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Articles by: Helena Norberg-Hodge

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Resist Locally, Renew Globally

Resistance to corporate rule at the policy level will need to be coupled with the generation of alternatives from below, to fill the gaps left by the departing old system. The Promise and Pitfalls of Localism The fact that the language of localism is being increasingly co-opted by authoritarians around the world is itself a sign of localism’s appeal. Left[Read More…]

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Local is Our Future

Local is Our Future

[The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of Helena Norberg-Hodge’s new book Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness, published by Local Futures in July 2019.] For our species to have a future, it must be local. The good news is that the path to such a future is already being forged. Away from the screens[Read More…]

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Unlike a Globalized Food System, Local Food Won’t Destroy the Environment

If you’re seeking some good news during these troubled times, look at the ecologically sound ways of producing food that have percolated up from the grassroots in recent years. Small farmers, environmentalists, academic researchers and food and farming activists have given us agroecology, holistic resource management, permaculture, regenerative agriculture and other methods that can alleviate or perhaps even eliminate the global food system’s worst impacts:[Read More…]

To Leave or Remain: Dichotomy or Distraction?

To Leave or Remain: Dichotomy or Distraction?

Ever since the Brexit referendum was first announced, we have been bombarded by an array of starkly contradictory pronouncements – from the Leave camp’s now infamous claim that withdrawal from the EU would release £350 million a week for the NHS to the former Chancellor George Osborne’s assertion that Brexit would leave the UK “permanently poorer”. At first glance, the[Read More…]

Localization: a strategic alternative to globalized authoritarianism

Localization: a strategic alternative to globalized authoritarianism

In this piece, Helena Norberg-Hodge describes how economic globalization and corporate deregulation have contributed to the rise of authoritarian political leaders in the 21st century, and how rebuilding stronger, more diversified, self-reliant local economies can restore democracy and help us better meet our basic human needs. For those who care about peace, equality and the future of the planet, the[Read More…]

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Towards A BuenVivir Transition

Many thanks to Pablo Solón for his insightful essay on this important alternative to the catastrophic juggernaut of industrial modernity. Having spent so much of my life interacting and working with a land-based, indigenous society in a mountainous region very distant from the Andes—Ladakh, in the Trans-Himalaya—I was struck by how the philosophy of Vivir Bien, or BuenVivir as it is[Read More…]

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Trump Trauma

Trump Trauma

While we mourn the tragedy that fear, prejudice and ignorance “trumped” in this election, now is the time to go deeper and broader with our work. There is a growing recognition that the scary situation we find ourselves in today has deep roots. To better understand what happened – and why – we need to broaden our horizons. If we[Read More…]

After Brexit And Trump: Don’t Demonise; Localise!

After Brexit And Trump: Don’t Demonise; Localise!

Co-Written by Helena Norberg-Hodge and Rupert Read The election of Donald Trump was a rude awakening from which many people in the US have still not recovered. Their shock is similar to that felt by UK progressives, Greens, and those on the Left following the Brexit referendum. In both cases, the visceral reaction was heightened by the barely-disguised racist and[Read More…]

Globalization And The American Dream

Globalization And The American Dream

Implicit in all the rhetoric promoting globalization is the premise that the rest of the world can and should be brought up to the standard of living of the West, and America in particular. For much of the world the American Dream – though a constantly moving target – is globalization’s ultimate endpoint.

Why Global Capital Fears ‘Brexit’

Why Global Capital Fears ‘Brexit’

There are some who would believe that collaboration at the pan-European level could facilitate a path to genuine economic decentralization. Others are convinced that those steps to localize can best be taken by first leaving the EU. Still others don’t favor either of these paths. We are not trying to tell UK readers how (or even whether) to vote; we are asking you to help us shed light on and bring sanity to this volatile situation. Whichever way you vote, please reject the glaringly stupid rhetoric in the media. Speak out, let your voice be heard for ecological and economic sanity, for a fundamental turnaround

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