1. Ignacio Ellacuría, “Utopia and Prophecy in Latin
America,” in Ignacio Ellacuría and Jon Sobrino eds., Mysterium Liberationis:
Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology, Trans. James Brockman, (Maryknoll:
Orbis Books, 1993, 289-323), pp. 314-19.
2. Ibid., p. 316.
Maria Mies, “The Need for a New Vision: The Subsistence Perspective,” in Mies,
Maria, Maria and Shiva, Vandana, Ecofeminism, (London: Zd Books, 1993, 297-324),
pp.297-98. This concept rose out of the reality of poverty in Latin America and
was first developed to analyze the hidden, unpaid or underpaid work of the
subsistence people who are mainly woman.
4. Ibid., pp. 298-99. One of
the problems which Mies points out is that the dichotomy between producers and
consumers leads the people to concern themselves merely with the transformation
of work into money rather than direct satisfaction of need by promoting concrete
5. Ibid., pp. 3121-14. The Sozialistische Selbsthilfe Köln
(SSK) movement, which originated with the students in Cologne, is a good example
that demonstrates this aspect. This movement rose as an alternative to
capitalist industrialized affluent societies out of the dark reality of society
by forming a communal life of the marginalized or/and powerless groups of
people, and lived out subsistence communal life.
6. Ibid., pp. 306-12.
The Baliraja dam project was carried on by the grassroots people to work out the
program for the restoration of the ecological and social problems which were
caused by the Namada Valley Project with the support of middle-class elite who
are concerned with these problems. The benefit of the localization is well
demonstrated in the Baliraja dam project as well as in the SSK movement. In the
Baliraja dam project, in their survey prior to their planning, they collected
information on geographical condition of that area from area residents and
gained the help of scientists and students for surveys.
7. Ibid., pp.
301-302. Both Fidel Castro’s import of 100,000 bicycles and Dar es Salaam
Declaration of Alternative Development Strategies for Africa, which are people
centred and culturally based, speak of another possibility and benefit of
localization. These programs makes de-industrialization possible since it is
based on their own culture and life style, thus suggesting pre-industrial
methods. These programs would work to a lesser degree in industrialized
countries, however, the localization of programs have a positive aspect which
we have to consider seriously.
8. Subsistence perspective itself cannot
make people to re-establish the just relationship without education, however,
people learn, through their experience, that sharing with people and giving back
to nature when we get something out of it.
9. Ibid., p. 322. Mies
claims that subsistence perspective is the “only” way by saying, “only a society
based on a subsistence perspective can afford to live in peace with nature...”
However, since the subsistence perspective is not “equal” to the hermeneutic
key “the option for the poor and solidarity with them,” we should not absolutuze
it, but leave ourselves to open for the multidimensional approach with keeping
this hermeneutic key in its heart.
10. Ibid., p. 314. After the disaster
at Chernobyl, the leaders of the SSK questioned their model of socialism and
discussed on how to change the SSK in order to contribute to a more ecologically
sound society. Mies does not provide the detail why they failed. However to
serve the community in its different dimension, access to professional knowledge
and sharing of experience is necessary and mutidimensional multifaceted approach
is necessary. Therefore, to achieve the efficiency of work in the global context
with the problems which are deeply interrelated to each other, interconnection
between diverse movements with preserving a
common subsistence concept is a
11. As an example, it is true that the SSK has many
positive aspects in its ideal, however, the SSK’s socialism based ideal has its
limit in convincing the middle class who are enjoying higher living
12. Ibid., p. 317.