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The interconnection of global problems and intersectionalism

January 25, 2013

So, I’ve just seen a tweet from Peterson Toscano in which he asks, “How do we address specific needs of marginalized people while jointly tackling HUGE Global issues like climate change?”

I’ve also just finished listening to Laurie Penny’s Ralph Miliband lecture at the LSE, during which she addresses the major issue of how feminism and the history of women’s struggle has been separated from the wider political movements of which it was often a part.

I’ve also had two glasses of red and am therefore in a mood to wax lyrical about it all.

Because all these things are connected. The liberation of oppressed groups. The proper use of the Earth’s resources. The beginnings of true democracy. The reform of our financial and business paradigms. All of these are changes which are centered on the well being of us all, individually and as a species.

Without the reform of finance and business, power will continue to be concentrated with those who have inherited or stolen it. Without further democracy, those with all the money will continue to set the debate using their financial power. Whilst power is inherited, we will never resolve the problem of structural racism (since those who inherit power in a given country or region usually all share a skin colour, which is usually white). And whilst we are still coupled to a financial and business system which values profit above knowledge and happiness, innovation will continue to be stifled in pursuit of easy profits for this quarter’s report to the stock market, at the expense of our future as a species and the future of the planet.

There is no way that we can tackle these problems individually, and none of them can properly be understood without reference to the others.

Innovation which could cure our climate problems is stifled because businesses lack a global perspective. Businesses lack a global perspective because people with links across the world to marginalised groups are silenced and ignored. Governments feel safe to ignore minority groups because they lack the social and financial clout to make a fuss when they are harmed. Governments across the world find it easier to listen to businesses who have spent decades building lobbying industries to deliver information to governments in a way they can most easily absorb and use, ways that are not publicised or affordable. These lobbying activities are designed to benefit those businesses and are considered worth the expense due to the rewards the business obtains through financial profit. Financial profit reigns supreme in business because the way that we measure performance and success in business and across countries has not yet adapted to a world of limited resources and high population. Problems like climate change result, which could be solved by innovation, however innovation is stifled because businesses lack a global perspective.

See? They’re all linked.

We will not see a day when everyone is treated equally until we have broken down the asymmetric power structures under which we currently live, and can view each human being as unique, powerful, an expert in their own situation, and completely worthy of their place in our world.

And yes, this post has many tags. That’s because of the interconnectedness of all things, haven’t you been paying attention?


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