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Capitalism is destroying the viability of life on the planet while human civilization approaches the precipice
“Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on our human victories over nature. For each such victory, nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first.”
Friedrich Engels, 1876
The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man
Anarchic and voracious capitalism has broken the metabolic balance between the planet and human civilization. We are at a beginning stage of the death agony of capitalism.
Industrial capitalism has accumulated astronomic levels of toxic gases in the atmosphere, produced increasingly rising temperatures, and poisoned the planet’s waters and lands to such an extent that the mass extinction of species — including humans — have been set into motion.
Invasive surgery is necessary to remove the cysts that rot our society and the habitat, namely the bourgeoisie economic system and its political regimes.
For decades, the world’s bourgeoisie has known about the disaster caused by its overexploitation of nature and production of pollutants since the industrial revolution. Still, it has done everything possible to hide or minimize the damage, all to preserve their earnings and privileges.
None of the bourgeoisie’s proposals will solve the environmental catastrophe that they have set in motion. The bourgeoisie can only survive by deepening the crisis and preserving their sources of profit. Therefore, their strategy is extinctionist because it puts their profits before life on the planet and the well-being of humanity, leading rapidly to an irreversible loss of biodiversity and the extinction of all species.
This conscious policy of environmental destruction will bring about the inevitable fall of capitalist societies and the destruction of its economic resources, energy sources, and financial matrix. This will be accompanied by a disintegration of the relations of production and the reversal of the great conquests of the masses in terms of social and cultural progress. Advances in consciousness will regress to the standards of pre-capitalist societies. Political regimes and governments will be pulverized and replaced by even more authoritarian ones, including fascists and fundamentalists.
The surviving bourgeois governments will abandon all pretense of democracy and will become openly reactionary. The decomposition and liquidation of the bourgeois social order as a whole will be paired with the collapse of its institutions. All the laws and measures of social coercion that gave functionality to capitalist society will disappear. This looming collapse of the capitalist-imperialist civilization will open a period of wars and armed confrontations without precedent in history.
We revolutionary Marxists declare war on this criminal and deliberate extinctionist policy of the bourgeoisie and call for its overthrow on the world scale by any means necessary. This is the only viable policy for the survival of species and the environment. Any attempt to reform the existing systems is futile; confidence that the class in power will provide solutions to humanity and save the planet is nothing more than a fallacy.
To defeat the capitalists and their extinctionist mode of production, the formation of a consciously revolutionary political organization on a world level is essential; an organization that does not trust that the implementation of some reforms, or “moderate” measures to preserve the planet, will be able to stop the catastrophe.
The crisis of humanity is reduced to the crisis of its revolutionary leadership
Until now, we workers and the oppressed have had many partial or temporary victories, but none of them has been sustained, consolidated, or expanded to overthrow the world bourgeoisie.
Marxism has suffered many defeats and betrayals. We have not yet been able to find a way to overthrow the ruling classes and open a period of an anti-extinctionist transition towards socialism.
Revolutionaries must build a new Marxist revolutionary anti-extinctionist international to confront this crisis and overthrow the world’s bourgeoisie–leading humanity to a transition toward socialism. This task is possible only by attending to the most significant challenges posed by the desolation of the planet and preparing us to survive the ongoing environmental disasters.
While building loose networks of isolated groups or associations of scientific advisers concerned with the direction of the world can contribute to minor issues, they are not a replacement for the strategic construction of revolutionary leadership.
The class in power will continue to fight to preserve its profits and seek to offer some “solution” that only considers its interests and not those of humanity and the planet. All the proposals of the bourgeoisie, in the best case, are aimed at delaying the ongoing catastrophes, not at eliminating their actual cause–which sums up the existence of the class in power.
It is essential to formulate a radical, profound, and decisive world action program independent of the ruling capitalist-imperialist class: based on a scientific and historical understanding of contemporary reality and the need to build a new human civilization. That plan can only be conceived and carried out through revolutionary organizations and their methods.
