The Green Belt Movement

1285 Words 6 Pages
Gidwani observes an inherent incompatibility in capitalism and commons. While capitalism seeks to maximize individual gains, commons share a different goal of bettering the community. So, whenever capitalism and commons are at odds, a capitalist society seek to subdue and eradicate the obstacle impeding its capitalistic; however, Wangari Maathai’s environmentalist campaign against the Kenyan government demonstrates that commons can, in fact, be incorporated into capitalism. The contradiction arises in that Gidwani oversimplifies the issue of wastelands into purely economics and fails to see its sociopolitical and cultural roots. Whenever the cost of opposing something exceeds the benefits, capitalism redraws the lines of what is and what is not waste. But the process evaluates not only the monetary costs of certain actions or commodities but also its sociopolitical and cultural implications. Much of the government opposition to the Green Belt Movement confirms Gidwani’s thesis that capitalism opposes commons for economic reasons. While it seems irrational for the government to refuse a positive action such as planting trees that provides cleaner air and more food, there is a hidden economic cost to the government. In the documentary, when president Daniel arap Moi …show more content…
(Change for clarity? The battle. Etc.). In speaking out against Maathai, president Moi refers to the Kenyan tradition of female respect for males. He employs this argument to suggest who “crossed the line” (37:31). While the message may be explicitly sexist, the audiences’ laughter and even newspaper criticism of Maathai (37:15) reveals the cultural atmosphere of the nation. The very attack on the roles of men and women is threatening the tribal and national identity. Interestingly, the government opposition to the movement lies not only in the its ideas but also in its

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