The Quiet Revolution
by Satish Kumar
Article image credit: Colour Leaf Sun Star by Richard Shilling www.richardshilling.co.uk
The time has come to spread the word.
This year it is the 40th anniversary of my editorship of Resurgence. It was in 1973 that John Papworth invited me to become the editor. I was reluctant. I had other plans for my life. But news of this invitation reached E.F. Schumacher, then an Associate Editor and also a frequent contributor to the magazine at that time.
He called me and said: “Satish, I hear that you have been asked to take on the editorship of Resurgence. I like the idea and I hope you will accept.”
I said: “But I am planning to return to India soon.”
“Why?” asked Schumacher.
“I want to work with the Gandhian movement,” I replied.
“Satish, there are many Gandhians in India. We need one in England! Why not stay here and bring the Gandhian ideas and Eastern wisdom to the West?” he urged.
“You are very persuasive! If I take on the Resurgence editorship, will you contribute an article to every issue?” I asked.
“That’s the deal. If you edit the magazine I will write in it regularly…”
Schumacher kept that promise until his untimely death in 1977.
Editing this magazine for the past 40 years has been a joy. Friendship, commitment and the loyal support of the readers, writers, illustrators, artists, poets and donors have all been heart-warming and inspiring.
Bringing Gandhian ideas to the West means presenting a holistic worldview. So rather than highlighting a single problem with a single solution, I have tried to show, through the pages of the magazine, that life is an interconnected whole. Good politics depends on good economics. Good economics depends on the good care and conservation of Nature. The best way to conserve Nature is to love Nature; celebrate the beauty, integrity and abundance of Nature. The arts, poetry, culture and creativity enable us to appreciate the Earth in all her diversity. Thus biodiversity and cultural diversity become an integral part of a holistic worldview.
Within this overarching context Resurgence & Ecologist embraces the science of Gaia, which sees the Earth as a living organism rather than a machine. It embraces the philosophy of Deep Ecology, which also understands that the Earth and all life upon it have intrinsic value and do not exist solely as a source for human use. Thus human rights and the rights of the Earth are viewed as two aspects of a single reality: there is no contradiction between social justice and environmental justice.
However, Resurgence & Ecologist is no ‘talking shop’ for abstract intellectual ideas. Over the past 40 years, we have reported and supported the pioneering work of permaculture, agroforestry, organic food, renewable energy, microbanking, cooperative living, conflict resolution, peacemaking, the Occupy movement and many more actions of radical individuals and organisations.
And whilst the magazine has been at the forefront of both the environmental and the social justice movements, we have also remained committed to the ethical, cultural and spiritual nourishment of our readers. There is no separation between personal wellbeing and planetary wellbeing; outer and inner landscapes are intricately connected and a holistic worldview includes all aspects of our existence. Social and environmental harmony cannot be achieved without inner harmony; hence a new trinity of Soil, Soul and Society.
So, all in all, these last 40 years of working for the cause of a holistic worldview and sustainable living in social, political, ecological and spiritual fields has been a pure privilege. I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to you all for your support and friendship and for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
The relevance of holistic ideas and of Resurgence & Ecologist becomes ever paramount. Our challenge now is to reach out to new audiences, such as politicians, business leaders, academics and young people in schools and universities. They need to know that an alternative is not only possible but essential if we wish to build a sustainable world. As Fritjof Capra put it, “The great challenge of our time is to create sustainable communities, designed in such a way that they respect and cooperate with Nature’s inherent ability to sustain life. To do so, we need a new ecological understanding of life, new values, and a new way of thinking – thinking in terms of relationships, networks, cyclical processes. This thinking is not taught in our schools, nor in our universities, and the corresponding values are not embraced by our political leaders or businesses.”
Resurgence & Ecologist is one of the very few platforms where these values are expounded and explained in article after article and issue after issue, year on year. This magazine is a voice of and for the global civil society and the green movement around the world. Therefore I am asking you, the reader, for your support and help to meet this challenge. I am asking all our members to join together to help double the circulation of your favourite magazine from 10,000 to 20,000 over the next 12 to 18 months.
Personal recommendation to your friends, your family and your acquaintances is the best way to spread the word. There is no better way of spreading the word than word of mouth. And if you would like us to send you some flyers to give to potential new readers, please write to the address below. Also Resurgence & Ecologist makes a perfect gift. So please find any excuse to give a gift membership to anyone who might enjoy reading the magazine.
Resurgence & Ecologist is our magazine; it is your magazine, the magazine of all members. Therefore let us work together to reach out to as many people as possible. This will be your gift to me on the 40th anniversary of my editorship.