The Covid 19 pandemic is the mirror where we look at our future under capitalism
The planet’s ecological degradation will bring increasingly severe and frequent global and regional health emergencies. As in the case of the Covid pandemic, humanity will be repeatedly placed in situations where the world governments lack the preparation and foresight needed to save us from extinction. From China and Russia to the US, Europe to Oceania, Africa, and the Americas, all powers have made clear that their strategy is to reopen markets to the maximum and recover the lost ground in the economic field, not save lives. This is the same central strategy of the bourgeoisie in the face of ongoing catastrophes and civilizational collapse: to make the most of it for as long as possible and seek a temporary refuge for those in power no matter how many lives are sacrificed in the process.
The Covid-related emergency measures governments should have implemented universally should include real protection for essential workers, the general and free provision of food and life-giving necessities to the entire population, including free medical services, as well as all the financial support required to cover the payment of housing and the salaries of all affected workers as well as the guarantee of universal vaccination through the nationalization of the pharmaceutical industry.
Mega droughts, floods, heat waves, deforestation, ocean acidification, the suffocating accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, exponential multiplication of industrial and radioactive waste all pose challenges that are much more serious and complex than those posed by the Covid emergency, not to mention the new pandemics that are about to occur as a result of environmental degradation and destruction.
Social Democrats, Stalinists, Centrists, and Anarchists are an obstacle to the revolution and the fight to stop extinctionism
Historically, in the struggles for socialism, the political leadership of the working class claimed to adhere to either Marxism or anarchism. This leadership, time and time again, rejected the revolutionary struggle against capitalism and became part of the bourgeois order itself or even became an outright bourgeois organization. Such is the case of the social democracy movement of the Second International or the anarchists allied with the bourgeoisie in Spain and Russia, and ,of course, Stalinism–the latter being responsible for the bureaucratic degeneration of the Third International and the capitalist restoration in the former workers’ states.
Some of these currents exist today in different countries as entirely reformist organizations that refuse to break with the bourgeoisie. They are dedicated exclusively to functioning as electoral apparatuses or simple pressure groups under bourgeois regimes. The ruling class employs them to divert and neutralize the struggles that challenge the power of the bourgeoisie.
Today, there is no difference between the revolutionary struggle for socialism and the battle against mass extinction and civilizational collapse. The advance of the anti-extinctionist fight will increasingly unmask the counterrevolutionary political role of reformism. The same will happen with those amorphous and centrist political sectors that fail to leave the sphere of reformism.
Environmental movements and the Green Party
Other sectors that stand as obstacles to the construction of revolutionary organizations are the bourgeois environmentalists. They insist that ecological disintegration may be stopped within the framework of bourgeois society. They refuse to recognize that imperialist capitalism is faced with the impossible contradiction posed by its dependence on an unlimited expansion of their system, which can only exist while accelerating the destruction of the planet.
Middle class ecological movements worked on environmental issues for decades and continue to play the role of simple advisers to the bourgeoisie. Bourgeois environmentalists do not go beyond advancing measures calling for individual responsibility or calls on the governments to adopt palliative measures in the face of enormous environmental problems. Like the most conservative scientists, these groups also do not point to capitalism as the culprit for the ongoing tragedy. They propose, at most, economic measures, such as the collection of taxes or sanctions against the largest polluting companies. Many of them concur with the opinion that we are faced with an anthropogenic problem, thus diluting the concrete responsibility of the ruling class into collective responsibility.
We maintain that the current civilizational collapse is not anthropogenic in general, but caused solely by the capitalist mode of production. We live in the “era of capital,” the capitalocene, and those responsible are not everybody, but only the ruling class.
Ecologists, reformists, and centrists are confident that any palliative measures proposed will be considered and put into practice within the process of bourgeois democracy. But as we know pretty well, and in the words of Trotsky: “The democracy created by the bourgeoisie is not, as Bernstein and Kautsky believed, an empty bag that can be easily filled with any class content. Bourgeois democracy can only serve the bourgeoisie.”
Reformists propose, once again, an alliance with the bourgeoisie, which is nothing more than a type of “Popular Front” or a complete submission to the designs and strategies of the ruling class. An alliance with the bourgeoisie, regardless of who is in the leadership, will never be more than “a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie,” and “whenever this ‘committee’ manages affairs poorly, the bourgeoisie dismisses it with a boot.” (Trotsky, 90 years after the Communist Manifesto)
The anticapitalist left and anti-extinctionism
Internationally, there exists a left that affirms that capitalism is killing the planet. However, it is still reluctant to admit that both the civilizational collapse and destruction of nature have already begun and that both processes are irreversible. This reluctance leads them to adopt an idealistic position that claims that everything will be fixed once the working class takes power.
