“In order to replace capitalism with an ecological society we need a revolution.” That modest sentence is how Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams, the authors of Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation, begin the last chapter of their new book. Although the chapter is the end of the book, it is also an opening to a new direction, a new movement. It is also the essence of the entire text.
A long-standing critique of the writings of Marx and Engels has been their supposed lack of concern for or even analysis of the environmental damage caused by capitalism. Worse, even as they envisaged and fought for a world of human freedom, their conception of socialism showed a comprehensive disregard for how humans interact, or should interact, with nature.
In Militant Particularism and Global Ambition: The Conceptual Politics of Place, Space, and Environment in the Work of Raymond Williams, David Harvey discusses the challenges presented by moving from place out across time.
The temperature has changed. We can all feel it. The moment we live in now does not resemble any in recent history. Much of this is because of the current occupant of the White House and the anti-government Republicans who abet his belligerent antics in order to push through legislation that threatens to shred our society’s safety nets. The least among us are under threat as never before. But even before Trump came to power, there was evidence that something was going sidewise, across the nation and in our city.
If man draws all his knowledge, sensations, etc., from the world of senses and the experience gained in it, then what has to be done is to arrange the empirical world in such a way that man experiences and becomes accustomed to what is truly human in it and that he becomes aware of himself as a man. If correctly understood interest is the principle of all of morality, man’s private interest must be made to coincide with the interest of humanity.
Adam Ziemkowski and Rebekah Liebermann, CounterPunch, July 19, 2017
Seattle further cemented its reputation as one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. last week, when its City Council passed a law to tax the rich, sponsored by socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant along with Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The law places a 2.25% tax on individual incomes over $250,000 and $500,000 for married couples. It’s expected to raise as much as $175 million to fund affordable housing, education, transit, human services, and other critical needs.
Juan Cruz Ferre (JCF): There is overwhelming evidence that demonstrates how anthropogenic climate change is out of control and will lead to global environmental catastrophe – without a major overhaul of energy production. In the February 2017 issue of the Monthly Review, you point out that although we have been presented with precise and indisputable estimations, science and social science institutions have failed to come up with effective solutions. Why do you think this is the case?
(Richard Bond: If you haven't connected to Pablo, here's a great interview with him in Paris, and a statement about his situation from Focus on the Global South. His unbending principles and exceptional eloquence make him a target of the talk-left/walk-right extractivist-capitalist Bolivian government.)