Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eco Socialism

I love the pretense behind this meeting announcement. As if eco-socialism, social ecology or even feminist ecology were NEW only to be recently discovered by the Left in Toronto.

'red' movements that seek to free labor and bring down capitalism, and the
'green' movements that seek to mend our relationship with nature. Activists
from 13 countries met in Paris October 7-8 to discuss this perspective.

They founded the Ecosocialist International Network, and called
for a global ecosocialist conference, to be held in conjunction with the
next World Social Forum.

Speaker: IAN ANGUS

Ian is a member of the Steering Committee of the Ecosocialist International
Network, and the editor of the web journal Climate and Capitalism. He will
discuss what happened in Paris and provide an overview of the state of
ecosocialism today: as a goal, as a body of ideas, and as a movement
against capitalist ecocide.

Sponsored by: Socialist Project, International Socialists, New Socialist
Group, and Socialist Voice.

Seems to me they missed the notice that Murray Bookchin revived libertarian socialist environmentalism known as social ecology, over forty years ago. Of course being Trot's they probably didn't read his Listen, Marxist! either.

The journal Capitalism Nature, Socialism has been around for about thirty years. . Get a sub.

Monthly Review Editor John Bellamy Foster has long promoted a Marxist view of ecology and environmentalism. Get a sub.

Missed the big meeting announcing the founding of the German Red Greens led by old Sixties activist
Rudi Dutschke and Daniel Cohn Bendit over two decades ago did we.

As happened elsewhere in the world, most of the 1968ers ultimately joined the mainstream, with a number of 1960s activists -- including Rudi Dutschke -- later paving the way to found the Green Party. Dutschke himself was to be a key figure in the party, but he died shortly before its official creation in 1980. Some of them, most famously Joschka Fischer, became ministers in the German government led by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Skipped reading Adrienne Rich on feminist ecology/green feminism because she was only taught in Womens Studies, did we.

Missed the work done by syndicalist feminist eco activist Judi Bari did we. She who split with Earth First! over its tactics that endangered lumber workers rather than getting them onside with eco activists.

And clearly these folks need to read my blog.

And while they jump on the eco-environmental-green bandwagon, they do so without addressing the contradictions current in the ecology/environmental/green movement, that places more emphasis on consumers and morality then on understanding that environmental degradation is essential for capitalism to function.

Here are some contemporary articles that they would do well to read as well.

The Modern World-System as environmental history?
Ecology and the rise of capitalism

University of California, Berkeley


This article considers the emergence of world environmental history as a
rapidly growing but undertheorized research ¢eld. Taking as its central problematic the gap between the fertile theorizations of environmentally-oriented social scientists and the empirically rich studies of world environmental historians, the article argues for a synthesis of theory and history in the study of longue duree socio-ecological change.

This argument proceeds in three steps. First, I o¡er an ecological reading of Immanuel Wallerstein’s The ModernWorld-System.Wallerstein’s handling of the ecological dimensions of the transition from feudalism to capitalism is suggestive of a new approach to world environmental history. Second, I contend that Wallerstein’s theoretical insights may be e¡ectively complemented by drawing on Marxist notions of value and above all the concept of ‘‘metabolic rift,’’ which emphasize the importance of productive processes and regional divisions of labor within the modern world-system.

Finally, I develop these theoretical discussions in a short environmental history of the two great ‘‘commodity frontiers’’ of early capitalism the sugar plantation and the silver mining complex.

Animals, Agency, and Class: Writing the History of Animals from Below

This essay is an historical exploration of the nexus between
animals, agency, and class. More significantly, it seeks
to place the agency of horses, cows, sheep, pigs, etc. into the
process of historical writing. This essay is divided into three
sections. The first is a critique of the current state of the historiography
of animal-studies. The second, ‘A Product of an
Unspoken Negotiation,’ considers how animals themselves
have shaped their own lives and labors. The third, ‘The Evolution
of Vegetarianism and Animal-Rights,’ explores how a
class relationship developed between humans and other animals.
Moreover, this section demonstrates how this solidarity
then led to the creation of social change.

Kate Soper:
Beyond Consumerism: Self-Interest, Pleasure and Sustainable
Responses to climate change and ecological attrition seldom say much about the downsides of the consumerist lifestyle nor promote the pleasures and fulfilments of a less work-driven and acquisitive life-style. This is hardly surprising given the dominance of global capitalism and the scale of its advertising budgets. But there are signs that the tensions between economic growth and human and environmental well-being will not be indefinitely contained. The negative impacts of affluence are a growing political concern and a source of disenchantment on the part of consumers themselves. In this context, the article seeks to counter the suppression of other visions of the ‘good life’ and presents the attractions of a post-consumerist life-style as of critical importance in winning wider support for a sustainable future.

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Derek Wall said...

I have been pushing ecology and socialism since the mid 1980s, Ian Angus is doing a great job and the ecosocialist international draws on alot of the sources you suggest, I am not an anarchist but I certainly recognise the Bookchin contribution

eugene plawiuk said...

That may be the case but the IS NSG and all the assorted Trot offshoots have been notoriously quiet when it came to criticizing Kyoto as a scheme to ameliorate capitalisms worst excesses using cap in trade which is simply an extension of the stock market. See my posts on Kyoto.