Monday, March 10, 2008

Climate and Capitalism -- a must bookmark

Everyone has a number of “favorites” – the blogs or websites we turn to almost daily for news and analysis on topics of vital concern.

My favored site on matters concerning the defense of Mother Earth (our Pacha Mama) is Climate and Capitalism. It is edited and published by the Ottawa-based socialist historian Ian Angus.

Angus is a pioneer among a growing number in this field who recognize the importance of indigenous traditions and values – their cosmovision – to finding solutions to the horrendous environmental predicament facing humanity.

The March 7 edition republished a very encouraging statement from the European-based “Fourth International,” entitled “Redefine Socialism as Ecosocialism.” “This draft resolution,” Angus explains, “was approved by a leadership committee of the Fourth International, following a five-day seminar on climate change held in the Netherlands in February.” [See ]

I sent the following comment to the site, which appeared the next day:

Felipe Stuart on March 8th, 2008: “This is a most welcome and encouraging statement. It obviously stems from and builds upon a growing participation of members and supporters of this world current in the movement to defend Mother Earth.

“On quick reading I spotted two areas where I think the conceptual framework needs to be broadened or reinforced.

“The first is the failure of these mostly European-based Marxists to appreciate the weight and importance of the indigenous movements for self-determination, especially those in the Americas, to the environmental struggle. Indigenous communities are mentioned in a short list of important movement, as follows:

“’Particular attention should be paid to the participation of workers’ and peasants’ organizations, of the women’s movement, of indigenous communities, of popular organizations for defense of the environment, as well as young people and marginalized social layers, so that their demands influence the objectives and the forms of action.’

“This could be a good starting point, but falls short of a necessary distinction. Indigenous movements reflect a cosmovision that does not pit human activities to survive and reproduce (the economy) against nature, our Mother. That outlook and tradition is rooted in communal social relations — the only kind of social relations that can permit the survival of the human race. It is vital for the environmental movement as a whole to recognize this, to learn from indigenous traditions and conceptual frameworks. If that does not happen, it will be a sign that the movement is not on course and likely derailed. The indigenous struggle is a vital front of the overall movement and it is crucial for environmental activists to link up with, support, and learn from it.

“The second point is more of a question. One of the most potent signs of looming environmental melt down is the advancing drought in many parts of the world, coupled with unusually heavy rainfall and flooding in others, and the appearance of this problem as a seasonal alteration in others.

“Many have commented that in the not too distant future the global struggle for access to fresh and potable water will be more threatening and destabilizing than current battles and wars for control of oil supplies and reserves. Marxists need to integrate this vital issue into their overall perspectives. Sol y paz.”

I encourage you to bookmark the Climate and Capitalism page.

Felipe Stuart

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