Socialists in Britain Discuss Class Struggle and Ecology

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Ecosocialism included in a discussion of regrouping the left

Earlier this year, the left-wing Respect coalition in Britain went through a damaging split, when one of its founding groups, the Socialist Workers Party, decided to walk away over disagreements with the coalition’s leader, radical MP George Galloway.

Desite the walk-out, Respect still includes a strong Marxist wing, made up of ex-SWPers who opposed the split, members of the International Socialist Group and supporters of Socialist Resistance, and independent revolutionaries. Those currents are now discussing “a regroupment, based on our common traditions as active revolutionary socialists.” They hope to come together in a united revolutionary socialist organization “which will locate itself in working-class struggle – in the workplace, in the community, amongst the oppressed and in the broad party.”

One of the first regroupment discussion documents is Class Struggle and Ecology: An ecosocialist contribution to the discussion on revolutionary regroupment, by Liam Mac Uaid, an editor of Socialist Resistance. In it he argues that:

“the genuine and serious risks of severe ecological degradation and climate change caused by the capitalist economic model as factors … will shape socialist politics in the coming decades.”

And that:

“As socialists we must explain that only by collective action will we be able to develop solutions to climate change. The key terrain for this debate in Britain is in the trade unions …

“Our activity in the coming years must, as a central priority, aim to make the unions an enthusiastic participant in a mass movement against climate change.”

But he doesn’t limit his focus to work in the unions:

“The internationalist and explicitly revolutionary implications of ecosocialist politics will be attractive to the radicalizing new generations of activists who have shown themselves capable of impressive feats of organization. They have no memory of the defeats suffered by the working class movement in the last three decades but equally they have not seen evidence that convinces them that the real power to change the world lies in the working class. It is part of our responsibility to demonstrate that this is so.”

While it was written for a specific discussion in Britain, Mac Uaid’s essay is an important contribution to the continuing international discussion of ecosocialist strategy and program. The full text can be downloaded here (PDF: 146 kb)

For more information about the regroupment discussion, click here.