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Definition of Eco-Socialism
Eco-socialism is one of the most recent and fastest growing political ideologies. It combines the theories of ecological sustainability and socialism. The end goal of these policies is a society without class divisions, living in some kind of harmony with nature.
William Morris developed key principles of this ideology during the 1880s and 1890s. These principles were promoted within the Social Democratic Federation and the Socialist League.
These principles re-emerged with force 100 years later, during the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, by the 21st century, Green politics promoting eco-socialism had become mainstream in some countries.
Eco-socialism is an ideology that sees the need for economic justice and environmental stewardship as inseparable. It argues that social transformation must be accompanied by a holistic approach to managing the environment, including creating laws and regulations that reduce resource consumption, energy use, and pollution. Eco-Socialists are particularly concerned about climate change and its impact on marginalised communities.
Capitalism Versus Eco-Socialism
The notion you are entitled to as much of the world’s resources as your money can buy is central to capitalism. You can buy as much land, minerals, meat and fish as you want, regardless of who else is deprived by your actions. Indeed, if you have enough money, you can own entire mountain ranges and fertile plains. Consequently, you can also burn as much fossil fuel as you like. Eco-socialism runs counter to this narrative.
Eco-Socialism is a political ideology which prioritises social and ecological well-being. It fuses basic tenets of ecological sustainability with the Marxist critique of capitalism, thus offering a radical alternative to unsustainable capitalist systems.
How to Implement Eco-Socialism at Different Levels
It’s essential to think about how eco-socialism can be implemented not just at a global level but also in different parts of society and for different communities. For example, eco-socialism can be used to create green jobs or to promote sustainable agriculture practices in rural areas.
Additionally, eco-socialist policies can help cities become more environmentally friendly and ensure that the environment is a priority in urban planning. When investigating the implementation of eco-socialism, it’s important to think not only about what policies might work best, but also how communities or regions could benefit from them.
Climate Change and Eco-Socialism
As Climate Change has emerged as a dominant political issue, an increasing number of people have become involved in Green Left politics.
Consequently, the worsening climate crisis will continue to attract more people to a politics that is both progressive and sustainable. Just as surely as capitalism has led us into the climate crisis and environmental destruction, eco-socialism offers us a path out of it.
Canadian activist and author Ian Angus has become a leading voice in the eco-socialist movement. Indeed books by Ian include Canadian Bolsheviks: The Early Years of The Communist Party of Canada, The Global Fight for Climate Justice: Anticapitalist Responses to Global Warming and Ecological Destruction, Too Many People?
He has also authored, Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis, A Redder Shade of Green: Intersections of Science and Socialism and Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System.
In addition, Angus has travelled the world promoting eco-socialism with his books and has established the website Climate and Capitalism
Green Left Weekly
Australian socialist activists founded The Green Left Weekly in 1990. It is now known simply as the Green Left. However, with a mission to “present the views excluded by the big business media”, Green Left was groundbreaking and remains a powerful voice for eco-socialism.
With humanity seemingly at a cross-road, eco-socialists are increasingly putting themselves forward for public office. More and more eco-socialists, both from within the Australian Greens and minor parties such as Socialist Alliance are putting their names forward. The decline of the red scare and an increased focus on the climate emergency suggest there are fewer barriers to their success than before. Indeed if we are to survive climate change eco-socialism must succeed.
Micro parties Socialist Alliance and Victorian Socialists are both committed to policies that support and promote Eco-Socialism.
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, are a confederation of Green state and territory political parties in Australia. As of the 2022 federal election, the Greens are the third largest political party in Australia by vote and the fourth largest by elected representation.
The Australian Greens have moved further to the left in recent years. They have adopted policies that would increasingly move Australia towards Eco-Socialism.