Socialism or Apocalypse

Pedro Campos

Nature Scene from Cuba's Cape San Antono - photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, May 7 — Scientists have been calling attention to the changes in the climate and in the environment in general —the consequences of the irrational abuse of nature by human beings— can wind up ending the conditions that facilitated the development of humans on the Earth.

It is exceedingly clear that humanity faces the dilemma of continuing to live at its current pace of destructive development and consumerism (imposed by capitalism), or change for another form of life and a more rational social organization that integrates human beings with nature. The question is one of socialism or apocalypse.

Certainly this does not involve the old bureaucratic socialism that covered up its state monopoly capitalist content.  Instead, this concerns a true form of socialism never before attained.  This would be one that puts the social lives of people in the center, not the State.  This would be a form of socialism that organizes production for the satisfaction of the rational needs of the producers, socializes appropriation instead of concentrating it, democratizes decisions and —instead of destroying nature and the environment— preserves and recreates them.

There always appear pessimists in the world who, lacking faith in human beings, see only destruction and horror on all sides.  There is a scientific principle that recognizes the possibility of reversing the damage done to nature; this is provided that correct and necessary actions are taken (unprecedented viability).

There are those who blame the development of science and technology or the growth of the human species and our needs for the “impending” destruction of the conditions of life on Earth. They consider human survival “beyond our means” because they have not been able to identify the fundamental cause of the problem: the system of capitalist exploitation and its logic of seeking super profits at the cost of wage laborers and other workers and at the expense of nature.

Scene from Cuba's Cape San Antonio. photo: Caridad

If something is indicated by the destruction of the environment that is taking place, it’s the need to change the system of capitalist production and its exploitative, destructive and hyper-consumerist practices.  This must be replaced by another system in which people are integrated with other people, instead of seeking their exploitation; and with nature, instead of taking advantage of its wealth.

Those who deny the possibility of human improvement consider the destruction of the planet unavoidable.  They don’t believe it is possible to form another society in which we will be able to preserve the planet, and they justify policies that pragmatically ignore the ruin of the environment.  Given all of this, they aspire to perpetuate the capitalist system and obstruct the path toward socialism.

For our survival, humanity needs to advance with determination toward a form of socialism that harmonizes interests between people and, in turn, blends those interests with nature to overcome the profit logic of the predatory system of capitalist production. In the absence of this, the apocalypse of their fortunetellers could soon become a reality.

Fortunately, around the world are emerging optimists who are increasingly realizing that capitalism portends the “organized end” of the human species. They are finding common points among diverse social movements, including environmentalists, the defenders of biodiversity, indigenous peoples, socialists, communitarians, human rights defenders, various genders, progressives, anti-sexist religious followers, anti-racists, liberal democrats, humanists, cooperativists, anti-hegemonists and other forces that are converging in a great international current that continues to strengthen.

This will be able to move humanity from pre-history to the new culture in which everyone lives in balance with each other and with nature —and as a part of nature— on the basis of a new humanist  and echo-environmentalist philosophy.  This will only be possible when “humans cease being the wolves of other humans.”

A demonstration of this was the recent Cochabamba Summit, convened by Bolivian President Evo Morales, in which participated large numbers of representatives of peoples from all over the world.

One thought on “Socialism or Apocalypse

  • I think the key idea here is that, in order that humanity might survive, we need to “advance with determination” toward a new form of socialism. The question is: “What is this new form?”

    As I’ve said before, the old bureaucratic form is not the product of the evil Stalin. That monster was merely holding to the formula laid down by Engels & Marx in the 2nd chapter of the Communist Manifesto. His regime abolished market forces, crushed the small entrepreneurial class & made full state ownership of all the instruments of production into a rigid, tyrannical principle.

    A corrected form should look candidly at the Manifesto’s 2nd chptr stipulations & recognize that they lead inevitably to massive state & party bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is the necessry product of the system.

    Our US movement sees employee-owned cooperative corporations on the Mondragon model, with partial state ownership as the basis of the new, workable form. It can sweep the world & save us.

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