One of the most important elements that will determine the political course of the Twenty-First Century will undoubtedly be ecological disasters and the collective reactions to them. Class struggle, the basis of capital accumulation, patriarchy and racism which rely thereupon, increasingly aggressive imperialism – in short all the contradictions of capitalist society confront us in a more concentrated way on this concrete basis of life and the intensifying transformation thereof. In the face of the social and ecological destruction caused by capitalism, signs of the broad masses can be observed breaking from the established order, the current assumptions of democracy, and its political instruments. In this context, on the one hand, the footsteps of ecofascism are growing louder, and on the other hand, the idea of systemic change – although not hegemonic – is increasingly rising in the popular consciousness. But the answers to the question of how this will occur under the current destructive conditions have not yet achieved sufficient clarity.
From the perspective of Marxists who take a critical approach to their own history, we can now speak of the existence of a mature literature of Marxist ecology. How Marxist ecology, or eco-Marxism, can address all together capitalism’s ecological destruction, the problems of the transition from capitalism to socialism, accommodation of the conditions of ecological collapse, ecological restoration and socialist construction will also be decisive for the current debate on revolution.
Under the title of Capitalism and Ecological Destruction: Paths of Struggle and Alternatives, this co-produced dossier of Abstrakt and Polen Ecology Collective aims both to answer current questions of ecological struggle from a Marxist perspective, as well as to deepen the critical dimensions of the debates on revolution and socialism. In addition, through this dossier we hope to contribute to the theoretical and organizational dialogue in order to overcome the hegemony of liberalism in the global ecological movement.
We plan to create rich content with the following proposed subjects, as well as any new questions or topics that you wish to add, and we hope to thereby make a small contribution to both local and global environmental movements and the socialist movement.
What is the current scale of ecological destruction? Can this destruction be treated as a crisis of capitalism?
What kind of political risks and opportunities are to be found in this destruction which is rapidly destroying the ecological conditions for human and non-human life?
What can be the tools, basis of alliances, tactics and strategies of the socialist struggle in the face of ecofascism, signs of which are becoming increasingly common?
Do degrowth, cooperative politics, sumak kawsay/buen vivir, social ecology, communalism and similar approaches constitute an alternative to capitalism? What possibilities and tensions does the theoretical and practical relationship between these schools and the socialist struggle include?
How did ecological movements from the past to today relate to other areas of social struggle? What is the current state of the ecological movement in our geography and what are the organizational discussions focused on?
What does the ecological report card of experiments and initiatives of socialism in practice (such as the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Venezuela) have to tell us?
Is the socialist imaginary productivist? What do approaches which distance themselves from socialism, prioritize redistribution and emphasise self-limitation have to say about the mode of production? Is it possible to move “beyond” capitalism without destroying capitalism?
Where do just transition, climate justice, climate debt and ecological debt, and asylum waves stand in the current debate? How can these topics be evaluated in the context of the urgent need to decelerate ecological destruction?
How should food, water and energy systems be transformed under ecological collapse? How should socialism’s answers in these areas change under conditions of ecological collapse? How should the discussion of technology, planning, and scale be conducted for these areas?
How is the impact of ecological destruction on women different? How do Marxist ecology and other currents approach women’s exposure to and struggle with ecological collapse?
What sort of commonalities and tensions exist between the institutional struggle of information production and the actual struggle with regard to ecological collapse? How can they be evaluated and overcome?
How does Marxist ecology approach non-human creatures, how does it offer a perspective on biodiversity loss, animal liberation, and veganism?
How should cities be reorganised under conditions of ecological collapse? How can capitalism’s new urban-rural divisions be overcome? How can epidemics caused by human habitats in contact with wildlife be prevented?
Deadline for submissions: For Turkish articles, October 30, 2021, for articles in other languages (accounting for the translation period) October 15, 2021
Date of dossier publication: November 1, 2021
Dossier editors: Güney Işıkara, Cemil Aksu, Onur Yılmaz
We would be pleased if the articles which you prepare conform to Abstrakt’s publication policy and writing rules for basic perspective, bibliography and references (http://www.abstraktdergi.net/yazarlara/).