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Yasuni Itt


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This article is a copy of the one published in New Society Magazine No.237, January-February 2012, ISSN 0251-3552, A major transition for a great transformation
Reflections from the Yasuní-ITT Initiative
René Ramírez Gallegos1
When discussing the development of a political project from the Left there are two opposing positions or aspects: those which promote the idea of better managing and regulating capitalism – that is, striving for “good capitalism” – and those who hold anticapitalist positions. The author of this article argues that a Left that does not give up on the generation of alternatives to capitalism but at the same time is responsible for governing, should think about a “great transition” without losing sight of the horizon of a “great transformation”. This article analyzes the Yasuní-ITT Initiative and presents it as an example of how to merge concrete and innovative proposals (transition) and utopias which go beyond capitalist development (transformation).
Key words: Left, Capitalism, Good Living/Sumak Kawsay, Yasuní-ITT
The world does not need alternatives for development, but alternatives to development. The world does not need to “better” use capitalism, but to transform it. That is the great historical challenge that the Left should take on, both intellectually and politically. The concept of “development” has been recycled and reborn again and again for all its critics and detractors. However, in a strict sense it has never been questioned as a concept, nor how to best achieve it. Whereas “human” development, “sustainable” development, development “with a gender perspective”, etc. are important advances to create world that is more humane, environmentally friendly, and equitable, they do not seek to change what is at the root of the accumulation and (re)distribution models inherent to capitalism.2
Taking this into account, it is

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