* * * * * * * * * *
this interview, Thomas Friedman defends his latest book, The
Earth is Flat, arguing that globalization is working. At
the end of the interview,
Dr. Vandana Shiva presents an opposing view. The
interview is reprinted with permission from
YaleGlobal Online, of the Yale Center for the Study
of Globalization. Copyright © 2005
CHANDA: Your new book, The World Is Flat, is the third
in a series you’ve been writing about globalization. Since
your first book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, how
has the world changed? What is the most important change you've
FRIEDMAN: Well you know the way I would locate this book, Nayan,
is that I would argue that there have been three great eras
of globalization. One I would call, for shorthand, Globalization
1.0. That was from about 1492 till 1800 when we saw the beginning
of global arbitrage . . . Columbus discovers America, so basically
that era shrunk the world from a size large to a size medium.
The dynamic element in globalization in that era, was countries
globalizing, for imperial reasons, for resources.
second great era was 1800 till the year 2000 -- it just ended.
And that era shrunk the world from a size medium to a size small.
And that era was really spearheaded by companies globalizing
for markets and for labor. Now I would argue Lexus and the
Olive Tree was really about the tail end of that era
I discovered by visiting India in 2004 was that we'd actually
entered a whole new era of globalization. Lexus was wonderful
for what it was, but it was out of date! It couldn't tell the
whole story anymore, it couldn't explain the world, because
what I really found in going to India was that we'd entered
Globalization 3.0. And it's shrinking the world from size small
to size tiny, and flattening the global economic playing field
at the same time. And so this book builds on the shoulders of
Lexus, but it's really about the next stage.
CHANDA: Reading the book, one gets the impression that you took
a dive into the innards of globalization and came out with some
amazing tales of how things are happening behind the scenes
that we don't see. Could you elaborate on the many things you
discovered, the main forces changing the globalized world today?
FRIEDMAN: First of all, I didn't really read a bunch of other
books, but instead, dove into the companies themselves that
were spearheading this process. The book, in this sense, is
very inductive. I looked at what companies were doing and then
tried to tease out the general patterns. My primary tutors for
this book, were two Indian entrepreneurs: the president of Wipro,
Vivec Paul, and the CEO of Infosys, Nandan Nilekani. These are
the heads of the two cutting-edge, high-tech/outsourcing companies,
who could see the whole playing field. So to begin with, the
book is different in that the people I tapped into were very
different than from Lexus and the Olive Tree, which
was really a lot about Silicon Valley, and that perspective.
I examined some key companies that are now globalizing and are
really the source for understanding globalization. Wal-Mart,
UPS -- which offer an amazing view of the flattening of the
global playing field and the forces that are doing it.
CHANDA: Both these companies do not produce anything. They agglomerate
or repackage others' products. So in this agglomeration or repackaging,
how are they tapping the resources from this flat world. How
does it happen?
FRIEDMAN: Wal-Mart's great innovation is that it draws products
from all over the world and gets them into stores at incredibly
low prices. How do they do that? Through a global supply chain
that has been designed down to the last atom of efficiency.
So as you take an item off the shelf in New Haven, Connecticut,
another of that item will immediately be made in Xianjin, China.
So there's perfect knowledge and transparency throughout that
the case of UPS, they've designed a global delivery system that
allows them to deliver their products with that same efficiency;
they are so efficient that they literally have a phenomena at
UPS called "end-of-runway services." Right before
your product gets shipped, right at the end of the runway (almost
literally -- it's in the hangar, it's not literally at the end
of the runway, but it could be at the end of the runway), they'll
attach something; such as a new lens to your camera, they'll
add a special logo to your tennis shoes which they'll design
it just for you, and they'll slap that on at the end of the
runway. That's how efficient these systems have become. And
of course, when you put them all together, you get a very flat
global playing field.
CHANDA: There have been many criticisms of the business model
of Wal-Mart, because it is driven by the single motive: maximizing
profits for shareholders. But despite cheaper prices to the
consumer, people are complaining that this model leaves the
workers out of the equation – and not just in the United
States, but from wherever they procure. Is this a good model
FRIEDMAN: Wal-Mart really demonstrates one of the phenomena
of a flat world. I would call it "multiple-identity disorder."
Now let me explain. The consumer in me loves Wal-Mart where
you can purchase quality goods at really low prices. Lower income
people are stretching their dollars further because of Wal-Mart
and that is a big deal. The shareholder in me loves Wal-Mart
because the stock has been a monster. However, the citizen in
me hates Wal-Mart, because they only cover some 40 percent of
their employees with health care, while Costco, their main competitor,
charges a little bit more, but covers over 90 percent of their
employees with health care. And when n uninsured Wal-Mart employees
falls sick, what does they do? They go to the emergency ward
at general hospital, and we, the tax-payers pays, end up paying
for their health care. Beyond that, the neighbor in me is very
disturbed when we learn about how Wal-Mart has discriminated
against women, or locked employees into their stores overnight,
or how they pay some of their employees. So when it comes to
Wal-Mart, I've got multiple identity disorder, because the shareholder
and the consumer in me feels one thing, while the citizen and
the neighbor in me feel something quite different.
best way to understand Wal-Mart is to go to Bentonville, Arkansas,
which is L'il Abner country or Beverly Hillbilly-land; this
is the end of the world. And this little podunk town produces
the biggest company in America and the most dynamic retailer
in the world. So how did they do it? Well, there's no mother
of invention like necessity. And there was Sam Walton, who was
an early adopter, who wanted to get low prices. Sam was the
first to computerize, the first to use wireless, the first to
really deploy RFID [radio frequency identification tag].
Wal-Mart, because they were in the middle of nowhere, were able
to better their competitors for two reasons: they evolved into
one mean, tough company, and they adopted and adapted faster
to new technology than any other retailer in the world. And
for this you've got to give them credit. At the same time, you
have to be worried about and troubled by some of the brutal
aspects of their business practices. But at the end of the day,
the Beverly Hillbillies out-innovated all their competitors.
CHANDA: How do you resolve the dissonance between the citizen
in you and the consumer in you?
FRIEDMAN: I think we have to resolve that through social activism.
I support consumer activism that will say to Wal-Mart, "I
love your low prices, but we're ready to spend five cents more
if you'll use two of those five cents to cover more of your
employees with health care." That, to me, is where citizen
activism really has to come into play.
CHANDA: One of the themes of your book is, because of this flattening
of the world, it's harder to challenge from below, and the top-down
structure is flattening into horizontal corporate positions.
How do people who are being left behind, left out of this flattening
process, challenge the hierarchy? How do they join the flat
FRIEDMAN: You are asking two different questions. Because if
you ask, how do they challenge them, we see in our business
(the news business) that thanks to the flat world, everyone
can be a publisher, and an editor, and a journalist, all into
one, through blogging. So you and I both could go out and start
Nayan.com, or Tom.com, or TomandNayan.com, and suddenly we'd
be in business. And if we're clever and witty and interesting,
we'll get a global following. And then one day, once we've got
our global following, if we see Dan Rather make a mistake on
CBS News, we don't have to write a letter to the editor. No,
TomandNayan.com will publish their own exposé of Dan
Rather. And if we've got our facts right, we can help bring
Dan Rather down.
thing you wanted to understand about the flattening of the world
is that it enables the big to act really small. Wal-Mart, thanks
to RFID technology, can tell you when Hispanics like to buy
milk, as opposed to when other anglos prefer to buy milk as
opposed to when African-Americans prefer to buy milk. Because
they know their store is in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods,
black neighborhoods, or white neighborhoods. They can actually
trace at a micro-level, and act small, which is scary. The other
side of it, though, is that the small can act really big in
the flat world. TomandNayan.com, we can go out and be publishers,
and if we get a following, man, we can act really big.
CHANDA: Your book includes a nice story about JetBlue airlines
and their agents, who are housewives in Salt Lake City, who
could join the flat world because they have skills and infrastructure.
What role do you think private companies, governments, or foreign
aid has to play in creating this?
FRIEDMAN: Let's start with what is the mix of assets you need
to thrive in a flat world? Money, jobs, and opportunity in the
flat world will go to the countries with the best infrastructure,
the best education system that produces the most educated work
force, the most investor-friendly laws, and the best environment.
You put those four things together: quality of environment that
attracts knowledgeable people, investment laws that encourage
entrepreneurship, education, and infrastructure. So that's really
where -- in a flat world -- the money is going to go.
believe much in foreign aid because at the end of the day that's
not how countries grow and get rich. But to the extent that
you are going to give foreign aid, it should be to inspire,
encourage, and help develop one of those four pillars for whatever
developing country you're dealing with. But I do believe in
trade, not aid. I think that axiom still applies, even more
so in a flat world.
