Tuesday, July 5

Ecosocial revolution: a modest proposition

About two hundred years ago, Jonathan Swift wrote his “modest proposal”, according to which he recommended solving the problem of poor peasants, who could not feed their children, by having them hand them over to the rich to be eaten. In this way, the matter was resolved, and he did it in the most direct way possible: by giving the lives of the humble people to the ruling classes. In his time, Swift received strong criticism from some who did not understand that it was a satirical criticism and read it literally, being scandalized by the outrage. Well, today the European Union, the PSOE-UP government and some others seem to have made the same mistake, but instead of criticizing the outrage it would mean, they assume it without tearing their clothes.

The ecosocial crisis is a major problem that begins with the climate emergency but is far from stopping there: biodiversity crisis, pandemics, energy availability, contamination of aquifers. The capitalist solution seems to be greening itself at the expense of the popular classes. Let’s say it clearly: if the ecological scenario is not radically transformed, what awaits us is not a partial modification of the current systems, but a forced reduction of the economic sphere that will leave no possibilities of planning or mitigating, but will open the door to the massive exclusion of huge sectors of the population. In this, the economic and political elites are clear about it, and what is currently being designed as a way out of the crisis is nothing more than that, with a literalism that strangely and violently recalls Swift’s satire: giving up the lives of poor generations , but only of its subordinate classes, to sustain the status quo of the privileged sectors.

This is how the European Union operates when it designs its exit from the COVID-19 crisis, in a green key, under an umbrella of macro-investments that massively benefit large capitals, including Iberdrola, Repsol or Endesa, which compete with each other at see who gets the biggest piece of the cake. Meanwhile, the government plans a modification of the electrical system that in the short term will not produce anything for the humble people and plans to charge the reduction of emissions on those same sectors, through measures such as the generalized tolls for highways that have been paid with taxes. that contributes the work.

None of this, of course, will change anything. The particular brutality of this crisis is that it is not a conjunctural situation, nor is it a cyclical process, but rather a global limitation that affects our way of life as a civilization. The dominant sectors may try to steer the solution towards false alternatives, but the situation will not allow this to work. The inability to sustain a regular growth in profit rates, which has been going on for decades, is getting progressively worse, and the impact of the ecological crisis will continue to grow despite fantasies such as the mass distribution electric car – which is not viable at the level of materials or it is working commercially. It is necessary to go beyond these measures and propose a fundamental breakdown, which implies questioning the logic of growth and, with it, that of profit. And no one is aware that this is not viable within the neoliberal system.

Yes, it is possible if we put aside the need to constantly increase the economic sphere. Furthermore, this is the basic condition of any eco-social project that is not built on chimeras. The green imposture cannot be a cover for new reformulations of capitalism that delve into a forward flight that, in times of climate emergency, acquires suicidal overtones. For this reason, paradoxical as it may be, the ecological transformation today involves the expropriation of the automotive industry and the industry in general to carry out an emergency reconversion and implement the new clean production mechanisms, with the aim of sustaining the life of the companies. majorities.

Here, the key sector is that of work, because only a transition of the majorities can guarantee that their objectives are compatible with those of the entire population. The privileged classes, the sectors that control capital, have interests that will never dissociate themselves from the current state of affairs, because that is what guarantees their privileges. On the other hand, the popular majorities are the only ones whose interests are universal, and potentially contain an environmentalist alternative for the whole of society. Housing, transport, distribution of care, local food, basic energy consumption: this is what can be considered as an alternative of ecological containment and distribution. It is, also, the only project that can dispute neoliberal hegemony in favor of an eco-social, mass alternative, which raises a shared future horizon.

But an ecosocial future has to go further than ideas and what one or the other of us write in an article. Although it is true that we must demand that eco-social transformation from the government, and even more so when the government is supposedly “progressive”, also those of us who are committed to this very important change, we have to look at our navel and we must analyze why, knowing that We are right, and knowing that our proposals are for the benefit of the whole of society, we did not reach the number of people that we should reach. Knowing also that no government that will start a real transition as long as it remains in the hands of the economic powers.

Excuses are not valid, we have known for years that the media will never give us a space, or if they do give us it will be under their “sieve”, without transferring the message we want to contribute at all; we know most of the political class does not think about these matters; But as we have already said, all those excuses are not valid, with all these obstacles we already had. We have to be able to transfer that message to society as a whole, and above all, we have to be able to make that message sink into a society that has been locked up in its home for a year and a half, and which, in all this type, only has received information on the incidence of COVID-19, the number of deaths from it, the last helpless on duty, or the last outrage that some “illustrious” Vox deputy has released through his mouth, while the televisions repeat it actively and passively throughout the week, asking for their opinion on it from professional opinion makers hooked on the show.

We have to be realistic, in many of the things we have been working on for years, like this one, we have to start practically from scratch, so we will have no choice (and with great pleasure), than to kick ourselves again. towns, cities, squares, workplaces and civic centers explaining and making people aware that the fight against capitalism and for an eco-social revolution is now more necessary than ever.