After decades of being on the edges of political and social discussion, ecology issues and climate change have begun moving centre stage as increasing numbers are realising the current way of doing things is unsustainable. From climate change to plastic pollution, from species extinction to depletion of resources, from to chemical pollution to water shortages, the present nature of human activity is destroying its life support system. Recognising that the current way of doing things is unsustainable has to be placed in context; time is running out in terms of arresting the severe damage being done and global disaster is normalised.
In a relatively short space of time a complete turnaround is required. A turnaround that is truly transformative. Growth is needed in universal education, social housing, health care, sustainable food production, fare-free public transport, culture, participative sport and free time, while de-growth is needed in arms manufacture, aviation, cars, the fast fashion industry and the myriad of unnecessary goods that are constantly urged on us by the trillion pound advertising industry.
In addition, during such a transformation, the vast inequalities of wealth which stretch across the globe will have to be ended. A new way of life will have to affect all, and that means a levelling up of the poorest of the Earth and a massive levelling down of the super-rich who own and control most of what goes on. It will also mean the ending of oppressions based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability.
The C Word
The common thread for the negative and acutely dangerous features of humanity’s present way of life can be located within the economic system which now dominates the world. It is one that is based on constant growth in the search of profit for the small minority who own and control things; the one percent. It is this ridiculous, unjust and dangerous system which has to go. It is necessary to name it, but above all, we must be absolutely clear that we cannot tame it. We are talking about Capitalism.
And, make no mistake, the powers that be that drive the capitalist system have no intention of letting go and permitting a radical change of course. Whether it is the climate deniers, the procrastinators, the green-washers, the techno-fixers or the mild reformers, the bottom line remains the same; the present state of things must remain. We are being offered at best the oxymoron of “green growth”.
A Green and Red New Deal
The ideas of the “Green New Deal” are becoming mainstream, and that is to be welcomed. However, the GND comes in various shades of radicalism, and they need to be looked at more closely. In the view of Left Unity, the only good GND is an anti-capitalist GND; one that takes power and money out of the hands of the 1% and distributes it to all. The best scenario within which to catch up for lost time in fixing the climate and general environmental crises is one that seeks a liberation of humanity by ending the vast inequalities and injustices on this planet and collectively planning a whole new sustainable way of life.
If growth at all costs, the private possession of things and individualism are the underlying values of our rulers; then a shared, social, democratically-planned quality of life must be ours. You may call this what you like, but we call it eco-socialism.
Left Unity supports the forthcoming Extinction Rebellion actions.
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