FE1.7 - Help Not Helping

Photo by Concrete Forms

Photo by Concrete Forms


Almost exactly one year ago, a series of devastating earthquakes rocked southern Mexico.  But what if it’s not the earthquakes themselves that pose the greatest threat to these communities?  The conflict between institutional and grassroots disaster response in the aftermath of these earthquakes provides a powerful illustration of the tensions that have underlain the concept of development ever since President Truman’s second inaugural address in 1949.

In this episode, Oaxacan deprofessionalized intellectual Gustavo Esteva guides us through his thinking on capitalism, disaster response, and what lies beyond development.


This episode features Gustavo Esteva, founder of Universidad de la Tierra and author of numerous books.

Special thanks to Ilana Fonariov, Andrjez Kozlowski, Doňa Margarita and her family, and Kirsty Johnstone Munroe Cameron.

Music for this episode was produced by El Temporal, kmathz, NCTRNM, and Sunfish Moonlight.

A lot of research goes into each episode of Future Ecologies, including great journalism from a variety of media outlets, and we like to cite our sources:

Esteva, G., Babones, S. J., & Babcicky, P. (2013). The future of development: a radical manifesto. Bristol: Policy Press.

Esteva, G., & Prakash, M. S. (2014). Grassroots post-modernism: remaking the soil of cultures (2nd ed.). London: Zed Books.

Illich, I. (2009). Tools for conviviality. London: Marion Boyars.

TeleSUR. (October 10, 2017). Mexico's Richest Man to Profit From Mexico City Rebuilding. Retrieved from telesurtv.net.

This episode includes music from the Project Gutenberg Library.  It also includes audio recorded by cormi, James Swift, bigpickle51, geerose, pfranzen, and Uminari, protected by Creative Commons attribution licenses, and accessed through the Freesound Project.

You can subscribe to and download Future Ecologies wherever you find podcasts - please share, rate, and review us.  Our website is futureecologies.net.  We’re also on Facebook, Instagram, iNaturalist, Soundcloud and Youtube.  We’re an independent production, and you can support us on Patreon - our supporters have access to cool supporter-only mini-episodes and other perks.

Future Ecologies is recorded on the unceded territories of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil- Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh) Nations - otherwise known as Vancouver, British Columbia.  

This season of Future Ecologies is supported in part by the Vancouver Foundation.  Learn more at https://vancouverfoundationsmallarts.ca/.