A Forum that did look up

On September 10 and 11, this socio-environmental event was held, organized by the International Socialist League. With bimodal participation (face-to-face and virtual), hundreds of participants from dozens of countries on the 5 continents, followed the presentations and debates of high-level panels. Broad geographical representation and themes of political relevance. Paraphrasing the title of Di Caprio’s film, we say that, in this Global Forum, we did look up.

By Mariano Rosa, coordinator of the Ecosocialist Network of Argentina.

The Forum exceeded all our expectations. From the very beginning, with a starting panel that included representatives from Pakistan, Lebanon and Brazil, to the end with Central America at the center of the debate and the strategic solution to the crisis of civilization, attendees heard and interacted with a world report of the socio-environmental landscape. There were testimonies of direct intervention in mobilization processes, there were theoretical and political definitions, there were alternative proposals and there were, above all, substantive agreement on key issues:

  • Pakistan and its situation of humanitarian catastrophe, and the international campaign promoted by the ISL in support of the activity carried out by The Struggle, its national section.
  • Lebanon, and the role of the governments, regime and native bourgeoisie in the country’s poor transportation and waste infrastructure, which has enormous environmental consequences.
  • Brazil, with the reality of the deforestation disaster in the Amazon, the planet’s green lung. And the continuities between Lula-Dilma and Bolsonaro.
  • The very rich debate on the ecological balance-sheet of Stalinism in Eastern Europe and its deepening with restored capitalism, as well as very interesting exhibitions be activists of the region.
  • There was a thorough approach to extractivism in its various expressions, and the socio-environmental agenda in Argentina. Also from Curitiba, the experience of popular veganism was incorporated.
  • From Australia to South Asia, with an ecosocialist perspective at the roots and the debates against the false ideologies spread by capitalism’s think tanks, as well as the contribution of theses on the democratic planning of the economy by appealing to advanced cybernetic tools, developed yet another instance in the Forum.
  • Africa, with a dramatic and objective report, of the balance-sheet of colonialism and its plundering and depredation, made a special impact, due to the well-informed and solid explanations of the Kenyan participants.
  • Finally, Central America, which has an extraordinary biodiversity that is attacked by corporations and local governments and threatened by the imperialist looting matrix, was the subject of closure with contributions from Panama and Nicaragua, as well as a more global Marxist perspective for an alternative to overcome system ecocidal disaster.

In short: two days of exchange, learning, theoretical struggle and accumulation of activist experience in the territories.

Strategic Agreements and Challenges

There was a very powerful general agreement around locating the logic of the world capitalist system as the central cause of the planetary ecological disaster. Profit as the axis, the economic crisis of more than a decade as a trigger for mechanisms of greater exploitation, oppression and commodification of nature, were issues of essential consensus among the presentations in general. In this sense, the contributions of professors Renán Vega Cantor and Fernando Benjumea from Colombia, clarified. The experiences provided by the Pakistani, Lebanese and Brazilian comrades were important, as well as the information on Africa from the speakers on that panel. There was a novel approach from the CibCom Spanish-speakers Collective, regarding the use of technology in socialist economic planning, with democracy from below. Also the explanation about the false equivalence between Stalinism and socialism in relation to environmental policy, the vindication of the first years of experience in the Russian revolution under Lenin and Trotsky, developed by Alejandro Bodart of the Executive Committee of the ISL. In my case, I had to present arguments to unmask the false solutions of green capitalism, in its most hegemonic versions and that of the Green New Deal, coming from the US. Also, to point out some of the tasks that we have set in the phase that we have to go through, of amplified sensitivity in the face of climate and ecosystem collapse. Capitalism in its current nature, counterrevolutionary and ecocidal, leads us to a point of no return in terms of the destruction of the planet and its scope is international. Clearly, the challenge that lies ahead is to strengthen the international organization to respond to the task of saving the planet from disaster at the hands of these sorcerer’s apprentices who are the members of the most dangerous minority in history: the capitalist 1% that leaves nothing in the wake of its pursuit of profit.

Looking up: activating ecosocialism and revolution

The good news is that there is an exponential, enormous growth of socio-environmental and planetary awareness in the world, especially among the youth, but it is permeating middle, popular and even, incipiently, working class sectors (there have been strikes against laws that enable polluting industries and there is a growing awareness among teachers and health workers). Therefore, based on this good news, the challenges we have are:

  1. To explain and become specialists in disseminating our proposals for ecological socialism, revolutionary environmentalism or ecosocialism, as the most practical and realistic solution to ensure social rights, real mass political democracy and an ecosystem rescue of the planet. We have a transitional program to reorganize the matrix of production and consumption on a global scale.
  2. We have to spread this pedagogical task, of ideological struggle, like a positive pandemic in places of study, work and especially in the struggles that take place for causes in defense of common goods and nature. The struggle of ideas is essential for that political preparation.
  3. And the third challenge and urgent strategic task, is to consciously activate political militancy of revolutionary ecology connected with an overall program for social transformation: of the economy, of relationships between people, of the political system, of everything. It is not environmentalism separated from a more comprehensive road map that locates the struggle for power to transform everything, but a militant political action, the construction of an essential tool for all this: a militant international organization, with its national organizations as tentacles of the urgent revolution. The International Socialist League is the contribution we make to this decisive international task – capital is internationalist, the ecocidal counter-revolution is international – our response has to be on that scale now, urgently. And it is up to each ISL party or national organization, in the international revolutionary and eco-socialist division of labor, to win over hundreds and thousands of new activists for this realistic cause of snatching from power the sorcerer’s apprentices who, for now, are in power. There is no time for indifference. There is no margin for waiting: it is now and it is a fight of many. With eyes wide open, looking up.