“You could say that the government has three big powers to their disposal: power to tax, to regulate, and to spend. The problem is that these powers are pulling in different directions and undermining each other. So from a point of view of procurement we've had some little victories of a ten years on sustainable food procurement for hospitals, the schools, for carry-ons. All those little victories have taken 10 years to build. They are being swept away in 12 months in a dash to cut deficits. And that shows how far we are going backwards very quickly.” (Kevin Morgan)
Question: “How do you expect to move and change attitudes towards civil society?”
Strachwitz: “I think this is a long term process. Let me put it this way, I once had a discussion in a pretty similar vein with one of our leading political commentators. He said, well this is all very well but it will take 200 years. And I said to him, and if we start next year it will be 201 years from now.”
“We can learn a lot about the way countries adopt political positions in relation to the environment. You may have read in the last few weeks that the Bolivian government has passed a law of mother earth - and this is legally binding now in Bolivia - which grants all nature equal rights to humans. Now just think of the implications of that. This has arisen from the indigenous Andean spiritual approach to nature. Now if you think of the implications of that, it is certainly radical, it's challenging but is it any more radical than the sort of suggesting that we have to move towards a commodification of natural assets, in other words privatisation of nature, where the rate at which environmental assets such as wildlife are exploited is determined in the private sector, removed from society, in the consumer’s market place.” (Morgan Parry)
State, Economy, Civil Society – What is the Problem in their Relationship?
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