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Wed Apr 22, 2015, 04:45 PM

Toward Cyborg Socialism

by Alyssa Battistoni ~ 4/22/15

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970. It was also Lenin’s hundredth birthday. The coincidence was not intentional.

In fact, part of the point of Earth Day was to distance the nascent environmentalist movement from New Left critiques of consumer society, suburban development, and nuclear waste. In an attempt to avoid charges of “watermelon” politics — green on the outside, red on the inside — the message of the early environmental movement, as one Greenpeace slogan explicitly stated, was “I’m not a Red, I’m a Green.” As environmentalism went mainstream, green nonprofits grew rich and powerful on corporate donations and adopted conciliatory strategies aimed at greening the world one brand name at a time.

These days, environmentalism can rival the Left’s big-tent eclecticism: rugged wilderness fantasies, New Age mysticism, and middle-class romanticism exist side-by-side with indigenous anti-nuclear protests, campaigns against urban smog, back-to-the-land agrarian nostalgia, and entrepreneurial green tech. But lately, militant environmentalism is staging a comeback — as are state crackdowns. And even the most mainstream varieties of environmentalism are inching leftward. Climate change in particular has radicalizing potential, as more and more people are beginning to question the prevailing economic system’s destructive effect on the environment. But mainstream environmental groups aren’t going to offer a coherent critique of capitalism’s ecological consequences or do the work of theorizing alternatives.

It’s ridiculous that we still bracket climate change and water supplies as specifically “environmental” issues: the questions at hand are ones of political economy and collective action ...

more here ~ https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/toward-cyborg-socialism/

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