Our Socialist Ecotopia

The World Socialist Movement (WSM) declines to camouflage its goals out of concern that they might be perceived as unpopular.

Not usually received as receptively as it should by some environmentalists, our aspiration of producing an abundance to provide plenty-for-all, appears contrary to the austere anti-growth message advocated by various green activists. But it is certainly a goal that resonates with the billions who have the misfortune to suffer deprivation and destitution, living in slums without basic amenities, faced with the insecurity of hunger, disease and lack of health-care. Rather than rejecting our claim that our planet is capable of providing a bounty for its global population, further investigation by eco-activists would lead to a deeper understanding of our case and they’d learn we stand for a sustainable steady-state zero-growth economy. We present them with a vision viable future of abundance, even if we cannot enter into the intricacies and only offer the broad outlines.

Our ability to imagine has brought us from the days when our ancestors chipped away at flint to produce the first tools, to the landing on the moon, the setting up of the world wide web, and the mapping out of the human genome. Is it really such a huge leap of the imagination to now envisage a social system that can take over from the present capitalist order of things? Is it just too daring to imagine humans consigning poverty, disease, hunger and war to history? Do we really need leaders deciding our lives for us? Do we really need governments administering our lives when all that is really needed is the administration of the things we need to live in peace and security? Must every decision made by our elites be first of all weighed on the scales of profit, tilted always in their favour? A growing number of people think not.

Our climate emergency has fuelled an ongoing debate on the nature of modern-day capitalism. Thousands of articles have been written on the subject and hundreds of books have been published that explore the alternatives given by activists in the environmental movement.

What should be clear now is that no matter how well-meaning, most do not seek to replace capitalism with any real alternative social system. At best it attracts a myriad of groups, all pursuing their own agenda. Some call for greater corporate responsibility. Some demand government reforms, others call for the increased intervention of international institutions. All, however, fail to address the root cause of the problems of capitalism. One thing is certain: capitalism cannot be reformed in the interests of the world’s suffering billions, because reform does not address the basic contradiction between profit and need. The world’s governments cannot be depended upon because they can only ever act as the executive of corporate capitalism. Capitalism must be abolished if we as a species are to thrive if the planet is to survive. No amount of reform, however great, will work. Change must be global and irreversible. It must involve all of us.

 We need to erase borders and frontiers; to abolish states and governments and false concepts of nationalism. We need to abolish our money systems and with it buying, selling and exchange. And in place of this, we need to establish a different global social system — a society that is a cooperative commonwealth, with collective ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources. A society where the everyday things we need to live in comfort are produced and distributed freely and for no other reason than that they are needed – World Socialism.