CHANDA: Why are you leaving Africa behind in your discussion
of the flat world?
FRIEDMAN: I have a chapter in the book called The Un-Flat World,
in which I talk about the countries that are still the majority
that still aren't flat. The job of the analyst is to identify
a trend, just when it reaches the tipping point, but before
anyone else sees it. And that's what I've aspired to do in this
book. And the trend is this flattening process, which I think
has reached this tipping point, as evidenced by the degree that
China and India – we're talking about 1/3 of the planet,
basically – have been able to use and exploit this platform.
I fully recognize that although it's reached the tipping point,
there are still a lot of people who are not part of it. Africa
is not part of it because it hasn't learned to globalize. It
doesn't have those four things: the quality infrastructure,
the quality education, the quality environment, and the quality
investment laws. That's why it's not participating. Our job,
as citizens of the planet, let alone as citizens of the wealthiest
country in the world, is to help create the tools and conditions
for places like Africa to be part of it.
CHANDA: I’m thinking of the period when the telegraph
was invented. It was limited only to England and the United
States . . .
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: It was a turning point. And Africa not only
has the telegraph, it skipped over into wireless! It skipped
a whole generation. And even in Africa, because the world is
flat, you will get pockets where you have the infrastructure,
education, environment, and right laws. A friend of my wife's
whose son who worked there is quoted, "Everyone in Mali
uses Linux." (Linux is a free operating system competing
not everyone in Mali uses Linux. But just the fact that her
son was working there, and using Linux, says something. The
world may be flatter than people think. I actually want to go
to Timbuktu to see just how flat the world is, as seen from
CHANDA: In your book you dwell on the role of the individual,
who is either part of the flat world or outside it, and not
necessarily confined to one geographical area. In America, there
are many people who are not a part of the flat world and yet
they have political power and influence. How can these people's
influence be not destructive?
FRIEDMAN: This is a problem. The flat world is a friend of Infosys
and of Al-Qaeda. It's a friend of IBM and of Islamic jihad.
because these networks go both ways. And one thing we know about
the bad guys, criminals and terrorists are very early adopters.
The person who understands supply chains almost as well as Sam
Walton, is Osama Bin Laden. We have an issue there with the
most frustrated and dangerous elements of the world using this
flat planet in order to advance their goals, to recruit over
the internet, to inspire over the internet, and to transfer
orders and raise money over the internet. So they're using the
flat world as much as anybody else.
job is to try to soak up those tools, so that we can use these
collaborative tools in a more constructive way. But I have no
doubt the flat world is a friend of both Infosys and Al-Qaeda.
CHANDA: Another element which is interesting compared to Lexus
and the Olive Tree, is that olive trees have not disappeared;
they still have strong roots. How do nationalism and a flat
FRIEDMAN: That's a good question. I tried to develop that idea
beyond Lexus when I wrote that no two countries would fight
a war so long as they both had McDonald's. I was trying to give
an example of how, when a country gets a middle class big enough
to sustain a McDonald's network, they it wants want to focus
on economic development. That is a sort of tipping point, rather
than fighting wars.
Flat World I take that theory one step further into what I call
the Dell Theory -- as in Dell Computers. The Dell Theory says
that no two countries that are part of the same global supply
chain will ever fight a war as long as they're each still part
of that supply chain. The big test case is China and Taiwan.
Both are suppliers of the main parts of computers. If they go
to war, don't order a computer this month because you'll have
a real problem.
CHANDA: Dell computers are built with parts from . . .
FRIEDMAN: From about 400 different parts, but there's probably
30-40 key parts. And what Dell actually did was trace all the
key parts in my laptop that I wrote this book with. And what
you see when you look at the supply chain is that it runs along
coastal China, through Taiwan, on through Japan, up through
Malaysia, parts of the Philippines, parts of Thailand.
I think this guarantees that there won't be a war? No, but if
you do go to war and you're part of the supply-chain, you’ll
end up paying 10 times more than you hoped to pay because once
you lose your spot in the supply chain, you mat never get it
back. These supply chains are the new restraints, but they’re
not shackles; people will still do crazy things.
CHANDA: From the United States perspective, it seems that the
olive tree is simply turning away, is not wanting to confront
the issue of the flat world. How do you explain that, and what
can one do about it?
FRIEDMAN: I think there are four factors: First, there's 9/11,
which completely distracted everyone --including myself -- from
this. Next, there's the dot-com bust. A lot of very silly people
equated globalization with the dot-com boom. And so when the
bust came along, all these people said that globalization was
over because the dot.com boom was over. Well, actually a flat
world drove globalization to a whole new stratosphere. The third
factor is Enron. Enron made all CEOs guilty until proven innocent.
As a result, people weren't interacting with them. Even this
administration, slavishly conservative and pro-Republican, didn't
want to be seen with too many CEOs.
I would argue that the anti-globalization movement and the people
who have been its intellectual leaders have been kind of dining
out on the carcass of Globalization 2.0. They're all still talking
about the IMF and the World Bank and conditionality, as if globalization
is all about what the IMF and World Bank impose and force on
the developing world. Well when the world is flat, there's a
lot more globalization that's about pull down these opportunities.
at what happened in your native country (India) re. your intellectual
property law, that we imposed all this on India from the WTO.
Well there's no question that we did want India to have intellectual
property protection to protect our products. But it turned out
that a lot of Indians wanted it as well because they become
innovators themselves. They are now plug-and-playing in this
world and they want the intellectual property protections for
the result of these four things, the academic community has
not caught up with this debate. You really have to role up your
sleeves and do research and rethink the whole subject. That
takes a lot of work. The press core is just lazy and, with the
exception of publications like YaleGlobal, really hasn't taken
a look at what's going on. And the public has been distracted,
confused, and in many ways made stupid by politicians who don't
want to think about this either. So for all these reasons, right
when we've reach this incredible inflection point -- the world
is getting flat, a development which I believe is the equivalent
of Gutenberg and the printing press – but nobody is talking
CHANDA: So do you think the politicians will wake up someday?
FRIEDMAN: It’ll happen, but it will take a crisis of some
sort. And there already is a crisis. We're not producing in
this country, there are not enough young people going into science
and technology and engineering, the fields that are going to
be essential for entrepreneurship and innovation in the 21st
Century. It’s a quiet crisis, as Shirley Ann Jackson from
the Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute says. If we don't do
something about it, in 10 to 15 years from now this quiet crisis
will be a very big crisis. And that's why my friend Paul Romer
at Stanford says -- and I totally agree with him – that
a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. And right now we're wasting
DR. VANDAN SHIVA
A Response to Thomas
Friedman's Flat Earth Hypothesis
project of corporate Globalization is a project for polarizing
and dividing people -- along axis of class and economic inequality,
axis of religion and culture, axis of gender, axis of geographies
and regions. Never before in human history has the gap between
those who labor and those who accumulate wealth without labor
been greater. Never before has hate between cultures been so
global. Never before has there been a global convergence of
three violent trends: the violence of primitive accumulation
for wealth creation, the violence of ‘culture wars,’
and the violence of militarized warfare.
Thomas Friedman, describes this deeply divided world created
by Globalization and its multiple offspring's of insecurity
and polarization as a ‘flat’ world. In his book
The World is Flat Friedman tries desperately to argue that Globalization
is a leveller of inequalities in societies. But when you only
look at the worldwide Web of information technology, and refuse
to look at the web of life, the food web, the web of community,
the web of local economies and local cultures which Globalization
is destroying, it is easy to make false and fallacious arguments
that the world is flat.
you look at the world perched on heights of arrogant, blind
power, separated and disconnected from those who have lost their
livelihoods, lifestyles, and lives -- farmers and workers everywhere
-- it is easy to be blind both to the valleys of poverty and
the mountains of affluence. Flat vision is a disease. But Friedman
would like us to see his diseased, perverse flat view of globalizations
polarizations as a revolution that aims to reverse the revolutions
that allowed us to see that the world is round and the earth
goes round the sun, not the other way around.
has reduced the world to the friends he visits: the CEOs he
knows and the golf courses he plays at. From this microcosm
of privilege and exclusion, he shuts out both the beauty of
diversity and the brutality of exploitation and inequality,
he shuts out the social and ecological externalities of economic
globalization and free trade, he shuts out the walls that globalization
is building -- walls of insecurity and hatred and fear -- walls
of ‘intellectual property,’ walls of privatization.
focuses only on laws, regulations and policies which were the
protections of the weak and the vulnerable, on barriers necessary
as boundary conditions for the exercise of freedom and democracy,
rights and justice, peace and security, sustainability and sharing
of the earth's precious and vital resources. And he sees the
dismantling of these ecological and social protections for deregulated
commerce as a ‘flattening.’
this flattening is like the flattening of cities with bombs,
the flattening of Asia's coasts by the tsunami, the flattening
of forests and tribal homelands to build dams and mine minerals.
