Revolution for Life is a passionate philosophical critique of the power structures that underpin our society, proposing radical solutions to contemporary social problems.
Eva von Redecker examines how the established power structures we often take for granted determine our human relationships, our understanding of property and the way we view nature. She offers a fascinating take on the Covid-19 pandemic within the context of environmental protest movements and their philosophical rationales.
The book is divided into two sections, the first of which concentrates on dominion, power and possessions. Von Redecker’s sights are firmly set on capitalism and its relentless pursuit of profit with no regard for the environment, highlighting an out of control and destructive consumerist spiral. This theme is developed in a broad sweep that connects the pandemic with the Black Lives Matter movement and global environmental movement.
The second half of the book focuses on environmental protest groups and considers the sustainable changes that industry, society, and individuals need to make. Von Redecker argues that industry must repair the damage it has inflicted on nature and human society, that work must meet the personal needs of individuals and contribute to the healing of the environment, and that property should be replaced with communitarian ownership.
The author thus challenges societal norms, but acknowledges that this will take a revolution to achieve. She imagines a future in which childbearing is regarded as an economic activity, and all children will be cared for collectively.
The ‘Revolution for Life’ is an ongoing process, drawing inspiration from equal rights movements, worker strikes, and actions to save trees and land from destruction. Von Redeker reflects on the social inequalities that the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare, considering the groups most likely to lose their lives to the virus and those most severely impacted by the lockdown restrictions. Her proposed social reforms take as their basis a collective effort to refocus on the common good and to enshrine ecological solidarity at the heart of all actions.
Revolution for Life is a gripping read, with clear arguments and compelling examples, and serves as a comprehensive introduction to twenty-first-century environmental activism. It will appeal to readers of titles such as Robin Hanbury Tenison’s Taming the Four Horsemen, and There is No Planet B, by Mike Berners-Lee.
All recommendations from Spring 2021