Mision Arbol: Ecosocialism In An Oil-Rich Nation

President Chavez was ahead of his time for a head of state, but was merely reiterating what thousands of activists and thinkers had been saying for decades. “But wait!” many readers and commentators alike may say; “Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution exported oil, so any claims of environmentalism must just be talk!”. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as I will show in the following article how Chavez, his successor Nicolas Maduro, and the Bolivarian process as a whole has an outstanding record in terms of combating climate change and defending the environment.

The environment is the beginning and end of all life on Earth, as many Socialists have been saying for centuries. This article’s main focus is on the creation and maintenance of the Arbol (Tree) mission.

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Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘The Ministry For The Future’

The Ministry for the Future (Orbit, 2020) is a magnificent novel but also an especially welcome resource for thinking about ecosocialist initiatives for a near-future global Green New Deal. Could not be more timely! This was my initial impression upon reading it last week. After some reflection, I am somewhat more critical but still highly recommend this novel for its inspiration and provocation — particularly because of how Kim Stanley Robinson (KSR) concretely addresses the radical transformation of real existing capitalism dominated by its militarized fossil legacy. Ministry should certainly be subject to critique, but KSR has his heart in the left place!

After reading KSR’s novel 2140 in 2019, I sent him an email suggesting that his scenario for this post–climate catastrophe New York City would be more relevant to the near-future pre–climate catastrophe early 21st century.

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Nicaragua: Building The Good Life (Buen Vivir) Through Popular Revolution

As I traveled in Nicaragua on the recent Sanctions Kill delegation, one thing was clear, social transformation (revolution) requires both political power and participation by the people. Without political power, revolutionary programs will not have the material resources they require. Without the participation of the people, revolutionary programs, even with resources, cannot be put into practice and defended.

Right now, Nicaraguans have both and they are making great progress in building a new society or as it is often referred to in Latin America, ‘Buen Vivir,’ (the good life). They are demonstrating what we mean when we say “transforming society to put people and the planet over profits.”

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Bolivarian Missions: Mision Nevado

While it could be compared to a social program, or as our oligarchs call them here in the United States “entitlement programs,” it is clearly defined as much more than that. Not only is the direct participation of the masses in the administration of these programs enshrined in law to avoid clientelism and promote popular participation, but the law defines missions as part of the battle to eradicate poverty and towards a full actualization of the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic. This is what sets apart these programs from traditional welfare programs in the capitalist world; they are aimed at popular empowerment and participation, the eradication of poverty, and are aimed at something enshrined in the constitution of the republic; social rights.

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Will Biden Become The Climate President?

A number of large coalitions (e.g., ClimatePresident.org) have outlined a comprehensive list of Executive Actions the President can take without the need for Congressional approval. It includes setting a goal of moving to 100% clean electricity by 2030 (though that sector accounts for only a quarter of carbon emissions). It embraces a commitment to environmental justice for frontline communities and a Just Transition to ensure that all individuals benefit from the changes.

Most importantly, it calls to keep fossil fuels in the ground, including a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure. Such a halt is something that even the progressive wing of the Democrats has shied away from.

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‘We Demand Tomorrow’: Marxist Documentary On The Climate Crisis

Kudos to Patreon for this brilliant production, well worth seeing, with its deep analysis of capitalism though I have some reservations to be noted below.  I particularly applaud the presentation of Cuba’s socialist solutions in this current pandemic, in contrast to capitalist Britain, with Cuba being on the cutting edge of global ecosocialism. “We Demand Tomorrow” should trigger a lot of debate, and be a useful resource for wide-ranging discussion. I agree with the video’s support for a two-stage path out of capitalism. I have long argued that socialism in our epoch must confront the climate/ecological crisis with effective science-based solutions…

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Ecosocialism: An Alternative To Global Capitalism

Over the past four decades or so, various leftists have become more sensitive to the environmental degradation in developed and developing capitalist societies and post-revolutionary societies, particularly in the former Soviet Union and, in recent times, China.

As a result, they have sought to develop an ecosocialism, ecoMarxism or ecological Marxism.

Robert Albritton in Eco-Socialism for Now and the Future: Practical Utopias and Rational Action states that the earliest use of the term of the term ecosocialism he uncovered appeared in a pamphlet titled Eco-Socialism in a Nutshell, published in England by the Socialist Environment and Resources Association in 1980.

