Capitalism Created the Climate Catastrophe; Socialism Can Avert Disaster. The Thirty-Fifth Newsletter (2022)

Thursday, 1 September 2022 — The Tricontinental

George Bahgoury Egypt Untitled 2015George Bahgoury (Egypt), Untitled, 2015.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In November 2022, most member states of the United Nations (UN) will gather in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh for the annual UN Climate Change Conference. This is the 27th conference of the parties to assess the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly referred to as COP 27. The international environmental treaty was established in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, with the first conference held in Berlin in 1995; the agreements were extended in the Kyoto Protocol of 2005 and supplemented by the Paris Agreement of 2015. No more needs to be said of the climate catastrophe, which threatens mass species extinction. The move away from carbon-based fuel has been stalled by three main impediments:
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Eco-Socialism, Democratic Communism: Common Sense

Sunday, 14 August, 2022 — Legalienate

“Are present ecological stresses so strong that if not relieved they will sufficiently degrade the ecosystem to make the earth uninhabitable by humans? Obviously no serious discussion of the environmental crisis can get very far without confronting this question.” 

Barry Commoner in The Closing Circle: 1971

More than fifty years after Commoner wrote those words, the environmental problem is almost infinitely worse and what is presently called climate change once thought to affect future generations is engulfing the entire planet right now. While warnings from a scientific community not on corporate payrolls grow more desperate the global political power of capitalism, the primary cause of nature’s breakdown under stress, especially at its fading but still essential center in the USA, is making things worse not just by the hour or minute but every second.

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The Perennial Seeds of Zapata

Saturday, 9 July 2022 —Science for the People

From: Volume 25, no. 1, The Soil and the Worker

By Simon P. Tye and Eric R. Hagen

Lee este artículo en español

By ‘A Better Hell’

Land and Liberty

Industrial agriculture has increased global food production over the past century while accruing disproportionate economic and societal benefits for industrialized nations. Across North America, these benefits have primarily been achieved by increasing production efficiencies, issuing extravagant corporate subsidies, and engaging in widespread habitat destruction that has transformed about half of the contiguous United States into cropland and pasture.1 Since the Industrial Revolution, and especially after scientific and economic developments of the early twentieth century, the cumulative effects of industrial agriculture have rapidly transitioned land ownership to a visible handful of shareholders.

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Socialist economic development – a review

Thursday, 16 June 2022 — michael roberts

I recently participated in a zoom seminar to review a new book entitled Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century by Alberto Gabriele and Elias Jabbour.  Gabriele is a Senior Researcher at Sbilanciamoci, Rome, Italy and Elias Jabbour is an Assistant Professor at the School of Economics, at Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil.

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Africa was at the centre of Lenin’s work

27 January 2022 — Review of African Political Economy

Marxism, we are told, is Eurocentric and has lost much of its appeal in the eyes of many scholars and activists. Some have even denounced Marxism as a racist theory, irrelevant to the study of Africa. Vladimir Lenin is implicated in this critique. In a far-reaching study of Lenin’s ideas, Joe Pateman argues Lenin placed Africa at the centre of his analysis of imperialism and contemporary capitalism. Here, the author reflects on the key aspects of his analysis. Following this, Pateman’s full article in the ROAPE journal can be accessed for free.

By Joe Pateman

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We Will Build the Future: A Plan to Save the Planet

Monday, 10 January 2022 — The Tricontinental

Under the leadership of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research partnered with 26 research institutes from around the world to draft A Plan to Save the Planet. This living, evolving document puts forward a vision for the present and the immediate future centred on twelve key themes: democracy and the world order, the environment, finance, health, housing, food, education, work, care, women, culture, and the digital world. Dossier no. 48 includes and elaborates on the Plan and lays out our orientation, principles, and horizon.

Beyond the Capitalist Paradigm of Destruction: Generative Chaos

Wednesday, 5 January 2022 — Internationalist 360°

Leonardo Boff

I believe that this leap, with our participation, especially the victims of the exploitation of capitalism, can occur and would be within the possibilities of the history of the universe and the Earth: from the current destructive chaos, we can move on to generative chaos of a new way of being and inhabiting planet Earth.

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Food Sovereignty: A Manifesto for the Future of Our Planet

13 October 2021 — Internationalist 360°

“Our historic task is to ensure that no human being goes hungry”

Food Sovereignty is a philosophy of life.

It offers a vision for our collective future, and defines the principles around which we organize our daily living and co-exist with Mother Earth. It is a celebration of life and all the diversity around us. It embraces every element of our cosmos; the sky above our heads, the land beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the forests, the mountains, valleys, farms, oceans, rivers and ponds. It recognizes and protects the inter-dependency between eight million species that share this home with us.

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Marxism in Africa (1975)

6 August 2021 — RedSails.org

Walter Rodney

Walter Rodney was born in Guyana in 1942, acquired his doctorate in England at the age of 24, and then traveled widely in the Caribbean and Africa.

