The capitalist system, driven at its core by the maximization of profit, regardless of social and ecological costs, is incompatible with a just and sustainable future. Ecosocialism offers a radical alternative that puts social and ecological well-being first. Attuned to the links between the exploitation of labor and the exploitation of the environment, ecosocialism stands against both reformist “market ecology” and “productivist socialism.” By embracing a new model of robustly democratic planning, society can take control of the means of production and its own destiny.
The agrarianist Wendell Berry wrote once that modernity had bred a dangerous and close-to-fatal ignorance about ecology. In contrast to earlier ways of life, our social relations, which are our productive relations, do not force us to reckon with the consequences of what we consume in the course of making our lives, including making the people who come after we do. But modernity allows for exceptions.
When city government attempts to revitalize a city by reducing revenue available to public schools and social services, city tax coffers may grow but the people’s quality of life can actually take a hit. Like other U.S. cities, Decatur government wants to utilize a land bank to “redevelop blighted properties.” The City is already using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts to “stimulate the economy.” How are these strategies connected and do they help middle- and low-income residents in Decatur?