with the violence of corporate interests to viciously attack all scientific traditions, including those that have evolved from within western science and have through epistemic evolution, transcended the limiting mechanistic worldview. Science as knowledge is being attacked so that Corporate Science , based on ‘alternative facts’ and ‘post truth’, and spun by the PR machine of Big Money and corrupted governments, can be used as a colonizing tool.
The creation of the mechanical mind is based on the construction of multiple separations. It separates soil from plants, by defining soil as an empty container for receiving chemical fertilizers, and plants as machines that run on fertilizer fuel. It separates food from health. It separates land from air, and land use from atmospheric pollution and climate change. It separates knowledge and intelligence from the processes of life and living, and reduces knowledge to information and data. It separates genes from the self-organized living organisms, and falsely assigns creative power to those who manipulate genes. It reduces life to ‘intellectual property’, to be owned and monopolized, even if species are pushed to extinction and farmers are driven to suicide. …
The mechanical mind is also a militarized mind. It is based on violence and leads to violence. It is ontologically violent because it declares nature as dead it is epistemically violent because it destroys our capacity to think and act as part of nature, to be co-creators and nonviolent; it is ecologically violent, because through its ignorance t disrupts processes that maintain the life of organisms, ecosystems, and the earth herself; it is socially violent because it is blind to, and outlaws, the embodied knowledge of women, peasants and indigenous cultures that the world so desperately needs today to heal the planet and society.
SOURCE: Vandana Shiva and Kartikey Shiva, Oneness vs. The 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom: Women Unlimited, New Delhi, 2018.