[Marxism] Some strategies that were wrong in the past are becoming right now

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 16:55:22 MDT 2015

I read Hans' post with considerable interest. Not least, because here in
Australia the Government has moved to directly attack renewable energy -
specifically wind and solar.  The prime minister Tony Abbott actually
peddles the worst nonsense about windmills being damaging to health.  Now
he has moved to cut funding to small solar projects i.e. houses.
Like so much that is happening in the world today, this is truly atavistic.
Ah well.



On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 5:37 AM, Hans G Ehrbar via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> In our debate around Greece, the environmental crisis has rarely been
> mentioned.  This cannot be right.
> The environmental crisis is not only a problem of capitalism, it is a
> problem of any modern industrialized production system.  In addition to
> the unfair distribution of wealth under capitalism, modern industrial
> production is creating too much waste and has too many unintended side
> effects on the ecosystem to be sustainable.  We must transition to a
> much lower environmental footprint in production and consumption.
> Socialism can no longer just mean eliminating the capitalist privileges,
> but it also means profound changes of the industrial production system:
> living closer to the land, abandoning some luxuries and the throw-away
> mentality, enjoying more companionship, culture, free time, and security
> instead of toys and stress and isolation.
> Looked under this angle, Greece is not poor.  It has some traditional
> wealth that needs to be preserved and protected against the world wide
> land and resource grabs of a capitalist system which is looking for
> additional natural resources to throw into the black hole of globalized
> industrial production.  Greeks live close to land and sea, have
> community, enjoy culture and leisure more than lots of stuff --- these
> are treasures that must be recognized and protected.  Therefore
> privatizations must be resisted as much as possible, workers rights and
> safety nets must be preserved.
> The environmental crisis is here.  It is global and needs global
> remedies.  In a socialist system, it would be much easier to change
> human behaviors towards sustainability, than in capitalism.  But there
> is no time to institute socialism first, we have to do the best we can
> in a capitalist system.  Despite neoliberal ideology, a stronger
> "pro-active" state is needed which can put limits to capitalist
> excesses.  Therefore Socialists must re-think the relation between
> reform and revolution.  Instead of smashing the state and creating an
> entirely new system from scratch, the road to socialism will go towards
> reforming the state, making democracy more participatory, and
> eliminating corruption and greed in favor of defending human rights
> against capitalist intrusion.
> As long as the capitalist system was rich enough to buy off any reform,
> and vibrant and flexible enough to integrate all opposition forces,
> socialists had to fight "reformism."  But the environment is throwing
> the capitalist system into deep crisis because it is making continued
> capitalist growth impossible.  Capitalism no longer has enough money to
> buy out opposition, and some of its destructions cannot be papered over
> with money: capitalism cannot buy out people whose health is destroyed
> by pollution.  Due to its inability to lead in humanity's most serious
> crisis ever, the entire capitalist system is losing its mass support
> more and more.  Therefore it is not wrong for today's anticapitalists to
> embrace reforms.  At the height of the capitalist era, reforms could not
> make a dent in the coherent and successful system of capitalist
> relations.  Today reforms can make big differences.  They can push back
> capitalism and create openings for alternatives to capitalism.
> One of the major obstacles which makes environmental reforms so difficult
> under capitalism is the fact that there is no world government.
> Competition between national states punishes those who try to preserve
> the environment.  Against these systemic obstacles, the EU has played a
> pioneering role in environmental protection and innovation, which put
> the other world powers under pressure to follow suit.  Therefore the EU
> and its institutions should not be abondoned or smashed, but they are an
> arena of class struggle which deserves our attention.
> Thank you for reading, if you have read this far.
> Hans G Ehrbar
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