Wednesday 6 April 2022

Ecosocialist Manifesto – the Parti de Gauche (France)

The first round of the 2022 French presidential election will be held on 10 April 2022, with Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Parti de Gauche standing as the candidate of Union Populaire, with a run off, if necessary on 24 April. The election will take place just before the 2022 legislative election, that will be held on 12 June with runoffs on 19 June, to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament. 

This is an extract from the Parti de Gauche Ecosocialist Manifesto. The full Manifesto can be found here. 

Ecosocialism as a Necessary Contemporary Alternative 

In a context where years of climate change denial suddenly gave way to dystopia, we have to look at the situation with responsibility and clarity. Social inequalities are worsening, global fascism is rising, the climate is changing, biodiversity is eroding, global health crises are emerging: these are all warnings. Scientists are pushing for a rapid reorganization of the way we produce and a reevaluation of our needs. 

This requires that we change our philosophical outlook and our relationship with nature. Due to the inaction of past governments on the planet which were ignorant, irresponsible, or servile towards profit-driven lobbies, we have already lost 50 precious years since these risks were known. We know that the capitalist world will do anything to continue following its own interest and will not change by its own accord. 

Today, the crisis is not only social, democratic, or environmental - there is a systemic and paradigmatic crisis in our thermo-industrial era, known today as the Capitalocene. It is a crisis of capitalist exchange and exploitation. It created a dynamic where organized predation upon nature and workers come together. Our civilization is vulnerable to a chain reaction of effects caused by globalization, global finance, algorithmic control of societal norms, and the loss of manual skills and knowledge. 

The odds of a worldwide systemic collapse are unknown but we already know that we are surpassing important thresholds and natural limits. Of 10 global limits identified by a group of researchers in 2009, four have already been surpassed. Disasters continue to target the most vulnerable. With wildfires, droughts, floods, diminished harvests, health issues, and increased risks of conflicts, it is apparent that ecosystem health is a challenge for social justice, health, and peace. Human life on earth is at stake. 

Ecosocialism is a systemic analysis that states that ecology is not compatible with capitalism which necessitates productivism and global finance. Ecosocialism holistically analyses the social, environmental, economic, and democratic impacts of our current system. This analysis’ radicalism, which consists in observing the roots of our problems, allows us to avoid support for green capitalism or neoliberal visions of ecology. These two concepts allow a narrow course of action, addressing only the consequences of capitalism without addressing the causes of its problems to overturn it. 

To engage on these issues, we need to change the economic system, the organization of production, and social forces to be successful. The general interest is intertwined with the question of saving our ecosystem. We cannot hide a necessary clash of interests : we need to engage in a show of force against the global financial system and with those who believe in the interest of the few, rather than the vast majority. The construction of this balance of power presumes a project, a new utopian vision : a horizon for society which acts as an attainable goal but also as a motivation. 

Ecosocialism is a stationary lighthouse in a world in full turmoil. Our political responsibility doesn’t dwell on believing this or that hypothesis, declaring ourselves to be optimists or pessimists, but in observing facts, testifying to the truth, and acting with clear-headedness. It also implies showing who is accountable for systemic crises without making mistakes (the oligarchy and not the working class). We also have to illustrate environmental inequalities, debunk the “green” shams, rethink how human beings fit in our ecosystem, and build the beacon of a desirable future by assessing the dead-ends of the past. 

Ecosocialism is about reorienting the economy to meet people’s needs, establishing a maximum authorized income, implementing the “green rule,” relocalizing production, discussing the myth of growth, reducing our energy consumption, developing food sovereignty, reinventing our relationship with nature and other species. We must not forget the ideological and cultural battle, social struggles, resistance to oppression, or international solidarity. Ecosocialism draws the shape of a more harmonious, fairer world which could sustain the current shocks of our time. 

This Ecosocialist Manifesto translates these ideas into the form of a political manifesto consisting of 26 theses. It is a guide of common interest to save every tenth of a degree of the changing climate we can, save every scrap of endangered nature we can save, and absorb the social and biophysical damage already in progress. It is a precious tool to help us think and prepare for the world we wish to see tomorrow. It is today that we will build tomorrow. 

We must sow the seeds of the future now. Whatever happens, every party advocating for ecosocialism will have built the foundations of a new vision, a new imaginary order, unfamiliar collective stories, and a renewed social organisation and cosmogony to plant seeds bearing societal transformation. 

The National Executive Secretary of the Parti de Gauche (Party of the Left)

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