is a left focus or theoretical tendency within the
deep ecology movement, which is subversive of the existing industrial
society. It accepts and promotes the eight-point Deep Ecology Platform
drawn up by Arne Naess and George Sessions. Left biocentrism holds up
as an ideal, identification, solidarity, and compassion with all life. "Left"
as used in left biocentrism, means anti-industrial and anti-capitalist, but
not necessarily socialist. The expressions 'left biocentrism' or 'left
ecocentrism' are used interchangeably.
accepts the view that the Earth belongs to no one.
While raising a number of criticisms, left biocentrism is meant to
strengthen, not undermine, the deep ecology movement which identifies
with all life.
says that individuals must take responsibility for
their actions and be socially accountable. Part of being individually
responsible is to practice voluntary simplicity, so as to minimize one's
own impact upon the Earth.
are concerned with social justice and class issues,
but within a context of ecology. To move to a deep ecology world, the
human species must be mobilized, and a concern for social justice is a
necessary part of this mobilization. Left biocentrism is for the
redistribution of wealth, nationally and internationally.
opposes economic growth and consumerism.
Human societies must live within ecological limits so that all other
species may continue to flourish. We believe that bioregionalism,
not globalism, is necessary for sustainability. The perspective of the
late German Green philosopher Rudolf Bahro is accepted that, for
world-wide sustainability, industrialized countries need to reduce
their impact upon the Earth to about one tenth of what it is at the
present time. It is also incumbent upon non-industrialized nations to
become sustainable and it is necessary for industrialized nations to
help on this path.
holds that individual and collective spiritual
transformation is important to bring about major social change, and to
break with industrial society. We need inward transformation, so that
the interests of all species override the short-term self-interest of the
individual, the family, the community, and the nation.
believes that deep ecology must be applied to
actual environmental issues and struggles, no matter how socially
sensitive, e.g. population reduction, aboriginal issues, workers'
eco-feminism and eco-marxism, while raising
important questions, are all human-centered and consider human-to-
human relations within society to be more important and, in the final
analysis, determine society's relationship to the natural world. Left
biocentrism believes that an egalitarian, non-sexist, non-discriminating
society, a highly desirable goal, can still be exploitive towards the Earth.
are "movement greens" in basic orientation. They
are critical of existing Green political parties, which have come to an
accommodation with industrial society and have no accountability to the
deep ecology movement.
10. To be
relevant, deep ecology needs to incorporate the
perspective advanced by left biocentrism.
The above Primer is a result of a protracted collective discussion among a
number of those who support left biocentrism and deep ecology.
Students in the universities and fellow green and environmental activists can learn more about
about left biocentrism through a book entitled Ecological Ethics: An Introduction by Patrick Curry.
The revised and expanded second edition is a 332-page volume, discussing concepts, gradations and
of ecological ethics, with a very good section on left biocentrism. The first edition of the book was
endorsed by Paul Watson, who said: "This book is a brilliant introduction to the ethical basis of the
ecology movement. It is a handbook for survival - for ourselves and for our planet."
Ecological Ethics: An Introduction, Second Edition
by Patrick Curry
Polity Press, 2011
Available in Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7456-5126-2
Or Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7456-5125-5
There is an internet discussion group called "left bio" - a group about
socially-conscious ecocentric philosophy. The philosophical basis of unity
is a general agreement with the above Left Biocentrism Primer. (This is a
general agreement, meaning one can have reservations about particular
points or wordings.)