Bem-vindo ao Blog do Prof. Marcus Eduardo de Oliveira

Aguardamos e contamos com a sua participação.

30 de dezembro de 2010


By Marcus Eduardo de Oliveira

Publicado original pelo PRAVDA, em 29/12/10.

These are some central points of discussion on what is usually called ecological socialism, or as some prefer eco-socialism: to radically change economic rationality, to approach the concerns of economics as part of the need to liberate man, to create a new environment for the life of every human being without the usual division that giving privileges to some at the expense of many and recognize definitely the existence of limits to growth.

Socialism, yes, is in the direction of elevating the social and political bonds that relate, first, to Mother Earth. Socialism moves in the direction of giving true criticism to a "god-capitalism" which states as its basic idea that the market, the sacred altar of money, can do anything. This socialism, defended here, is put in a position contrary to that premise, believing that the market is unable to solve everything and that the world cannot live only for consumption and more consumption, as the "god-capitalism" always wanted and wants to be so.

Who has eyes to see knows that there is a contradiction between capital and nature and it should be rethought in light of a new perspective that includes essentially and preferably, the human being inside the object of analysis of economic models, on the premise that the world is not, as we said, an object, a simple commodity ready to be digested by greedy mouths. Ecological socialism, eco-socialism, is to disprove the god-market and put new rules in the game, defending the basic underpinnings of life, condemning first the consumption artificially induced by advertising that provides for the survival of that "god" mentioned herein.

This ecological socialism advocated by Mexican economist Enrique Leff, by sociologist Michael Lowy, by Victor Wallis, John Bellamy Foster, Jean-Marie Harribey, Raymond Williams, David Pepper and many other names of prominence in academia, points to the need to instill in the collective imagination the fact that every time capital is built on the ruins of nature life for everyone comes into danger.

Maybe that's why Enrique Leff rightly points out that "the economy is generating the entropic death of the world." This "death" to be understood, becomes clearer when one realizes that the only concern of the "Lords of the World Economy" is about saving big business, not saving the planet and life. By the way, it would be better to say saving lives, since the planet will be able to live without us, as it is independent of our presence to survive.

On the side of the economy and voracious consumerism, the god-market basis, which destroys everything in the name of meeting the dictates of marketing, we are cognizant that the order of macroeconomics commanded by these "Gentlemen" is one: for the global economy to grow and grow and grow increasingly. On the other hand, for the sake of survival and respect for the laws of life, the order is one of ecology: fight for the possibility of ensuring the survival of our species.

While the fact is that it is no longer possible to accept the marketing sermon that makes a minority prosper while the majority know closely the drama of exclusion in a society that seems not to be otherwise beyond that of consumerist, inspired by advertising, funded by capital, destroyer of nature.
Those who defend the model to make the economy grow without limits to promote the "general happiness" as if it were feasible, and as if there was not any kind of socioeconomic difference, are wrong to ignore that this "growth" is dependent on the laws of nature and that nature in all its amplitude, is not (and never will be) able to account for this growth policy.


Finally, what is ecosocialism? To Lowy, "It is the question of a current of ecological thought and action that takes on the fundamental achievements of socialism while getting rid of the madness for over production." But the sociologist John Bellamy Foster has defined eco-socialism as "the rational regulation of production, respecting the relationship between metabolic social systems and natural systems in order to guarantee the satisfaction of common needs for present and future generations."

Therefore, the definition given by Foster is not far from the recommendation made by the Brundtland Report. To better illustrate this issue there are three aspects to highlight the position of Foster. They are:

* Recognition of the limits to growth and the break with the productivist logic that associates the increase in welfare with a production increase. The prefix echo the word socialism means to reconcile intra-generational equality with equal inter-generational;

* The reformulation of the production system in order to make it dependent solely on the use of renewable resources, linking with the previous principle. It should be noted that sustainability requires a use of renewable resources at a pace that ensures its renewal;

* The social use of nature, focusing on community management of common resources.

As seen, the terms eco-socialism and ecological socialism are far from being mere idioms or mere romantic rhetoric. They are, moreover, concepts that gain relevant outlines in a world that lives intensely in the most serious ecological crisis in history. For the good of all, the thought is in defense of sustainability that grows stronger day by day. Nature and life will thank you.

Marcus Eduardo de Oliveira is an economist and professor of economics the FAC-FITO and UNIFIEO, in São Paulo, Brazil. Member of GECEU - Group Study of Foreign Trade (UNIFIEO) and writer EcoDebate Portal, the website "The Economist" and Zwela News Agency (Angola).

