a pluriverse

Doing school work, I came across this nice, short yet succinct and powerful commentary on our world. Arturo Escobar points out a vision of the world that is an alternative to the mainstream- an alternative that sits much better with me. In light of preparing for the start of a new calendar year, maybe we can all think about this more, and what it would look like day-to-day, moment-to-moment to live more relationally and communally with our neighborhood neighbors, or global neighbors, and our non-human neighbors…

“The buen vivir upholds a different philosophy of life into the vision of society, one that subordinates economic objectives to ecological criteria, human dignity, and social justice. …

The modern ontology presumes the existence of OneWorld – a universe. This assumption is undermined by discussions in TDs [transition discourses], the buen vivir, and the rights of Nature. In emphasizing the profound relationality of all life, these newer tendencies show that there are indeed relational worldviews or ontologies for which the world is always multiple – a pluriverse. Relational ontologies are those that eschew the divisions between nature and culture, individual and community, and between us and them that are central to the modern ontology. Some of the today’s struggles could be seen as reflecting the defense and activation of relational communities and worldview (including some of those in the Arab World?), and as such they could be read as ontological struggles; they refer to a different way of imagining life, to an other mode of existence. They point towards the pluriverse; in the successful formula of the Zapatista, the pluriverse can be described as ‘a world where many worlds fit’. At their best, it can be said that the rising concepts and struggles from and in defense of the pluriverse constitute a post-dualist theory and a practice of interbeing…

… the evolving pluriverse might be described as a process of planetarization articulated around a vision of the Earth as a living whole that is always emerging out of the manifold biophysical, human, and spiritual elements and relations that make it up.”

– Arturo Escobar

Escobar, Arturo. “Sustainability: Design for the Pluriverse.” Development 54, no. 2, 137-40.

[Copyright precludes me from posting the full article and you likely have to be associated with a wealthy university to have access to this full article, so if you don’t have access and want to read the whole thing, message me and I will send you a PDF of the article.]


Magunson Park, Seattle, WA

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