WARNOCK: Ecosocialists Off to World Social Forum

WARNOCK: Ecosocialists Off to World Social Forum

Postby Oscar » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:36 am

Ecosocialists Off to World Social Forum


by John W. Warnock
Act Up in Saskatchewan
December 21, 2008

“The world is suffering from a fever due to climate change, and the disease is the capitalist development model.” Evo Morales, President of Bolivia.

A new world ecosocialist organization has been formed, and they will be making a presentation at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil in January 2009. Representatives from a number of countries met in Paris in 2007 and produced a Declaration to present in Brazil. A number of Canadians played a key role in this development and will send a delegation to the Forum.

The Declaration argues that humanity today faces a stark choice: ecosocialism or barbarism. There is no need for additional proof of the barbarity of capitalism, “the parasitical system that exploits humanity and nature alike.

It is central to the system itself: “Its sole motor is the imperative toward profit and thus the need for constant growth. It wastefully creates unnecessary products, squandering the environment’s limited resources and returning to it only toxins and pollutants. Under capitalism, the only measure of success is how much more is sold every day, every week, every year.”

The search for profits, which is the heart of the system, is “facilitated by imperialist expansion in search of ever greater access to natural resources, cheap labour and new markets.” While capitalism has always been destructive of nature, the danger posed by greenhouse gas emissions and global warming could produce a catastrophe.

The failue of the Kyoto reforms

The ecosocialists warn that most of the solutions offered to deal with climate change “are devised by and on behalf of the dominant global system, capitalism.” The goal is to repair the system “without disruption of market mechanisms or the system of accumulation [of capital] that commands the world economy.” Over the past thirty five years these proposals “have been a monstrous failure.”

The Kyoto Protocol, for example, called for the “cap and trade” system of trading pollution credits. In the less developed world, it advanced so-called “Clean Development Mechanisms,” supposedly to offset emissions from the advanced capitalist states. These have failed and greenhouse gas emissions steadily rise.

The ecosocialist alternative

In contrast, ecosocialism proposes “a radical and practical alternative to the capitalist system,” which would be founded on “social justice and ecological balance.” Like the early German Green Party, it calls for a rejection of capitalism and bureaucratic state socialism and the creation of expanded democracy in the political, economic and social spheres. Capitalism would be replaced by “collective decision-making and ownership of production,” under direct popular and community control through participatory democracy.

The shift will be from producing endless commodities to local production of necessities for life and spirit. The Declaration outlines shifts in the key areas of energy, transportation, food production, and militarism.

While ecosocialism would be the end goal of this transformation, activists must continue to fight for urgent reforms right now. This means engaging in the current struggles to impose some public control over the most destructive aspects of the present capitalist system of production and distribution.

Readers can access the full text of the Belem Ecosocialist Declaration and sign on at the following web site:

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