A Plea / A Demand

The disastrous effects of anthropogenic climate change aren’t some distant abstraction. They are happening now. People are being displaced. People are dying. Ecosystems are being destroyed. Conflicts have emerged. At the moment, those most directly feeling the effects are those least responsible for the systemic crisis. If you see yourself as part of the global community, their suffering is your suffering.

The need for reform-based action has long since passed. We must urgently transition away from capitalism, a system that must accumulate in order to maintain itself. Whether or not you agree with socialism is inconsequential.

This isn’t about belief or perspective. This is about survival.

How do we do this? We start at the community level. “Community” can, of course, take many shapes. Our friends and families, our neighborhood, our places of work, our schools, our online networks. It is critical that we couple two tasks: (1) education that highlights the relationship between capitalism and climate change; (2) possible solutions. Starting discussions where they’ve yet to take place. Listening. Learning. Putting ideas into action. Building power that’s aimed at establishing an ecosocialist future in a world where the possibility of a “future” is dwindling by the second.

We also have to grasp the reality that the solutions aren’t going to come through the Democratic and Republican parties. Both parties exist to serve capital, which lies at the source of the problem. In the United States, we’re fairly well-conditioned to see “democracy” as synonymous with the ballot box. A seismic shift away from that line of thinking will be necessary. We’ll need to participate in the establishment of democratic institutions — institutions that include the voices, input, and direction of our oppressed communities. These are the communities that are by-and-large those most heavily-affected by anthropogenic climate change. That means we will have to be present. For white folks, this will mean we’ll have to confront and unpack systemic racism. The situation and solutions are both incredibly complex and incredibly simple.

Ecosocialist resources are plentiful. If you aren’t sure where to look, ask. Ask me. If I can’t find an answer, I will try to find one for you. Do your research and educate yourself as soon as possible. This isn’t about belief or perspective. This is about survival.

Resources:

Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation by Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams

The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth by John Bellamy Foster

Climate and Capitalism: An Ecosocialist Journal

Ecology and Socialism by Chris Williams

 

Mimi Soltysik was the Socialist Party USA’s presidential nominee for the 2016 election. He serves as Secretary of the Socialist Party Los Angeles Local and the California state chapter of the Socialist Party USA. He works as an Educator for the Maggie Phair Institute and lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two cats.

 

Article original from the Ecosocialist Issue of The Socialist. Check out the full issue here!

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