Sustainability: Utopian and Scientific

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To make the move to a sustainable future where people are no longer threatened by an ecological catastrophe will require a number of things – above all a strong and broad movement with effective and intelligent leadership and an accurate understanding of the current problems and how they can be overcome.  Sadly only some parts of this constellation of forces is in place today.  In particular the green movement is not an effective political and social movement and the left is still in disarray, largely concerned with defensive politics and harking back to a world long gone.

As for ideas and analysis of the situation and what need to be done, some powerful critiques of the current economic orthodoxies have recently appeared that set out an alternative way in which the well being and prosperity of the population can be achieved and maintained.  However, these contributions are insufficient since they do not provide a sufficiently profound diagnosis of the causes of the problem.  Without such a diagnosis there can be no convincing prescription for a remedy.  But the situation is even worse than that.  There is also no convincing approach to obtaining the necessary changes.

The situation is not unlike that which Frederick Engels faced when he wrote “Socialism, Utopian and Scientific”
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Sustainability Utopian and Scientific


2 responses to “Sustainability: Utopian and Scientific

  1. Very strong article Mark. Really enjoyed reading it and seeing sustainability argued from a Marxist perspective, as well as the limits of the New Green Deal.

    It would be interesting to do a follow up linking theory to practice. That is how do the diverse and fractured forces around social justice, sustainability and environmnetalism find common ground, where are the green roots – Vistas, Climate Camp, Community, Social Enterprise, Co-ops?), and where/how/are they being linked, brought together locally, nationally and internationally?

    But that as they say is the big question, in the meantime thanks for this, much appreciated.


  2. greendealmanchester

    Many thanks Pete – yes there’s a lot more to do on this front indeed. I’m currently looking at Enrque Dussel’s recent “20 theses on politics” for a new and integrative take on linking theory and practice – he’s a bit academic in language though (much worse than me).

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