As the world’s billionaire class reaps record profits and global inequalities further divide nations and communities, this anthology compiled by renown activist Dr. Vandana Shiva pulls back the curtain on how ruthless capitalistic exploitation branded as philanthropic altruism forges a direct path to global destruction.
Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy: A Global Citizens’ Report on the Corporate Control of Technology, Health, and Agriculture details how global philanthrocapitalist organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and affiliated entities effectively monopolize and privatize common land for food production in a manner that jeopardizes public health around the globe.
Through various initiatives, sub-organizations, development schemes, and funding mechanisms, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s empire in particular, weaves an intricate network of power and influence designed to ensnare local communities and traditions in an unwavering pursuit of profit and market expansion.
Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy calls to account problematic initiatives that serve to corrode the integrity of democratic institutions, often under a banner of future-oriented innovation. This book lays bare the destructive power of overly capitalistic systems that enable mass human suffering and environmental catastrophe via the entanglement of private investment and public policy.
This democratic emergency is analyzed in detail by leading experts and civil society movements’ leaders, such as: Dr. Vandana Shiva, Farida Akhter, José Esquinas Alcàzar, Nicoletta Dentico, Fernando Cabaleiro, Seth Itzkan, Dru Jay, Satish Kumar, Jonathan Latham, Aidé Jiménez-Martínez, Chito Medina, Zahra Moloo, Silvia Ribeiro, Adelita San Vicente, Ali Tapsoba, Jim Thomas, Timothy A. Wise. International organizations and national movements that also participated include ETC Group, Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch, Soil4Climate, Bioscience Resource, GM Watch, Naturaleza de Derechos – Argentina, Masipag – Philippines, Terre à Vie – Burkina Faso, UBINIG – Bangladesh.
“Philanthrocapitalism is a remarkable effort, led by the great Vandana Shiva, to expose and oppose a growing dangerous tendency by corporate powers to capture, control, and destroy some of America’s most vital philanthropic movements; movements that seek to expose and disempower the rising dangerous powers of corporate dominion and fascism. This is a brilliant and vital work to offset the efforts of corporate America to disguise its purposes, and its efforts for dominion.” 一 Jerry Mander, author of the bestselling book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television
“Vandana Shiva is one of the great minds and truth tellers of our time. This book is a chilling and meticulously documented expose of the reckless and ultimately devastatingly dangerous use of philanthropy by a likely well intentioned technophile capitalist clueless about the needs of living people and the living Earth. A must-read warning for anyone concerned about justice, Earth, and the human future.” 一 David Korten, Author of When Corporations Rule the World; The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community; and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth.
“In an exceptionally important intervention, with a breathtaking breadth and depth of detail, Vandana Shiva and colleagues expose the deceptions of the domination paradigm, as it enters the late phase of its destruction of life, community, the mental wellbeing of our children and so much more. This book provides an important signpost for our direction of travel, to reweave our human family, regenerate that which has been depleted, and to collectively resist a system that concentrates wealth and power, leaving a few billionaires to speak as if they have our best interests at heart. Buy this book, it will support your ability to discern the bullshit!” 一 Gail Bradbrook, Co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion
“Philanthrocapitalism is expropriation dressed as charity – that’s the important message of this penetrating, incisive volume. A call-to-arms for resisting corporate assaults on democratic rights and societal well-being through the guise of philanthropic benevolence.” 一 Professor Linsey McGoey, author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy
“In Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy, Dr. Shiva has once again laid bare the emerging threats to our democracy and living planet. Shiva states a compelling case that the digital barons are the new landlords, wielding their unregulated wealth and evading democracy in an attempted takeover of global agriculture. Authoritative contributors further elucidate the dangers of genetic theft, protraction of the Green Revolution legacy, and terrifyingly bold genetic extinction technologies. The reader is left mortified and fully convinced that “Land Back” to Indigenous communities and a return to agroecology is the path to a livable future on planet earth.” 一 Leah Penniman, Co-Founder of Soul Fire Farm, author of Farming While Black
“A powerful indictment of the ultimate form of colonization disguised as philanthropy and development in the digital age. A must read for anyone fighting to reclaim food sovereignty, protect indigenous knowledge, restore biodiversity, decolonize nature, and repair the damage to the planet. The book not only identifies the real threats to humanity and the false solutions, but also shows that we owe a debt of gratitude to the Indigenous communities who have preserved the most effective principles to heal, regenerate, and protect our ecosystem, and to emancipate people to live with dignity, freedom, and in harmony with nature.” — Fadhel Kaboub, Associate Professor of economics at Denison University, President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
“Big data, CRISPR, gene drives and gene editing – this is the new terminology of Bill Gates’ vision of “Ag One,” which Vandana Shiva aptly labels as a “Poison Cartel.” The fact is that small farmers provide 80% of global food using just 25% of agricultural land. Regenerative agriculture is clearly the answer, and this book shows the way. Vandana Shiva’s eloquence and passion shine through in this new book, complemented by several chapters from renowned experts who dispel the myth that technology is the answer in agriculture.” 一 Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at MIT, and author of Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate Is Destroying Our Health and the Environment