Friedman's conceptualization of the world as flat is accurate
only as a description of the social and ecological destruction
caused by deregulated commerce or ‘free-trade.’
On every other count it is inaccurate and false.
Friedman's description of the waves of globalization. According
to him, globalization 1.0, which lasted from 1492 when Columbus
set sail to 1800, shrank the world from a size large to a size
medium, with countries and governments breaking down walls and
knitting the world together. Globalization 2.0, which lasted
from 1800 to 2000, which shrank the world from a size medium
to a size small, was driven by multinational companies. Globalization
3.0 started in 2000, is shrinking the size small to size tiny,
and it is being driven by individuals.
is a totally false view of history. From one perspective in
the south, the three waves of globalization have been based
on the use of force and greed, and have resulted in dispossession
and displacement. For native Americans, globalization 1.0 started
from 1492 and has still not ended.
us in India the first wave of globalization was driven by the
first global corporation, the East India Company which was working
closely with the British team, and did not end till 1947 when
we got Independence. We view the current phase as a decolonisation,
with a similar partnership between multinational corporations
and powerful governments. It is corporate led, not people led.
And the current phase did not begin in 2000 as Friedman would
have us believe. It began in the 1980s with the structural adjustment
programmes of World Bank and IMF imposing trade liberalization
and privatization, which was accelerated in 1995 with the establishment
of World Trade Organization at the end of the Uruguay Round
of the General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs.
false flat earth history then enables him to take two big leaps
where undemocratic ‘free trade’ treaties are reduced
to achievements of information technology and corporate globalization,
and corporate control is presented as the collaboration and
competition between individuals. The WTO, World Bank and IMF
disappear, and the multinational corporations disappear. Globalization
is then about technological inevitability and individual innovativeness,
not a project of powerful corporations aided by powerful institutions
and powerful governments.
1988, I was in Berlin before the Berlin wall fell. We were part
of the biggest ever mobilization against the World Bank. Addressing
a rally of nearly 100,000 people at the Berlin wall I had said
that the Berlin wall should be dismantled as should the wall
between rich and poor the World Bank creates by locking the
Third world into debt, privatizing our resources, and transforming
our economies into markets for multinational corporations. I
spoke about how the alliance between the World Bank and global
corporations was establishing a centrally controlled, authoritarian
rule like communism in its control, but different in the objective
of profits as the only end of power. As movements we sought
and fought for bringing down all walls of power and inequality.
flat vision makes him blind to the emergence of corporate rule
through the rules of corporate globalization as the establishment
of authoritarian rule and centrally controlled economies. He
presents the collapse of the Berlin wall as having "tipped
the balance of power across the world toward those advocating
democratic, consensual, free-market-oriented governance, and
away from those advocating authoritarian rule with centrally
movements fighting globalization advocate democratic, consensual
governance and fight W.T.O, the World Bank and global corporations
precisely because they are undemocratic and dictatorial. The
W.T.O agreement on Agriculture was drafted by Amstutz, a Cargill
official, who led the U.S negotiations on agriculture during
the Urguay Round and is now in-charge of Food and Agriculture
in the Iraqi Constitution. This is a centrally planned authoritarian
rule over food and farming.
is why the democratic and consensual response of citizens' movements
and Third world governments in Cancun led to the collapse of
the W.T.O. It was the so called ‘flatteners’ who
were erecting walls -- the barricades at which the Korean farmer
Lee took his life -- the walls that the U.S Trade Representative
Robert Zoellick tried to create between ‘can do’
and ‘can't do’ countries. What Zoellick and Friedman
fail to see is that what they call ‘can't do’ is
the ‘can do’ for the defense of farmers in the face
of dumping and unfair trade. Their world is shaped by and focussed
in Cargill -- our world is shaped by and focussed on 300 million
species and 6 billion people.
biggest wall created by W.T.O is the wall of the trade related
Intellectual Property Rights Agreement. (TRIPS). This too is
part of a centrally planned authoritarian rule. As Monsanto
admitted, in drafting the agreement, the corporations organized
as the Intellectual Property Committee were the "patients,
diagnosticians and physicians all in one." Instead of telling
the story of TRIPS -- how corporate and WTO led globalization
is forcing India to dismantle its democratically designed patent
laws, creating monopolies on seeds and medicines, pushing farmers
to suicide and denying victims of AIDS, cancer, TB, and malaria
access to life saving drugs -- Friedman engages in another dishonest
step to create a flat world.
presents the open source Software Movement initiated by Richard
Stallman, as a flattening trend of corporate globalization when
Stallman is a leading critic of intellectual property and corporate
monopolies, and a fighter against the walls corporations are
creating to prevent farmers from saving seeds, researchers from
doing research, and software developers from creating new software.
