So the challenge is to defend distributed property, commons, kinship, human neighbourliness and renewable local agrarianism against the blank certainties of new-old Marxist categories of class struggle.
Saito’s book is refreshing because it helps end an old feud between socialists who trust that new technologies and the automation of work can deliver an expanding economy with greater leisure time and those who argue for a socialism without growth.
Now that we have glimpsed for the first time a planet-wide threat to all that lives and breathes, we might acknowledge at long last that we have been poorly served by a mode of understanding that must turn everything into the same kind of lock – the same mechanism – before it can proceed.
There are no easy answers to the dilemmas of creating just and renewable post-capitalist societies.
Ecosocialism aspires to be egalitarian and ecologically sustainable. But nothing is said in this essay about proper limits to the range of inequality in the distribution of income and wealth.
And so we must turn for hope to the many movements of sangharsh (resistance) and nirman (construction) throughout the world. These movements realise that the injustices they are facing, and the choices they must make, are not bound by the divides that ideologues play games with.
To be sure, ecological calamity will not permit an organized, equitable, and civilized global community. Marxist Humanists and others would like to add, “it doesn’t come from one, either.”
In these tumultuous times, after all, the left urgently needs its brightest and most creative minds to focus on the intractable puzzle that now confronts it: the question of how to break up the vicious cycle of endless compound growth and bring an end to the institutionalized madness of economic reason before it lays waste to all human civilization.
Socialist thought is re-emerging at the forefront of the movement for global ecological and social change.
China’s environmental problems are massive and growing, but the Chinese leadership has made significant steps toward a more sustainable development. This emphasis has emerged out of a broad socialist perspective, influenced by both Marxian analysis and China’s own distinct history, culture, and vernacular.
Over the nearly eight years that I’ve been posting these weekly essays on the shape of the deindustrial future, I’ve found that certain questions come up as reliably as daffodils in April or airport food on a rough flight.
•Let’s play fantasy economics. Things could really get better
•Re-imagining a world beyond capitalism and communism
•The End of Growth Wouldn’t Be the End of Capitalism
•Nationhood and the multitude: a new form of political subject?
•Nature and the economy: Marxism in an American labyrinth