We received this question about our previous post ‘Green Maoism’.
I’ve read your text on Earth first! and I found strange that you do not speak about the ideology of considering nature has having a value in itself. It is the basic ideology of Earth First and the point is to accept it or not. You don’t say anything about it.
In France, for example, the maoist CPMLM is famous for supporting this point of view and justifying it thought the concept of “Biosphere” elaborated by the soviet scientific Vernadsky. It is well known they have also a pro-veganism stand.
Thank you for your comments. We hope this reply is the beginning of a wider discussion about these issues, hence this is only a brief description of our viewpoint.
That the natural environment has value in itself seems to us to be consistent with Marx’s own writings on materialism especially if we remember that human beings are part of that environment. There is however, as you are aware, a tendency (one of several tendencies) within Earth First!, and the wider radical green movement, towards misanthropy, which while being anti-humanist is also anti-Marxist.
Our endorsement of radical environmentalism as one front in the struggle against capitalism is predicated on the actions of these groups insofar as they unite the environmental struggle with that of the struggle of the masses of oppressed and exploited peoples.
As I’m sure you are aware there is a strong and long tradition of Earth First! working with the syndicalist IWW. Although with our Third-Worldist orientation we have obvious criticisms of syndicalism (whilst at the same time welcoming the work they have done organising low paid migrant workers in the First World) these kinds of alliances show how radical environmentalism can be woven on to progressive anti-capitalist movements.
Recent statements put out by Earth First! have rejected so called ‘deep ecologists’ and outright fascist tendencies within the green movement. This has included disowning their own founding member (http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2011/09/30/dave-foreman-still-aligning-with-bigots/). More proactively Earth First Journal has endorsed the No Borders movement and given support for First Nation struggles.
Earth First! has recently parted from the anti-civilisation group, Deep Green Resistance, over the issue of transphobia (and we have our own criticisms of this group), it should be noted that even D.G.R. with all their anti-civilisation rhetoric have blended their environmentalism with support for various indigenous movements, the immigrant rights group, No One Is Illegal and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta among others as well as drawing inspiration from a variety of progressive forces including the Black Panthers, Zapatistas and Indian Maoists.
In the First World where most workers seem largely content (at least for now) with a relatively privileged lifestyle, we feel that the struggle against capitalism will be borne by a politically conscious minority rather than any industrial/trade union conscious majority. Environmentalism, in league with related causes is one avenue through which such a political consciousness could be reached.
We look forward to further discussion on this issue.