Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

“Sustainability” has become the buzzword of twenty-first century environmental politics and of global efforts to address the current environmental crisis. The term frames environmental damage and ecological instability as problems for human life, pointing to extractive, productive, and consumption practices that are problematic not because of their negative effects on the Earth System but because they produce environmental conditions that jeopardize our ability to meet our needs (both now and in the future).

Ultimately, the puzzle that international discussions about sustainability are trying to solve is that of how to secure indefinite production and economic growth in a world of…

Photo: M. Collao Quevedo

Generally, philosophies that fall under the category of Humanism claim that all human beings share common traits on the basis of which they hold a special worth and dignity. Although the specific content of ‘human essence’ advanced by various strands of Western Humanism may vary, some elements are consistently found across the board:

  • An essentialism that identifies specific attributes that make up the ‘essence’ of human life — traits without which human life cannot be and that separate humans from non-human beings.
  • A universalism that claims that these essential human traits are shared by all human beings.
  • An exceptionalism that…

President-Elect Joe Biden. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential elections has been framed again and again as another triumph of American democracy, one akin to that of the Civil War. Barring the controversial nature of these comparisons, Biden’s win in the US elections is undoubtedly a win for American democracy — but only one of the many victories that the nation will have to secure in the coming years if it is to live up to the title ‘Land of the Free’. …

Rosa Parks being fingerprinted on February 22, 1956. Wikimedia Commons.

Listening to Angela Davis speak about the achievements of the Black Panther Party, I was particularly struck by her depiction of two commonly juxtaposed ‘styles’ of civil rights struggle in the United States — one ‘successful’, one ‘unsuccessful’. Davis begins by telling us about the iconic 1956 picture of Rosa Parks sitting on a bus that appears to be populated by only her and the white man sitting behind her. The picture is meant to represent Rosa Parks’ act of civil disobedience, a “peaceful ambiance”, and “an individualist focus.” But what we see in it is ultimately a single triumphant…

M. Collao Quevedo

Public scholar and educator. Research interests include capitalism, democracy, globalization, and the history of social and political thought.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store