4th International Ecosocialist Encounters

Code red, code green: Shaping the Ecosocialist transformation

As we take critical account of the first two decades of the third millennium, we are alarmed to see that social collapse is not just matching but actually outpacing ecological disaster. The loss of biodiversity and destruction of essential ecosystems has reached catastrophic levels, the planet is expected to heat up well beyond the two degree limit, pollution in every conceivable corner of our Earth has become systemic, we are seeing diseases return that we thought were extinct, and all the while we are losing our commons all over the world to private enterprises or foreign governments. At moment, millions are expelled from their homes, lands, workplaces, even their countries, without any say in their destinies. As a consequence, we are seeing a renewed rise in hunger, poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, giving space to increased inequality and discrimination, irrational racism, nationalism and patriarchal, colonialist and reactionary attitudes.

Transnational capitalist political and economic elites are persisting in patching the failures of the industrialist capitalist economic model with false technology and market-based solutions that they like to call green economy, sustainable development or natural capitalism. Each new crisis is an opportunity for these elites to further financialise, militarise and privatise public goods and services.

Nothing is being done to address capitalism’s two main contradictions: the exploitation of its most important productive elements—people and Nature. Under the industrialist capitalist hegemony what we are producing, reproducing, distributing and consuming, rather than progress, is a profound disenfranchisement and the destruction of the very own material and cultural means that have sustained human civilisations.

Since 2014, Ecosocialist collectives, ecofeminists, peasants, trade unions, social movements and political organisations have been meeting to collectively imagine and set in motion an Ecosocialist alternative to the current destructive economic paradigm. Ecosocialism, as a critical social theory and practice, sets itself the joint task of dismantling capitalism, productivism and inequality, and constructing the alternatives that can produce eco-social justice. It seeks to fulfil this mission by addressing at the same time the crucial issues of the purpose of economy and work, of production and social reproduction, the ownership of the means of production, the sharing of essential commons and solidary democratic decision-making, while bearing in mind the restoration of our wounded ecosystems.

The Portuguese organisers of the Fourth edition of Ecosocialist Meetings, together with the organisers of the previous editions from Basque country, Spain and Switzerland, call on collectives, social movements, workers unions, political organisations, researchers, wo rkers, the unemployed and precariously employed and anyone who identifies with the Ecosocialist ethos, to join forces and minds and together help build an Ecosocialist praxis for social transformations and Buen Vivir for all of Earth’s peoples.