To change the deadly trajectory imposed by capitalism and the bourgeoisie, the left must urgently reevaluate and update its revolutionary theories and strategies, including, the discussion on the revolutionary history to the tactics and methods of intervention in the class struggle.
As we have already said in our analysis, after a short transitional period of accumulation of catastrophic phenomena, there will be a qualitative leap that will demolish the civilization built by capitalism and will threaten the planet. We will then find ourselves faced before a post-capitalist era characterized by the regression of all forms of production and exchange, together with degeneration of the political, social, and cultural relations.
Not fully understanding the situation, many on the left limit their politics to calling for strategically insufficient measures. They do not realizine that slogans, such as the takeover of the energy industry, worker and consumer control of these companies, or improvements in the working conditions in the most toxic industries are no longer transitional. But given the objective circumstances of the ecological catastrophe’s acceleration, are now regressing to the category of democratic, incidental, and in many cases minimal demands. That is, they have become insufficient to deal with the situation of this new era.
The left, then, instead of occupying the role of a revolutionary leadership to solve humanity’s crisis, hopes that somehow, the solutions will magically open up in the future. They cling to the idea that if specific appropriate measures are carried out, and the working class makes the revolution, it will be possible to avoid the catastrophe and restore the metabolic balance between humanity and nature on time. In the meantime, they are opposed to any measure that attempts to slow down or eliminate industrial production on the premise that this would delay the advance of the working class as the sole agent of revolutionary social change.
This confidence that everything will be solved with the seizure of power stems from a tendency of contemporary Marxism to capitulate to the labor aristocracy, and in many cases, to adopt this sector as the exclusive center of party intervention. Those left organizations that fail to see the magnitude of the ecological crisis, and immerse themselves in other tasks, by omission, do nothing more than provide a lifeline to centrism and reformism, which facilitates the extinctionist agendaof the ruling class.
Denying the process of extinction today is, without exaggeration, equivalent to denying imperialism, like the reformists of the Second International did when they supported their respective imperialist bourgeoisie during World War I. Denial of extinctionism amounts to a denial of the laws of the class struggle; without the consolidation of victories, the road will be open for counterrevolution, defeats, and regression. It is not possible to obtain wins if one does not even understand what one is fighting against.
When confronted with imperialism, the Stalinists, the social democrats, and the followers of the “Socialism of the XXI Century” of Chávez and Maduro proposed the Popular Front’s path, which consists of an alliance with a sector of the bourgeoisie, particularly within the different imperialist countries. Today, for them, the solution to extinction would, again, lead to an alliance with the bourgeoisie. By denying the process of species extinction and the ongoing civilizational collapse, these leaders push the left organizations towards reformism, into partnerships with the bourgeoisie, or into bourgeois parties to “reform” them.
Something similar thing happens with the so-called postmodern, autonomist, petty-bourgeois left, based on the ideas of Holloway, which proposes governing without taking power, or the “Gramscians” that talk about gaining access to power by civil society, whereby the social classes are diluted, and therefore deny the need for revolutionary leadership, or replace it with idealistic conceptions such as the struggle for cultural hegemony. Both sets of ideas capitulate to the bourgeoisie, no matter how much they sometimes speak out against it, in general terms, or against the exploiters and oppressors because they end up included in all their political proposals. This is what we already have experienced with movements like the Zapatistas, the Indignados, Occupy, or Syriza: all of them reject the central task of building an international revolutionary organization. Without it, it is impossible to triumph against extinction.
Ultra-left groups, for their part, mount additional obstacles to the organization of the workers and the oppressed with actions that are individualistic and removed from the mass organizations and phenomena; thus providing the bourgeoisie with the excuses they need to prematurely repress the workers and oppressed when they are not yet in a position be able to counter such attacks.
The need for revolutionary governments and states seeking a world unification to confront the challenges of our era has never been so clear and urgent: Socialism or Extinction!
Scientists and the anti-extinctionist revolution
A growing number of environmental scientists affirm that if current production processes are not modified, enormous irreversible ecological catastrophes will be set in motion; however, none of their proposals contain a call for structural changes in society, but instead they only provide information to the ruling circles, which are the ones that determine policy and make the final decisions in all matters.
