Alternative ways of living: “Buen vivir”, the lived knowledge of ancestral indigenous nations – Andes and the Amazon basin

Mateo Martínez Abarca (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal) | Read the full paper here >>

We are currently facing a crisis that threatens not only the survival of our civilisation and humans as a species, but that of life on our planet as a whole. At the same time, the exploitation-based approach to development is facing its own limits.  […]  

Buen vivir provides a unique opportunity to devise new ways of living collectively. It does not advocate a regression in history, as its critics have suggested. Furthermore, it is not a ‘recipe book’ [nor] a fashionable idea or a novelty created by Andean countries’ twenty-first-century political processes. Buen vivir has been integral to a long-standing search for alternative ways of living and has been shaped by the struggles of indigenous peoples over the past centuries.  […]  

Currently, these efforts have resulted in a deep reinterpretation of reality, based on the lived knowledge of ancestral indigenous nations and peoples of Abya Yala (Our America, as José Martí used to call it). Although these critical alternatives have been marginalised from the conventional discourse, they re-emerge in these times of crisis. […]  

Buen vivir is a concept that aims to dismantle the idea of a universal goal for all societies, including a ‘productivist’ understanding of progress and a one-dimensional understanding of development as technology driven to produce economic growth. Buen vivir requires a rich, dynamic and complex vision that is a path in itself, rather than a destination – it needs to be imagined in order to be built.” […]

Mateo Martínez Abarca (Quito , 1979). Philosopher , political analyst and writer from Ecuador. Undergraduate degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador , Master in Political Science from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences and PhD. candidate in Philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Currently research assistant and student at CES – Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal. Filosofo, analista politico e escritor equatoriano. Licenciado em Filosofia pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Equador, Mestre em Ciência Política pela Faculdade Latino-Americana de Ciências Sociais e candidato ao grau de Doutor em filosofia pela Universidade Nacional Autônoma do México. Asistente de investigaçâo e estudante no CES – Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal.

Source: Abarca, Mateo Martínez. “BUEN VIVIR: AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PEOPLES OF THE GLOBAL SOUTH TO THE CRISIS OF CAPITALIST MODERNITY.” The Climate Crisis:South African and Global Democratic Eco-Socialist Alternatives (2018): n. pag. Web.
Date visited: 1 May 2019

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