It’s “Either/or”: eco-socialism or barbarism.The following is from an article by Joel Kovel:
We have no choice about the fact that the ecological crisis portends radical change. But we can choose the kind of change, whether it is to be for life or death. As Ian Angus puts it in his listserve, Climate and Capitalism, the choice is simple enough: “EcoSocialism or Barbarism: There is no third way” (To learn about and/or join this list, contact Angus at ecosocialism[at]gmail.com)...Back to the 'means (and modes) of production, again. Keynes said something like: To believe capitalism's claims, you'd have to believe the wickedest people, doing the evilest deeds, will result in the BEST consequences for everyone.
This is a paraphrase of the great Rosa Luxemburg’s saying of the early twentieth century, that the real choice before humanity was between “Socialism or Barbarism.” This is quite true. The failure of the socialist revolutions (both immediately as in the case of Luxemburg and the Spartacist uprising in Germany, and later with the failure of the other socialisms of the twentieth century, especially those organized around the USSR and China), has been a condition for the present triumph of barbaric capitalism, with its endless wars, nightmarish consumerism, ever-widening gap between rich and poor — and most significantly, ecological crisis.
So the choice remains the same, except that capitalist barbarism now means ecocatastrophe. This is because the capacity of the earth to buffer the effects of human production has become overwhelmed by the chaos of its productive system. Any movement for social transformation in our time will have to foreground this issue, for the very notion of a future depends on whether we can resolve it or not.
For this reason, a socialism worthy of the name will have to be ecologically—or to be more exact, “ecocentrically”—oriented, that is, it will have to be an “ecosocialism” devoted to restoring the integrity of our relationship to nature. The distinction between ecosocialism and the “first-epoch” socialisms of the last century is not merely terminological, as though for ecosocialism we simply need worker control over the industrial apparatus and some good environmental regulation. We do need worker control in ecosocialism as we did in the socialism of the “first epoch,” for unless the producers are free there is no overcoming of capitalism. But the ecological aspect also poses a new and more radical issue that calls into question the very character of production itself.