3rd International Ecosocialist Conference
The people gathered at the 3rd International Ecosocialist Conference held in Bilbao, on 23rd, 24th and 25th September 2016,
- That capitalism was developed without considering the basic premises that make human life possible. In first place, it ignores that humans, like all other living species, extract what they need from nature, and secondly, it tries to hide the fact that we depend on other people’s care and time, from the moment we are born to our death.
- That such ignorance and hiding comes from the fact that capitalism gives economic value only to what can be measured in money. Neither photosynthesis, nor natural cycles such as water or carbon, as well as all tasks associated with reproduction and human care can be analyzed using its measure and therefore they are all invisible to the capitalist economy.
- That, ignoring the limits resulting from these dependences on nature and on other people, the production, distribution and consumption model of capitalist societies, which seeks exclusively profit and private accumulation, bases its reproduction on a continuous and unlimited growth.
- That this unlimited growth fully collides with the biophysical limits of the planet. We are witnessing a growing exhaustion of natural resources (shortage of drinking water, imminent end of the era of cheap oil, growing scarcity of strategic minerals, collapsing fisheries, deforestation…), an obvious degradation of ecosystems (accelerated loss biodiversity, soil contamination and water reserves, degradation or overexploitation of services provided by ecosystems …) and unprecedented deterioration of natural balances, not only at local or regional level, as it took place in the past, but also for the first time in the global environmental system, whose most obvious manifestation is climate change: ecocide. This ECOLOGICAL state of emergency also causes every year millions of environmental refugees.
- That, despite official speeches, the COP21, has not been able to agree on the way to face effective and urgently the devastating consequences of climate change, since, among other reasons, it allows polluters to continue using fossil fuels and enables the corporate assault on renewable energy.
- That, particularly in this neoliberal phase of capitalism, the production and consumption model has created a greatly unjust and unequal global society, where overconsumption, waste and enrichment of a few is rooted in scarcity and poverty of the majority, as well as the seizure of the time, used in these patriarchal societies, mostly by women, to social reproduction and the daily management of welfare. A society facing a state of emergency as a result of unemployment, insecurity, destruction of social and labor rights, erosion of public services, the consequent transfer of care to households and the common goods privatization: AUSTERICIDE.
- That hunger, environmental problems and armed conflicts which currently force millions of people to move from their countries of origin are caused by structural reasons that shape the international relations of the actors competing in the global market.
- That this situation of frontal collision with the biophysical limits of the planet, of stunning labor and social rights setback, and of enormous social injustice can only be imposed by denying the people´s ability to govern themselves in defense of their citizenship rights and by less democracy (disinformation, “dictatorship of the market”, governments of unelected “technocrats”, express changing of the Spanish Constitution, systemic failure of election promises, open interventionism of the European Troika, “rescued” countries…), the spread of fear (“the shock doctrine”), misinformation of the media, misleading and deceitful governments, and, if all that were not enough, with increasing repression (the murders of environmentalists and other dissidents break records in recent years). In the President of the European Commission’s, Jean-Claude Juncker, fallacious words: “There cannot be democratic decisions against the European treaties”.
- That a future reconciled with nature and the essence of humanity requires a radical change of perspective, a radical democratic change in certain means of production and consumption which puts in the central position of life the people´s basic needs, which should be determined democratically and in accordance to the biophysical limits of the planet (ecosocialism).
- That, therefore, the solution cannot be CAPITALISM, since even the one disguised in GREEN reproduces the same consumption model and the same economic and social structures that are the cause of the current situation. It is essential to change the capitalist production model which is based on the private ownership of the means of production. In short, it is all about what to produce, for what, for whom, who take part in the decisions making and how to make them.
- That in the capitalist offensive against life, we deem essential to build an alternative, formed by all the liberatory agendas (feminism, unions, indigenous and peasant movement, environmentalism, etc.) for this purpose, it is necessary to strengthen dialogue between emancipatory subjects, with an internationalist perspective and a comprehensive look at the territories (including bodies, memory, knowledge, commons, etc.).