“This is a critically important book that is needed at a critically important time in our history. It shows the multiple existential threats of the great white saviours using their billions of dollars to impose neo-colonial regimes on the world. This industrial scale cartesian reductionism is leading to the greatest extinction event in the history of our planet. People need to understand that these philanthropists are not benign. Their unregulated, untested for health and safety, genetically engineered technologies along with control of big data are imposing existential threats to all life on this planet, including us, so that they can increase their obscene levels of wealth.” 一 André Leu, International Director of Regeneration International and Author of Growing Life, Poisoning our Children, and The Myths of Safe Pesticides
“Philanthropy is being increasingly usurped by giant corporations operating in the moral desert of bottom-line economics. Virtually every noble concept is being twisted for commercial gain. Think ‘sustainable’, ‘local’ and -more recently-‘regenerative’. As these pages make clear, we urgently need to wake up to the charade being played out before us, and call it out. If we don’t, the already vice-like grip of corporate control will only tighten still further, to the detriment of us all.” 一 Helena Norberg-Hodge, Founder and Director of Local Futures
“This book speaks to the heart and soul of human survival. We have allowed our planet to be besieged by folks fueled by wealth, greed, and false narratives. Vandana Shiva, along with others, describes what has been the threat to nature, to Agroecology and Indigenous practices, methods and knowledge. It’s been industrial Agriculture and Big Technology companies, dismissing the laws and principles of biodiversity, food sovereignty, and mother nature herself. The book targets one man, one foundation at the center of deception; that person being Bill Gates. Through the guise of philanthropy, we learn how an empire is used to control what we grow, how it is grown and who grows it, using technology and genetic modification as its mantra, power and wealth as its tools. An empire that had grown to influence scientific and political decisions made across nations, evoking a white savior mentality to cure the ills of poverty and disease. Yet in the end we learn that it’s not one man that will save our planet; it’s humanity coming together, believing in nature, and working with nature that will save it.” 一 Karen Washington, Co-Founder of Black Urban Growers and Co-Owner of Rise & Root Farm
“Through courageous sousveillance, Vandana Shiva and the contributing authors remind “the-powers-who-think-they-are” (Tiokasin Ghosthorse) that they are watching them. And they ecologize that periphery so the reader can accompany them as witnesses in mutual vigilant solidarity.
Through detailed accounts of neo-colonial, capitalist tactics masked as philanthropic food justice, the authors assure us that money and tech will not be the earth’s saving grace. This prophetic work asks all of us who care about shifting from extractivism towards a life-affirming way of being in the world to advocate for the mass redistribution of inequitable theft of land and power; to rematriate what has been stolen, digitized, and patented back to the farmers, communities and more-than-human kin most impacted by “new tech feudalism” and the corporate control of land and seeds.
It is a critical and urgent text for anyone concerned with, or curious about, seed/land sovereignty and protecting the future of a biodiverse planet in the midst of attempted global “genetic colonialism.” — brontë velez, Creative Director of Lead to Life and Eco-Social Naturalist Educator
“Vandana Shiva has shown us once again that biotechnology and the so-called Green Revolution are no more than a world of false promises. Its accomplices are the Bill Gates’s of the world who fund technology companies to continue meddling in the Earth’s natural process at the expense of Indigenous peoples, local communities, women, and the Earth herself. Dispelling the myths that traditional agroecology is less productive than biotech factory farming and that biotechnology is necessary for climate resilience, Vandana Shiva and the authors in this collection confront the false narratives of corporate philanthropists like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their biotech industry accomplices. Their lies are nothing less than environmental injustice for Indigenous people, small scale farmers, and women.” — Dina Gilio-Whitaker, author of As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock
“This is a detailed expose of how false climate solutions imperil our agricultural enterprise, undermine the sovereignty of the world’s farmers, and affect the quality of our food supply. Shiva lays bare an account of elite corporate philanthropy’s power to influence the direction of agricultural research with no public accountability.” — Peggy M. Shepard, Executive Director and Co-Founder, WE ACT For Environmental Justice
“Blessed are the truth tellers, but equally blessed are the truth seekers! This offering by Vandana Shiva, Navdanya International, and Colleagues is a ‘Planet Repairs’ call to action for Earth Citizens to combine our collective power to stop the genocidal and ecocidal violence of monocultures being imposed upon humanity and Mother Nature by the ‘white saviour complex’ of corporate philanthrocapitalists such as Bill Gates and others. We are provided with extensive and accessibly written research which lifts the veil on some of the biggest falsifications of truth serving as legitimation for the eugenicist eco-fascist targeting of the ‘Wretched of the Earth’ as experimental subjects for CRISPR-based genetic editing and gene drive technologies by such oligarchs in this era of mass extinction. In times such as these, peoples of conscience need accurate information to help them decide the actions they should take, and which practices they need to divest from. This book is a must-read for those seeking to restore just and equitable intra-planetary relations in the governance of our agricultural, food, health and technological systems”. — Esther Stanford-Xosei, System-Change Reparationist, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign
“Philanthrocapitalism and the Erosion of Democracy takes an intersectional approach to examining the work of philanthrocapitalism and is a riveting read on why we should not trust billionaires and philanthropists to save vulnerable communities. Charitable giving shouldn’t come with a catch.”
— Leah Thomas, author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet