‘Gaga’ – a Taiwanese indigenous post-development concept

by Federico Arcuri

The Post-development Dictionary showcases a plurality of alternatives to the western capitalist imaginary of a linear ‘development’. This alliance is constructed by connecting radical notions from the Global South – such as Sumak Kawsay, Buen Vivir, Swaraj and Ubuntu – with eco-feminism, eco-socialism and degrowth in the Global North. One building block of such post-development alliance is the critique of western dualism. To accumulate wealth and power, western colonialists have had to extract exchange-value from an enclosed ‘other’ that necessarily had to be devalued in order to be exploited – ‘nature’, ‘women’, ‘indios’, ‘proletariat’. This exploitation needs an ontological separation between what is seen as nature and human, man and woman, white and non-white, normal and abnormal. Indigenous people all over the world have been resisting such separation. For instance, in the Peruvian Amazon, the Ashaninka people have been resisting extractivism by relying on Kametsa Asaike, a cosmovision that intends the world as “a network of mutually constituted human and non-human actors”. In the Global North, feminist activists and scholars have re-actualized such critique of dualism. This is now also emphasized by proponents of degrowth, who talk about the importance of an ethos of interdependence to build a convivial world.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://degrowth.org/2024/02/21/gaga-a-taiwanese-indigenous-post-development-concept/