- Whether we like it or not, we are head for an eco-social transition process that lead to a decrease in the material sphere of the economy. We reckon that what is needed is just economic (of energy, production model), social (social organization of care …), cultural (education …), legislative and territorial (municipalities in transition …) transitions, at the service of people, environmentally balanced and democratically decided. Since, otherwise, it would lead to a model of society in which, for fewer people (the great powers) to maintain their current lifestyle, there is a need for a large number of people not being able to reach the minimum materials that guarantee a dignified existence.
- That is essential to ensure that everyone has the access to decent and autonomous living conditions.
- That, therefore, we are all committed to transitions that are capable of responding to the ecological urgency and simultaneously confront the problems derived from the social emergency, since we consider that contrast and collaboration between these two areas is essential. These two challenges have not always walked together; this is one of the most important values of this 3rd International Ecosocialist Conference: to provide them with a broad concurrence space.
- Given the myths related to the unlimited growth or the neo-Keynesian illusions that do not bear in mind the collision with the planet’s limits, we will only be able to bring these two fields together by addressing not only wealth distribution but also productive and reproductive work.
- That this distribution should be accompanied by a rethinking of the very notion of work, in order to place in the center the whole range of socially necessary jobs, which is the exact opposite of today´s dominant thinking, which does not take into account the nature of the production, if it’s economically viable, and only considers as work the one done in the commercial sphere and with a wage in return, ignore all work linked to human reproduction.
- That public authorities must promote socially necessary sectors, such as those linked to energy renovation of buildings, renewable energy, public transport, agro-ecology, community care related services and the leisure, health and education sectors. Sectors of low energy and low consumption of raw materials, on the other hand, are labor-intensive and therefore help to offset the inevitable loss of jobs in those economic sectors that should decrease or even disappear in an eco-social transition.
- For those just and sustainable transitions to occur, it is essential that our societies are imbued with a feminist vision capable of extending women’s right to equality in all areas, ending the marks of patriarchal oppression and the violence it generates over women; and to promote popular empowerment (democracy and sovereignty) against those selfish and greedy elites who occupy the centers of power and sequester them from the majority of the people. Therefore, we claim the communities’ right to decide on important issues affecting them, in both politics and economy. With all its possible contradictions, we believe that this route will much better suit the basic needs of the people from these communities and their balanced relationship with the environment than the one characterized by a blind market and technocrats dictatorships.
- That this empowerment must also be demonstrated by the management and the collective control of natural resources and common goods (remunicipalization of electricity supply networks…) and by the recovery of public banks, if these transitions are to take place, and also to denounce the illegal debt which works under the pretext of austericide.
- Thar a crucial pillar of these eco-social transitions should be education. Education as paideia: collective and personal self construction and along the whole life, as ecoindependent human being that we are. That reject the instrumental approach of neoliberal education and change competition by cooperation, individualism by collaboration results by processes … that will help to change the contents and breeding practices for unsustainable culture and to asking ourselves questions that remove this culture turning the school into an institution transformative rather than breeding.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO:
- To extend the ecologist socialist and feminist consciousness across the planet.
- To work for the creation of an international ecosocialist network linked to platforms such as Via Campesina, the B Plan for Europe … or movements for climate justice, or HH DD for everybody, without distinction, nor categories…
- To promote the encounter and collaboration between agents working in the field of ecological urgency and social emergency.
- To provide governments with legislative proposals that promote the necessary eco-social transitions. Priority should be given to those legislative proposals that guarantee economic, social and cultural rights in constitutional texts, and protect our common goods and ensure equal access to their management and enjoyment.
- To participate, encourage or spread all the current struggles against environmental degradation, particularly against the fossil-fuel industry large investment projects, and against the natural resources and common goods privatization.
- To be an active part in the existing movements and campaigns against international treaties such as the TTIP, CETA, TISA … which seriously harm our health, environment, living conditions and industrial relations.
- To hold all the experiences seeking to construct a new democratic, equitable and sustainable economy; based on a fair and responsible consumption, in an alternative culture that fosters human relations based on equality and mutual support…
- To address the “revolution of everyday life”. While no amount of changes in individual consumption habits can replace the necessary structural changes, it is advisable in that sense, to remember the opportune Mahatma Gandhi´s phrase that says: Live simply so that others may simply live. This perspective should prioritize more the “being” than the “having”. It should help us to come off the less sustainable practices, promoting the healthier and more ecological ones and assuming in equal terms, all the work based on caring people.