The bourgeoisie do not allow the scientists the space in which to deliberate, for example, what energy should be produced or what it should be used for. They are only required to deal with how to generate it in more significant quantities.
A few scientists resist their bourgeois paymasters and argue that environmental changes are already irreversible, that we are facing the imminent mass extinction of species, including the human species. However, they still do not point to capitalism and the world bourgeoisie as the parties responsible for the situation.
Regression of systems, regimes, governments, and classes
We warn that in the course of the environmental catastrophes that have begun to occur, the conditions are rapidly developing for the collapse of bourgeois governments and regimes that are to be replaced by oligarchies and castes armed to the teeth. They will then fight each other relentlessly for the scarce resources available, unleashing a general decline in the living conditions of all workers and impoverished masses in all corners of the planet.
These oligarchies will no longer be bourgeoisies hypocritically proclaiming themselves as the flag bearers of “democracy,” but dictatorial and absolutist ruling classes seizing whatever remains of the productive apparatus and the state apparatuses in symbiosis with the remains of their armies.
Capitalism and the bourgeoisie will have completed their historical cycle, destroying the planet and regressing to social forms that existed only before capitalism. Fascism and neo-fascism, or fundamentalist regimes, will be only transitional vehicles transporting new forms of power in permanent regression. That reality is already in full swing.
The workers and the masses will endure hardships never seen before, from relentless famines to epidemics. The exodus of human masses will multiply, displaced by misery and violence and by the environmental degradation and destruction of growing regions of the planet that will become uninhabitable.
In the same way, democratic rights won with great sacrifice and struggle will be crushed under the rubble of civilization.
Slavery, child labor, and other super-exploitative labor practices superseded, supposedly, in the past by social legislation have already returned and will expand with great force.
The bourgeoisie will brutally downgrade the social status of the middle classes, repress their democratic aspirations with no mercy, and end up merged with what will become the new slave classes. The bourgeoisie will also increasingly seek to use them for its ends, as a shock force against the most oppressed, to remain in power as long as possible.
The lack of a revolutionary pole that attracts the working class will cause the desperate petty bourgeoisie to launch itself, as it did under fascism, into a counterrevolutionary abyss to take revenge on the bourgeoisie. Against those, it is considered responsible for its ruin, including the workers and the oppressed.
Only the decisive intervention of the workers, poor, oppressed nationalities, and the youth with a program of socialist struggle to defend the environment will tackle this situation and lead us towards a different reality.
Reaffirmation of the theories and laws of revolutionary Marxism
We are facing a new historical epoch: that of the extinction and collapse of capitalist civilization. Within it, we pass through the period of the death agony of capitalism in which the immediate future of humanity is at stake.
Faced with this crisis, we reaffirm that only revolutionary Marxism has the theoretical-political arsenal to rid humanity of the existential threat represented by the global domination of imperialist capitalism.
Revolutionary Marxism objectively analyzes reality and does not need to create an ideology that distorts it. It does not cling to immutable formulas or theories. The founders of revolutionary Marxism themselves adopted a systematic critical attitude towards their analysis, methods, and ideas and thereby prepared the ground for the historic, revolutionary triumphs of the proletariat in the class struggle during the last century.
Lenin developed the theory of revolutionary organization and the theory and analysis of the class struggle with his explanation that the emergence and preponderance of a relatively privileged sector of the working class, a labor aristocracy, and the European social democracy as its political representation were responsible for the First World War.
Consequently, Lenin called for a new revolutionary international consistent with his theory of revolutionary organization. At the same time, Trotsky developed the theory of Permanent Revolution and the theory of uneven and combined development and converged with Lenin in the triumph of the first workers’ socialist revolution, which signified the first time a world socialist revolution became a possibility.
The postwar defeats, the death of Lenin, the rise of the Stalinist bureaucracy to power, and the betrayals of reformism liquidated the historical possibility of the world revolution of the previous period.
Stalinism adopted a reactionary policy of peaceful coexistence with imperialism — i.e., “socialism” in one country — and liquidated the Third International.
Only Trotskyism, the only revolutionary Marxist current, anticipated the dangers of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union with the rise and consolidation of the reactionary Stalinist bureaucracy.
