Capitalism dominates the globe. It has become so enmeshed into the cultural narrative that it seems almost axiomatic. Private owners (of capital) control the means of production. The goal: build profits. The best part about it is that if everyone pursues self-interest, the market will grow and society will benefit. The invisible hand helps the market to self-regulate, creating socially desirable results.
In a recent speech, environmental journalist George Monbiot argues that opposition to the central drivers of climate change (neoliberal economic policies being the key) is consistently neutralized by environmentalists themselves. He says environmentalists shape their strategies to appease people who do not share their values.
We know what has to be done to stop climate change. We also know why the ruling class refuses to take decisive action. We need a total break from thirty years of neo-liberalism and the ideology of the market. And we need a vision of a world of human solidarity.
This speech by Evo Morales worth another look: Democracy Now reports on the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 20, 2010. The main speaker, Bolivia's president Evo Morales Ayma condemned the capitalist system in the opening session: "We have two paths. Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies...We are here; brothers and sisters, for the rights of Mother earth..."
An ecosocialist ruminates on the complex relationship between humans and the environment, taking stalk of it first hand on "the extreme edge of nature"
We wanted to feel the seasons on our skin and to work and live in such a way that the hard grey lines between us and nature dissolved. We wanted to be self-sufficient, to grow all our own food and build our own house. We wanted to leave the city for the wilds. We were two young London men who fell in love and decided to return to nature.
Mark Engler and Paul Engler, Truthout, June 6, 2014
It is an old question in social movements: Should we fight the system or “be the change we wish to see”? Should we push for transformation within existing institutions, or should we model in our own lives a different set of political relationships that might someday form the basis of a new society? Over the past 50 years — and arguably going back much further — social movements in the United States have incorporated elements of each approach, sometimes in harmonious ways and other times with significant tension between different groups of activists.