By presenting ‘open sourcing’ in the same category
as ‘outsourcing’ and off shore production, Friedman
hides corporate greed, corporate monopolies and corporate power,
and presents corporate globalization as human creativity and
is deliberate dishonesty, not just result of flat vision. That
is why in his stories from India he does not mentioin Dr. Hamid
of CIPLA who provided AIDS medicine to Africa for $200 when
U.S. corporations wanted to sell the same for $20,000 and who
has called W.T.O's patent laws ‘genocidal.’ And
in spite of Friedman's research team having fixed an appointment
with me to fly down to Bangalore to talk about farmers' suicides
for a documentary, Friedman cancelled the appointment at the
presents a 0.1% picture and hides 99.9%. That is why he talks
of 550 million Indian youth overtaking Americans in a flat world
when the entire information Technology/outsourcing sector in
India employs only a million out of a 1.2 billion people. Food
and farming, textiles and clothing, health and education are
nowhere in Friedman's considerations, as are Monsanto's seed
monopolies and the suicides of thousands of wars. In the eclipsed
99.9% are the 25 million women who disappeared in high growth
areas of India because a commodified world has rendered women
a dispensable sex. In the hidden 99.9% economy are thousands
of tribal children in Orissa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan who died
of hunger because the public distribution system for food has
been dismantled to create markets for agribusiness. The world
of the 99.9% has grown poorer because of the economic globalization.
is their rights we fight for. We work to build alternatives
for a just, sustainable, peaceful world -- a shared and common
world -- in which our common humanity and universal responsibility
links us in earth democracy. The walls of exclusion and discrimination
that globalization has strengthened are made by men in power.
Like the Berlin wall, they too must dissolve, because authoritarian
rule is inconsistent with free societies, and corporate globalization
is a form of authoritarianism and dictatorship which is robbing
us of our fundamental freedoms and our full human potentials.
world we are reclaiming and rejuvenating is not flat. It is
diverse democratic and decentralized, it is sustainable and
secure for all, based on cooperation and sharing of the earth's
resources and our skills and creativity. The freedom we seek
is freedom for all, not freedom for a few. Free-trade is about
corporate freedom and citizen disenfranchisement.
Friedman is presenting as a new ‘flatnes’ is in
fact a new caste system, a new Brahminism, locked in hierarchies
of exclusion. In Friedman's caste system, the Shudras are all
whose livelihoods are being robbed to expand the markets and
increase the profits of global corporations. They are shut out
by invisible social and economic walls created by globalization
while it dismantles walls for protection of people’s livelihoods
Indians being drawn into the U.S economy through outsourcing
are not the new Brahmins. They must be satisfied with one-fifth
to one-eighth of the salaries of their U.S counterparts, and
what is outsourced is ‘grunt work,’ ‘number
crunching,’ standardized, mechanical operations. Outsourcing
is Taylorism of the information age. The control is in the hands
of the corporations in U.S. They are the Brahmins who monopolize
knowledge through intellectual property. Outsourcing and off-shoring
is like the ‘putting out’ work in the industrial
revolution. These are old tools for maintaining exploitative
hierarchies -- not new flat earth linkages between equals, equal
in creativity and equal in rights.
trade freedom is flat earth freedom. Earth democracy is full
earth freedom and round earth freedom -- freedom for all beings
to live their lives within the abundant, renewable but limited
bounds of the earth. We do not inhabit a world without limits
where unbounded corporate greed can be unleashed and allowed
to destroy the earth and rob people of their security, their
livelihoods, their resources. Full earth freedom is born in
free societies, shaped by free people recognizing the freedom
of all. Diversity is an expression of full earth freedom. ‘Flatness’
is a symptom of the absence of real freedom. Facism seeks flatness.
Vandana Shiva's article is reprinted with the permission of