3 de dezembro de 2010


FEBRABAN oferece portal para controle das finanças pessoais

Camila Prochnow, da Humantech Gestão do Conhecimento, de Joinvile, SC, recomenda o novo serviço da FEBRABAN que visa promover controle das finanças pessoais. Leia os detalhes abaixo:

No Meu bolso em dia, o leitor tem acesso a informações sobre as formas mais eficazes de guardar seu dinheiro, realizar a melhor compra, investir ou financiar

Lições sobre investimentos pessoais, conceitos de operações financeiras, dicas para administrar do jeito certo as dívidas. Esses são alguns dos serviços oferecidos no portal Meu bolso em dia, uma iniciativa da Federação Brasileira dos Bancos (FEBRABAN). O programa tem como objetivo orientar os cidadãos e as famílias sobre as melhores formas de administrar e organizar seus próprios orçamentos, promover o consumo consciente e ampliar a compreensão sobre os diversos produtos e serviços do sistema financeiro. Enfim, é um programa prático e funcional, totalmente isento de custos, elaborado para ajudar as pessoas e as famílias a fazerem a adequada administração de sua vida financeira.

No site Meu bolso em dia, o leitor encontrará divididos entre as categorias “Entenda o banco”, “Sempre positivo”, “Como comprar melhor” e “Você participa” materiais constantemente atualizados e que abrangem vários aspectos das finanças pessoais.

No menu “Entenda o banco”, por exemplo, os leitores ficam compreendendo nomes que estão na rotina da população que usa os serviços bancários, mas que nem sempre conseguem ser facilmente explicados. Uma linguagem simples e sucinta aborda os conceitos básicos de serviços como conta corrente, cheque especial, financiamento, previdência, seguro, etc.

Para tornar o conteúdo mais dinâmico, o portal disponibiliza vídeos que ajudam a apresentar seus conteúdos. Além disso, quem acessar pode também adaptar o material do site às suas necessidades, por meio de planilhas, simuladores e testes para saber de que maneira o dinheiro está sendo utilizado e identificar os principais problemas desse uso.
De acordo com o presidente da FEBRABAN, Fabio Barbosa, a constante inclusão de consumidores no mercado bancário lança o desafio aos bancos para que eles se capacitem e possam auxiliar esse usuário recém-chegado, além daqueles que têm dúvidas na administração de suas finanças. “Quanto mais claro for esse relacionamento com o dinheiro, melhor para os clientes, para os bancos e para nosso país. Todos ganham”, afirma.

Acesse todo o conteúdo do site, no endereço

Saiba das atualizações também pelo Twitter:

1 de dezembro de 2010

Desenvolvimento Sustentável: É possível? | Cidade Futura

CIDADE FUTURA, no Rio de Janeiro, publica nosso artigo "Desenvolvimento Sustentável: É possível?". Confiram:

Desenvolvimento Sustentável: É possível? | Cidade Futura


Sustainable Development: Is it possible?
Marcus Eduardo de Oliveira (*)

In his latest book "Caring for the Earth, Protecting Life," Leonardo Boff asserts: "In 1961, half of the Earth was needed to meet human demands." In 1981, we quote: "we needed the entire Earth. In 1995, we exceeded by 10% its spare capacity, but it was still bearable. "

However, alarms continued to be triggered announcing the expansive aggression suffered by the Earth. The calendar marked the day the 23rd of September 2008, predicted by scholars as "Earth Overshoot Day. That is the day the Earth becomes overrun. Thereafter it was believed that on a universal scale, the Earth has exceeded by 30% its ability to support and replace.

From there, you wonder, what can be done? Continue to run rampant exploitation / waste of natural resources without limits or make a quick reversal? Continue prioritizing the diverse goods the market requires all the time or look with respect and attention for the quality of life? Continue with the preaching drawn from the seminal works of economics that point out that economic growth is an effective remedy for the cure of social ills or to make this a subject in science to search for the same goals in life, whose essence is the quality rather than quantity?
Answers to these questions are scattered around, although there is more disagreement than consensus on thinking about the intricate relationship economy - nature-resources - desires - production - consumption.

Eric Hobsbawm, one of the greatest intellectuals of the century, in this regard has already positioned himself: "Either we enter a different paradigm or go against the darkness." On the other paradigm, the renowned historian says that changes in the system are not sufficient, you must change the system.

Destroying nature in exchange for the pleas of the voracity of the consumer market is to destroy the webs that sustain life. The market, as well as the entire economy, depends on something that is above it all: nature. The economy, as productive activity, is just a byproduct of the natural environment and depends outrageously on a variety of resources that nature holds. We humans, like all living beings, are parts and not all of the natural environment that includes a wealth of living creatures.

It must be emphasized that we are not on earth, we are the Earth. We do not occupy nature as mere participants, we are in nature from the fact that we are made of stardust. We depend on the nature of the arable land, water, air, sun, rain, phytoplankton (unicellular microscopic algae) and depend on the stars. That's not prose or verse, it is fact!

