On-line voting opened today in elections for the Green Party leaders and executive. Green Left asked candidates about ecosocialism.
What do you understand by the term “Ecosocialist”? ‘Would you see yourself as being an ecosocialist and what does that mean to you?
Green socialists, and I count myself as one, frame and explain policies in terms of their impact on social justice and environmental well-being. Climate justice would put an end to those least responsible for the climate change impacts having to most suffer their horrendous consequences. See my Ted Talk https://bit.ly/2NVbi6J.
Sian Berry (Joint candidate with Bartley)
I joined the Greens in 2001 precisely because we were the only party making the links between social justice and the need for a healthy planet, while all the other parties saw these as either/or. This link is at the core of ecosocialism, while I also admire the focus of most ecosocialists on local empowerment and action that builds resilience within communities as well as ‘traditional’ socialist principles like democratic public control of essential services and industries.
Jonathan Bartley (joint candidate with Berry)
I don’t see how the need to tackle climate change and the ravaging of the planet can be separated from the economic system that drives it and the rampant inequality that results. For me this is what being an ecosocialist is about and right now is the moment to be shouting loudly about it. People need more than a choice between Monetarism and Keynesianism. What Labour is offering is neither radical nor ecosocialist. What we offer should be clearly different and mean systemic change.
Ecosocialism is Green socialism. Capitalism is the cause of social exclusion, poverty, war and environmental degradation through globalisation and imperialism, under repressive states and transnational structures, such as the EU. That is why I am campaigning for a sustainable de-growth economic policy and actively oppose neo-liberal economic policies.
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For me, Ecosocialist is someone who supports people and planet through challenging big business and capitalism, making sure that we can live Free and Equal whilst also having a planet to live on.
My understanding: The problems of environmental degradation and poverty having the common root cause of an exploitative capitalist system. My comment: I identify more strongly with the cooperative socialism of the earliest 20thC rather than the top down models that have come to be synonymous with the word ‘socialist’. Marx still offers the most devastating critique we have of capitalism, but he’s not that helpful for the Green Party in setting out a realistic, relevant and radical programme for how we move towards an economics for a finite planet.
Ecosocialism is a vision of a transformed society in harmony with nature, and the development of practices that can attain it. It is directed toward alternatives to all socially and ecologically destructive systems, such as patriarchy, racism, homophobia and the fossil-fuel based economy.
I’ve never called myself an ‘Ecosocialist’ though in conversation with people who do we come to similar conclusions on many occasions
I don’t like jargon. Avoid it like the plague. I am a Green Party spokesperson who talks the language of everyday people. We must develop language that includes not excludes. Ecosocialist is more exclusive language we should avoid. Mankind is in trouble, we need Simple Solutions a 10 year old understands.
I am a proud ecosocialist, which has been evidenced by my work opposing austerity and championing green alternatives that have social justice at their core. We need to be championing eco-socialist policies not just in the UK, but on a global basis, working to dismantle capitalism and challenging globalisation from the perspective that it’s built on the backs of the working class around the works, destroying our planet, and the effects of all this feedback with climate change and ecological destruction destroying the poorest countries and communities first.