03.2011: Extracts on environment questions from Stefan Engel, Dawn of the International Socialist Revolution

From: Revolutionärer Weg, No. 34 III. The Marxist-Leninist Strategy and Tactics of the International Revolution

III.3 Changes in the Strategy and Tactics of the National and International Class Struggle for the Preparation of the International Revolution
The Vital Importance of the Struggle for the Protection of the Natural Environment and Against the Threatening Climate Catastrophe

The struggle to save the natural foundations of life from international finance capital's greed for profit becomes the most important task of the international socialist revolution besides the struggle for social and national liberation. Today the environment cannot be saved anymore with long-term effect without overcoming the capitalist mode of production!

Up to now, most environmental struggles focused on local or regional problems, for instance the toxic gas disaster in Bhopal, India; the Naples waste disposal scandal in Italy; the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the criminal storage of life-threatening nuclear waste, or the threat to habitats and natural resources in many countries. In the meantime, however, the consciousness among the broad masses is growing rapidly that the environmental and climate crisis has global dimensions and that its root cause is the capitalist mode of production at its present level.

At the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba from 20 to 22 April 2010, more than 30,000 participants demonstrated and discussed – among them 20,000 peasants, indigenous people, workers, women and scientists from Bolivia alone. The People's Agreement of the World Conference declared:

Capitalism requires a powerful military industry for its processes of accumulation and imposition of control over territories and natural resources, suppressing the resistance of the peoples. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.… The model we support is not a model of limitless and destructive development. All countries need to produce the goods and services necessary to satisfy the fundamental needs of their populations, but by no means can they continue to follow the path of development that has led the richest countries to have an ecological footprint five times bigger than what the planet is able to support. Currently, the regenerative capacity of the planet has been already exceeded by more than 30 percent. If this pace of over-exploitation of our Mother Earth continues, we will need two planets by the year 2030. (http://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/ peoples-agreement, downloaded 23 March 2011)

The central problem in the struggle for the protection of the natural environmental is the separation of the environmental movement from the working-class movement as well as a narrow-minded emphasis on local
problems or individual projects. In the petty-bourgeois environmental movement a certain arrogance towards the working-class movement and anticommunist influences were able to develop. This was furthered by the fact that the consciousness for environmental problems has been underdeveloped in the working-class movement. The Tenth International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations in 2010 discussed this problem critically and self-critically. A conference resolution reads:
The environmental question has become a subject of grave concern for all of humanity because of the irreversible damage caused to Mother Earth by the imperialist powers in realizing their greed for profit. The International Conference stated that there have been shortcomings of the Marxist-Leninist and working-class movement in the environmental issue.… The working class must take on its leading role and, at the same time, work together openly with all serious environmentalists. The solution of the environmental question lies in the reestablishment of the unity of humankind and nature through socialism/communism where not profits, but the interests of humanity are the center of interest. The Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics of the environmental struggle requires

  • overcoming a narrow-minded emphasis on regional or local problems and temporary projects in environmental struggles and creating an international resistance front to save the environment from the greed for profit. Currently the most important common goal of such an international front of resistance is to prevent the climate catastrophe;
  • understanding the struggle for pushing through advanced production methods of a cycle economy as a field of the class struggle of the international working class and waging it in alliance with all mass movements which can be won on its behalf;
  • connecting the struggle for the most urgent immediate measures for protecting the environment with the preparation of the international socialist revolution. The revolutionary working-class movement must put itself in the vanguard of the struggle for the protection of the natural environment.


III.4. Strategy and Tactics for Forging the Proletarian United Front


Struggle to Protect the Natural Environment

The fight to save the natural environment today must be directed at the capitalist mode of production and the dictatorship of international finance capital and be developed into an international resistance front under the leadership of the working class. It cannot make the acknowledgement of the socialist goal a precondition; but the Marxist-Leninists must lead this struggle as a school of organized international action in the struggle against imperialism and for socialism.

Besides the working-class movement, in the last few years the environmental movement has become the movement in which the issue of the "system" has been raised most intensely. This is an important condition for making active resistance for the rescue of the environment a part of the society-changing struggle for socialism. At the same time, active resistance to save the environment is not confined to class struggle. It draws broad sections of the non-proletarian strata into the struggle, which calls for all-sided alliance-building work.

In its rank-and-file work the MLPD furthers the conscious handling of nature by the masses. It promotes the unity of ecological and social movement; the joint struggle of the workers and the broad masses, progressive scientists and environment-conscious forces of the non-monopoly bourgeoisie; the support of the environmental policies of anti-imperialist governments or the governments of particularly affected countries like the Pacific islands.

With its strategy and tactics of the struggle over the mode of thinking, the MLPD helps the masses to strengthen their environmental awareness so that they can resist the disinformation campaign of the monopoly-paid "climate skeptics," corrosive "gloom and doom" fatalism, and other influences of the pettybourgeois environmentalist mode of thinking. International unions for the protection of the natural environment must be überparteilich and open in terms of world outlook, work on an antifascist basis, be democratically organized and financially independent. They must fight against any form of petty-bourgeois claim to leadership. Owing to the many years of dominance of petty-bourgeois activists in the environmental movement, the struggle against modern anticommunism has special importance.

In 2008 the MLPD published its Climate Protection Program. It contains and explains the proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 to 90 percent by the year 2030 through one hundred percent use of renewable energies and at the expense of the monopolies.

The MLPD successfully works to bring about the international cooperation of revolutionary forces also in the struggle to save the environment from greed for profit. It supports international unions like the Environmental Counsel that was held for the first time in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in 2009, with international participation, and systematically espouses such activities in the working-class movement. The joint struggle in the  environmental policy field under the leadership of the working class – with publications and mass discussions on environment-friendly technologies or production processes and their enforcement – is also a school of socialist construction and the development of the leading role of the international industrial proletariat, the carrier of the most advanced productive forces.