There are the stars, with a unique ability to shine and therefore with the power to remove the fear of the night. They convert hydrogen into helium by nuclear fusion, and from this combination emerges potassium, oxygen, carbon, iron that will be located in amino acids (the chemical units that make up proteins) and proteins (which form the muscles, ligaments, tendons, glands, and finally, that allow bone growth). Without it life would not be possible.
We are still part of nature for philological reasons (scientific study of a language). Not coincidentally, we originate from the Biblical Adam (Adam in Hebrew means "Son of the land"), although this is purely metaphorical. We are also part of nature when we realize that even the philological aspect of the word man / human comes from "humus," which means "fertile land."
Every time we see these issues come up, we will further deepen the importance of the topic. Environmental concerns, seen in a not too distant past as merely rhetorical and romantic today, for our happiness, will occupy the agenda of the key government leaders.

To some extent, it seems to be the consensus that we're talking about a perspective that involves, in essence, the maintenance of life by the close ties we have to mother Earth, also called Gaia.

It is in everyone's interest, and not just the practitioners of green activism - the first ones to call attention to these serious issues.
In this detail, the argument of the Canadian educator Herbert M. McLuhan (1911-1980) should be cited: "On spaceship Earth there are no passengers. We are all crew."
The economy, being one area of knowledge of the humanities, cannot do without help in the dissemination of a discourse in favour of life, and not in favour of the market as god, as has been common since the advent of the Classical School in the eighteenth century.

Discussing development through the lens of economics is, above all, thinking about qualitative aspects, and not in the current economic dimension of the projects targeted only for the quantitative aspect. To understand the economy only by the amount of things produced is an abysmal mistake that has only further caused the culture of waste and lack of frugality with regard to regular productive activity, while deepening consumerism, that scourge of the capitalist system.
Even today, despite the most strident and forceful speeches about the serious environmental crisis that is recognized, it is presented as a good economic policy that can make the GDP go up, regardless of whether that growth will occur in the area of environmental exploration / destruction.

They forget or ignore everything that grows too much, or explodes or spreads. To explode or to spread means, roughly, loss and waste. To grow just for the sake of growing is the foundation of cancer cells. The economy cannot go down that path. It leads to death. Now this is not solidifiable; is highly destructible. The path of any economy that has as its only priority and does everything to meet the dictates of the market that calls for more production and consumption, reaching peaks of unimaginable growth, is known by all: destruction, deforestation, pollution, scarcity and extinction of species.

It is in the name of this perverse model that is criminally responsible for deaths that the market is supplied while nature is decapitalized, while life is endangered. At some time, any hour - and hopefully before it's not too late - someone will realize that these words uttered in 1854 were punchtually certain: "(...) They will realize that you cannot eat money."
For the good of everyone is necessary to allude to the fact that it is not possible to measure the growth of an economy when a tree is knocked down, you pollute a river or contaminate a spring. It has another name: insanity.

There is no sustainable economy that thrives on the basis of this pathology. To mitigate this discourse, modern economists have created the term sustainable development. However, there are not a few who commit another mistake in the vain hope that the magic word (sustainable) is in fact something applicable.

However, it remains to ask: sustainable for whom? How? When? Where? To continue unbridled exploitation, this growth cannot be sustained. Therefore, the expression is in itself fallacious. In a development project that is guided by the rules of competition, it is not possible that something is sustainable, since this competition, made by known mechanisms, produces exclusion, a few win and triumph over the loss of hundreds of millions of people.

If thousands are (and they will be increasingly) thickening (and will thicken) within the ranks of poverty and destitution, how can you say it is sustainable development? It is only sustainable when all / any are a part, without exclusion. Exclusion is a concept that does not match the scope of the term sustainability.
Moreover, it is argued insistently that sustainable development is feasible, because one day, nature will answer the demands of renewable resources. Forget those who argue that the universe is finite, it will not increase in size. The resources, a great deal of them, will end, many are not renewable.

So once again it is appropriate to draw attention of the term "sustainable" as being unreliable. L. Boff, reflecting on it in the book cited at the beginning of these words reflects that "(...) sustainability must be ensured, firstly, to the Land, to humanity as a whole, society and every person." The economy (science) in a little more than 230 years will need to advance much further to encompass with primacy this term in their predicates. Exclusively by the methods of competition, nothing will be achieved.

With all luck, the scale of values should prevail then, if we want to prioritize life. It should include cooperation, sharing, solidarity, communion, sharing. Definitely, the project must be economic to serve life in its dimensions, including, above all, the ecological perspective. This is urgent as we think of the prospect that the model is wrong and it's past time to propose an alternative. Life is in a hurry and the clock of time passes too quickly.
(*) Brazilian economist. Specialist in International Politics and in Latin American Integration (USP). Professor of economics the FAC-FITO and UNIFIEO, in São Paulo. Writer's Portal EcoDebate and Zwela News Agency (Angola) and the Freedom Newspaper Daily (Galicia)