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Changing To An Ecological Way Of Valuing National Economies

The Global South is adversely impacted by the many crises that exist in this world – the climate crisis, pandemic, recession, war to name a few. Although the Global South is wealthy in terms of culture, biodiversity, knowledge and more, the way the Global North defines what is valuable contributes to economic inequality between the North and South and exploitation of peoples and the planet. Now, my guests Arnie Saiki and Chanzo Greenidge are challenging that paradigm with a new concept of intemerate accounting. The idea is receiving growing support by Pacific Island nations. They explain what it is and how social movements can adopt it to transition to a more ecological economic system.

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For An Egalitarian, Cooperative Road To An Ecosocialist Future

We are in the midst of a climate emergency and there is no way out without radically changing the way society is organized. If humanity does not free itself from the capitalist drive for ever greater profits and ever-expanding economic growth, rising global temperatures alone will make the planet uninhabitable for humans and millions of other living species.

We urgently need to find a collective road to a new way of living that is based on human solidarity and ecological sustainability.

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On Contact: Ecosocialism

On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to writer, teacher and activist Victor Wallis about the prospect and need for ecosocialism. Wallis’ book is entitled ‘Red-Green Revolution: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism’.

Today we discuss socialism, capitalism, and ecocide with Victor Wallis. “The problem is it’s not enough to run all of our private cars with solar cells. The whole problem of how much is used up in the way of materials, how much space is taken up and also the fact that if you don’t change the social configuration of power, any progressive change that you might bring about can easily be undone by the same people who put them there in the first place.”

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COVID-19 Great Depression: Global Ecosocialism Is The Way Out

The abstract science of mathematics is a language like music. But while music is in the realm of pure emotion, the language of mathematics only speaks to the mind not the heart. Numbers and equations do not lie. They are not, by essence, subjective. This being said, when the numbers are those of the dead, they can have the chilling emotional effect of a meat cleaver cutting through bones. While we have tried to stay away from the mainstream media litany of the death tolls, on April 25, 2020, we had passed 200,000 deaths globally. In the United States alone, by the end of April, the COVID-19 pandemic will have killed more people than the reported 58,220 US soldiers who died during the Vietnam war.

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The Politics Of Ecosocialism

Marx and Engels were deeply concerned about capitalism’s destruction of the natural world, including river and urban pollution, and the degradation of the soil that all life depends on. For them, the word ‘socialism’ included those concerns and the need to overcome them. But in the 20th Century, most socialist organisations treated such matters as secondary, if they addressed them at all. Some even viewed massively destructive projects such as damming major rivers and plowing virgin soils as progressive in some sense.

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‘Fridays For Future’ Movement Takes To Swiss Streets

Thousands of environmental activists from 38 European countries brought their “Fridays for Future” movement to the Swiss city of Lausanne, calling for swift action from politicians and businesses to reduce emissions linked to global warming.

“We are all united coming from different countries and, despite the fact it’s holidays, we are ready to sacrifice our time to have politics change, to raise awareness about what’s happening but also about what is not happening,” 29-year-old French woman, Lise Tourneboeuf, said.

Let’s display “our will to change this system which is not functioning. We want to show there are people of all ages, of all nationalities, and even on holidays the crisis continues. We expect action from politicians.”

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Europe: Greens Surge, Older Parties Erode, Far Right Also Gains

Green parties made stunning gains in the European Elections, due to the strength of many younger voters, the grass roots insurgency of ecological school strikes and marches, and the tenacity of Green Party activists.

The older mainstream parties, both center-right and social democratic, received a mix of drubbing demotions and eroding support.

The far right nationalists also made gains, notably in France and Italy. The far right also gained less dramatically in Germany. See below for stories describing the election results.

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The Movement And The 2020 Elections

The political system in the United States is a plutocracy, one that works for the benefit of the wealthy, not the people. Although we face growing crises on multiple fronts – economic insecurity, a violent and racist state, environmental devastation, never-ending wars and more – neither of the Wall Street-funded political parties are taking action to provide relief. Instead, they are helping the rich to get richer.

The wealth divide has gotten so severe that three people have more wealth than the bottom 50% of people in the country. Without the support of the rich, it is nearly impossible to compete in elections.

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