Newsletter no 39 – Editorial

Food sovereignty in an era of authoritarian and fascist resurgence

Illustration: Rosanna Morris,

In every region of the world, we are seeing the rise and consolidation of social, political and cultural forces that are racist, xenophobic, misogynist, male chauvinist, homo-lesbo-transphobic, anti-pacifist, antidemocratic and totalitarian. Variously called fascist, authoritarian populist, dictatorships and even democracies, these forces are identifiable by their opposition to pluralism, racial, religious and cultural diversity, social equality, gender autonomy, and secularism. They sway and control public opinion through discourses that are made up of bits of information cleverly stitched together to portray their own versions of reality. They demonize inconvenient truths as “fake news” and make up their own facts based not on objective reality, but on the ideological values of their respective movements.

All political regimes are authoritarian in varying degrees. However, the authoritarian/fascist regimes that have risen over the past decade are notably dangerous because of the support they have from astonishingly large cross sections of their populations and transnational capital, giving them the power to polarize and fracture societies, and reverse important, hard won gains in human rights, civil liberties, and secular, democratic governance.

In this edition of the Nyéléni newsletter, we examine the implications of these political-social configurations for the food sovereignty movement. We especially highlight how food sovereignty is itself a strategy of resistance against the dangerous wave of extreme authoritarianism sweeping the world.

Friends of the Earth International and Focus on the Global South