In 1972 he published his legendary work How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

He was assassinated via a car-bomb in Georgetown in 1980, and the crime is widely believed to have been orchestrated by Forbes Burnham, the president of Guyana at the time.

Rodney gave this speech at Queen’s College in New York, USA in 1975. [1]


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Book Review: Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism

Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism

University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2020. 336pp., $30 pb
ISBN 9781517909550

Reviewed by Isabel Jacobs

About the reviewer

Isabel Jacobs is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. …  More

In a recent article, Maria Chehonadskih (2021) argues that the adjective ‘Soviet’ is today used as a `floating signifier’ either embracing totalitarian connotations of the Soviet State or positively referring to the event and legacy of the Russian Revolution. While appreciating the first decade after the Revolution as a period of avant-garde experimentation, Western Marxists still dismiss the Soviet experience of anti-capitalism after the Stalinist period. In fact, Soviet Marxist theories and practices from the 1960-70s are terra incognita for many contemporary Marxist theorists.

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Reflections on Cuba’s Black Radical History, Revolutionary Health, and Grassroots Media

30 April 2021 —

Semassa Boko and Jeanette Charles

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/z1mknIkBGUA/maxresdefault.jpgIt is vitally necessary to bridge the gap in knowledge and dismantle US misinformation campaigns against Cuba’s realities for international English-speaking audiences.

We wanted to reach a young audience in the United States that is not typically exposed to engaging and in-depth stories about Latin America and US policy in the region.”

“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” — Frantz Fanon[i]

Radicals, revolutionaries, and freedom fighters committed to imagining and building new societies must demonstrate a willingness to experiment with our strategies. Media, education, healthcare, and governance policies are important arenas where movements and masses materialize political visions. The Black Radical tradition on the continent and in the Diaspora provides strong references in this regard. Cuba is a critical example.

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Academic Marxism will never provide the answers needed to free workers

17 April 2021 — theplanningmotivedotcom

This article was inspired by a debate on the Academia website around a conciliatory piece by Fred Mosely. This piece and most of the comments show that Academic Marxism plays the same role as the Young Hegelians did in Marx’s day. They treat Marxism as a theoretical science not a practical science geared towards action. As capitalism lurches from crisis to crisis they are content to debate each other and render Marx more profound, and through so doing, all they reveal is their irrelevance.

can-labour-time-be-measured

The Historical Challenges Facing the Socialist Movement

26 March, 2021 — Monthly Review Press

by  and 

István Mészáros

Translation of Introduction to the Latin American Edition of a Beyond Capital

Preface to the English Edition

On February 16, 2015, István Mészáros sent me a letter addressing the history of the Latin American Spanish edition of Beyond Capital and its reception by President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, along with a narrative of the origins of his close friendship with Chávez. In that letter, he explained that Vadell Hermanos, the publisher of the Spanish edition, had “asked me to write a special Introduction for the Latin American edition in Spanish, and I completed this special introduction—nearly 10,000 words, not published in English—in January 2000.” The entire book incorporating this special introduction was published by Vadell Hermanos in 2001, followed by the Brazilian Portuguese translation in 2002.

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Labour time is the visible hand guiding production and consumption

8 March 2021 — theplanningmotivedotcom

A tribute to the International Communists 1930s Theses

This article reviews the thesis presented by the Group of International Communists, titled the Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. It was written in 1930, when Stalin, donning the mantle of the Russian Revolution and having anointed himself as chief revolutionary, was crushing debate within the European left and disorientating the movement to honour his informal pact with imperialism. This is a valuable document. One of the few oppositional documents of its time, and one that needs a current airing.

back-to-the-thirties.pdf

The only thing worse than predicting the future is being trapped by the past

25 February 2021 — theplanningmotivedotcom

This article was provoked by a comment Michael Roberts made in his most recent posting Titled Mission Impossible. The comment is presented in full below as is the link to the post. His comment is not exceptional, it is part and parcel of the 20th Century tradition loosely described as Marxist-Leninist- Trotskyist. By workers government, this article understands such a category to represent the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is after workers have successfully conquered state power and subdued the capitalist class and their agents. It is not interpreted as a government where workers are in office while the parties of the capitalist class are in opposition, in other words “parliamentary cretinism”. The proposals outlined below therefore takes place after the revolution, not before it. Finally, instead of using terms such as nationalizing the top 100, or 500 or 2000 transnational corporations, the term used is, “nationalizing of the commanding heights of the economy”.

the-past-obstructs-the-future.pdf

Marx Didn’t Invent Socialism, Nor Did He Discover It

9 December 2020 — Internationalist 360°

Steve Lalla

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/31cd2-1cu8zmelqf3xeiu9iavpxnw.jpeg

Revered as the Father of Socialism, in popular conception Karl Marx (1818–1883) is the originator of socialist theory, the creator of a plan implemented thereafter by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other socialist nations. He remains one of the most cited authors of all time, and his writings are endlessly scrutinized and analyzed. Was he standing on the shoulders of giants?

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