George Monbiot is the author of the best selling books The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new world order and Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain; as well as the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man’s Land. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper…
… He is currently visiting professor of planning at Oxford Brookes University. In 1995 Nelson Mandela presented him with a United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement. He has also won the Lloyds National Screenwriting Prize for his screenplay The Norwegian, a Sony Award for radio production, the Sir Peter Kent Award and the OneWorld National Press Award. (See his blog Monbiot.com).
Read this commentary (pull down the page to find it): In War On Terror, America Embraces The Very Evils It Claims To Confront.
George Monbiot (born January 27, 1963) is a leftwing journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist in the United Kingdom who writes a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper. (wikipedia).
George Monbiot – England
He says: “For me, perhaps the best way, potentially, is to develop the perspective put forward by Paulo Friere in The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (http://www.marxists.org/subject/education/freire/pedagogy/index.htm), where the popular educators are themselves educated by the population. On the one hand, you help them to develop a perspective, an understanding of their own oppression, where power lies and what the problems are, and then as they advance that understanding they transmit their perspectives upwards, through the social levels, to the intellectuals”. (Weekly-Al-Ahram)
Read: January 4, 2007, Breaking News About Exxon Funding Lies.
He says also: “People talk about participatory democracy and how wonderful it is, but participatory democracy can work at the local level, but at any level above that it becomes representation, but not democracy. It’s the representation of everybody else by those who turn up. So it becomes the dictatorship of those who have passports, time and money. And so what I would like to see developing alongside the WSF – not instead of the forum but alongside it – is a representative assembly: democracy at the global level. A key plank of that democracy should be, I feel, a world parliament. Now, I don’t mean a world government. Not a legislature, with departments of government, with a president, with a cabinet, with an army, with a police force. None of that. I see a parliament as being a place where people debate and discuss. Its power derives from its moral authority. You might say, ‘Well, it has no power at all! What hope is there in moral authority?’ But moral authority is the basis of power in a true democracy”. (Weekly-Al-Ahram)
George Monbiot’s conclusion in his book HEAT is that ‘Manmade global warming cannot be restrained unless we persuade the government to force us to change the way we live’. (Cited in countercurrents by Bill McKibben).
And he says: “Take the WTO. Here you had the US and the EU doing everything they could to pull as many different countries into the WTO as possible — in order to open up their markets and exploit them. Having got them all into the WTO, suddenly they see that they are completely out-numbered, and that especially having got China into the WTO they find they can’t kick the poor countries around so well anymore. And so that provided the opportunity for the G20 and the G90 to form, and for them to start to reverse the flow of power within that organisation. So that opportunity for power was created by the powerful”. (Weekly-Al-Ahram)
Question: “Democracy and its discontents”, How should the WSF be developed?
Monbiot: One thing I would like to see is some representation of the people who can’t come here. We speak as if we are representing the world’s people. A bunch of principally white people will sit on the platform and say, “This is what the world’s people want, that’s what the world’s people want,” and sometimes it will concur with what the world’s people want, but we can’t claim to speak on anybody’s behalf other than ourselves …
… Take globalisation as a whole. Here we have corporations, and the governments who are in hock to them, whose whole effort in life is to make everything the same: to pull down the barriers, the linguistic barriers, the cultural barriers, the economic barriers, the political barriers — to make one kind of consumer, all over the world. And of course in doing so they also create a global political class. They create a global consciousness and global class interest. Our common struggle is created by them. In many ways this movement has been created by our enemies, and been empowered by our enemies. (Read the rest of this interview on Weekly-Al-Ahram, 5 – 11 February 2004, Issue No. 676).
See his Books on amazon.
- Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning (Oct 2006, Allen Lane) ISBN 0-7139-9923-3
- Manifesto for a New World Order (2004, The New Press) ISBN 1-56584-908-6
- The Age of Consent (2003, Flamingo) ISBN 0-00-715042-3
- Europe Inc.: Regional and Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power (2003, Pluto Press) foreword by George Monbiot, ISBN 0-7453-2163-1
- Anti-capitalism: A Guide to the Movement (2001, Bookmarks) ISBN 1-898876-78-9 contributor
- Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (2000, Macmillan) ISBN 0-333-90164-9
- No Man’s Land: An Investigative Journey Through Kenya and Tanzania (1994, Picador) ISBN 0-333-60163-7
- Amazon Watershed (1991, Abacus) ISBN 0-7181-3428-1
- Mahogany Is Murder: Mahogany Extraction from Indian Reserves in Brazil (1992) ISBN 1-85750-160-8
- Poisoned Arrows: An Investigative Journey Through Indonesia (1989, Abacus) ISBN 0-7181-3153-3
review of ‘Heat – How to Stop the Planet Burning‘;
For the New Year: MediaChannel Honors The “We” That Care;