South Africa’s historical socialist alternatives are limited and inappropriate for the struggle to address ecological crises and, particularly, the dangerous contradiction of climate crisis. Moreover, the dominant carbon capitalism is the real challenge. Many believe that carbon capitalism is too big a problem to solve and hence either accept the end of the human race or a catastrophic future. We are at the “end of times”. This is a fatalism that legitimises that madness and irrationality of carbon capitalism. It undermines any kind of mass working class-led response and is also blind to the science. Such resignation is deeply reactionary.
There are no stages in this struggle to secure human and non-human life. We need to break with the anti-life and climate eco-cide logic of carbon capitalism now. The first challenge in this regard is to overcome old modes of politics and thinking. This means “reformist pragmatism” or “revolutionary maximalism” is not what the historical moment demands.