Magazine - Climate Justice

Coercion or Convictions ?

by Joana Alarcão

A massive gap between the Environment and Humans exists and I don’t believe that coercion goes a long way.

Convictions and the role of hierarchies

A massive gap between the Environment and Humans exists and I don’t believe that coercion goes a long way. Convictions are superior suited to create real change. It is humanly impossible to cover every single aspect of people behaviour and actions, we have to believe in it and change ourselves. Even more, some individuals are so alienated through their surrounding environment that they do not know where to start- how to care for such an inhospitable topic. Conviction is more something we should work with, giving time for people to absorb new behaviours. Find how they can navigate further within this intrinsic world. Then as a community, we will move further.

What is the role of coercion or convictions in Hierarchies?

With the collapse of pillars such as religion and the consumption of progress, a new society arose. The problem is that humans did not change that much.

Using Marx’s theories of the 90 century, where we claimed that society urgent problems had to do with considering humans as machines somewhat – the suffering of the many for the few, alienation through the self, the hierarchical state that oppresses and led to ruin. Marx’s theories were not right.

Even though we claim that hierarchies are the root of all Evil I believe it plays more the role of devil’s advocate. We are a hierarchical and social society and a species that can not prosper without it, as neither can’t our animal compatriots. The dilemma with sudden progress is that it results in alienation through ourselves. With sudden growth, more production of goods, more life expectancy, and less forced work, it is only expected that natural resources, that once would be sufficient, have now a very limit inspiring date. I do not believe the problem to be the hierarchical role of people but how the individual regards itself and its impact.

Are institutions approaching the problem?

Environmental theorists such as Aness Naes, Timothy Morton and Eco-artist like Joseph Beuys and Michael Agnes, from the 90s, bring this subject into a brighter light. Raising awareness using, in some cases, nature as art itself. Even though these historical references did bring awareness to the current state of things, to be able to cope with the contemporary demands of society.

We need less fascist points of view, less aggression through our fellow human compatriots and more collaborative action. Not discard all the knowledge our ancestors provide us with but instead use it to evolve and adapt.


Watson, G. Sheikh, F. (2008) Normative self-Interest or moral hypocrisy?: the importance of context, Journal of Business Ethics,77(3), pp.259-269.Morton, T. (2012).

The ecological thought. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press. Alter, J. S. (2015).

‘Gattungswesen – the ecology of species-being: alienation, biosemiotics, and social theory, Anthropos, pp.515-531.Bykova, M. F. (2014).

‘On the Philosophical Relevance of Marx’s Views Today‘, Frontiers of Philosophy in China. 9, pp.370-38

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