Today, the theoretical and political challenge to revolutionary Marxism is far more critical than at any historical juncture of the last century. It is widely demonstrated that capitalism is destroying life on the planet, and it must be overthrown to preserve the minimum conditions necessary for both human survival and biodiversity.
The program for the world socialist revolution must now also be an anti-extinctionist program that directly addresses the structural problems of capitalist industrial production and its material mechanisms of destruction. Much more complex class consciousness is necessary than that which can be achieved by permanent mobilization for economic or partial demands.
In the face of this crisis, we agitate and propagandize in the working class that exchanging a few years of salaried work for social peace threatens our very existence as a species at the beginning of the environmental crisis.
Suppose there is not one vanguard of the working class which adopts revolutionary anti-capitalist and anti-extinctionist positions. Then, the proletariat is threatened with its disappearance as a class and prospect of the socialist revolution rendered moot.
Suppose the working class is destroyed by a combination of the environmental catastrophe and its total defeat in the class struggle and the bourgeoisie is also extinguished in the process, retrograde social classes will emerge below and above. New militaristic oligarchies will create new exploited and oppressed classes as serfs or slaves.
In some places, the revolution will also have as a transitional task of reconstructing the working class without the bourgeoisie, a fundamental theoretical and practical challenge that had already proven itself as a necessary task for revolutionaries after the Russian Revolution, when the working class was left devastated by World War I and the Civil War.
We consider now that the demand for “workers’ control” in the case of industries that produce CO2 and other pollutants is insufficient and useless and must be replaced by the demand for the immediate closure of these companies and the struggle for new jobs that are ecologically sustainable, without any worker losing their income.
We do not want to “control” what is killing us: we need to eliminate it. We demand that capitalism’s accumulated resources be used to guarantee a universal income for all and a massive reconversion of production to forms consistent with nature’s needs.
We revolutionary Marxists should systematically denounce that capitalism is destroying the two primary sources of wealth and productive forces–nature and human beings. We must crush their means of production that systematically poison and destroy humanity. The only way to halt this process is by stopping and closing both the obsolete means of production and those means of production that cannot be reconverted or replaced by others in harmony with nature. The underlying principle is that nature does not exist exclusively to exploit it and that the life of the human species has to harmonize with nature.
We must abandon any idea that the use of nuclear power plants, fossil fuels, and internal combustion engines can be progressively altered to reduce their destructive effect on nature or that the domination of the working class over them is a formula for the rescue of the planet.
The means of production that are not compatible with the environment must be immediately converted or disposed of as quickly as possible.
Historically, Stalinism has contributed to the current environmental crisis by adopting the same highly polluting industrial means of production of imperialist capitalism, against which it maintained a policy of “peaceful coexistence” (Khrushchev) aiming to demonstrate an alleged productive superiority, that is to say destructive.
This policy was inaugurated under the reactionary regime of Stalin supposedly to build “socialism in a single country.”
The globality of the present process of destruction of the environment and species proves the fallacy of the Stalinist theories.
Revolutionary anti-extinctionism must be a global strategy to have a chance of success
The exploited, oppressed, rural and urban working class, along with the youth and the migrant masses, must fulfill these revolutionary tasks of mitigation and survival of the planet and its species, relying on the full validity of the theory of permanent revolution.
The anti-extinctionist struggle is an inevitable precondition that must unify all struggles, regardless of their democratic or transitory motivations. In this sense, anti-extictionism is today the concrete way to express the revolutionary character of any process towards socialism.
The aftermath of the climax of the environmental catastrophe will eventually reach a global scope. Revolutionary Marxists will have to fight during a transitional stage, facing uneven conditions between regions of the planet and the same country, where environmental disasters will progressively combine into generalized devastations.
Only the analysis of the uneven nature of this process will help us develop our tactics, which will vary according to the evolution of the crisis. The law of uneven and combined development will remain an indispensable tool for revolutionary Marxists to understand the situation and develop anti-extinction tactics and strategies.
In the same way, any democratic or transitional demand must merge into the central anti-extinctionist strategy as an essential part of the insurgency in the struggle for political power. Thus, to consolidate their efforts and make them advance steadily, the movements of women, of indigenous peoples, in defense of immigrants, for land and water, against destructive mining and for the self-determination of the peoples, must join the anti-extinctionist struggle as the way to preserve the movements’ gains and advance on new ones.
The time for gradual advances and retreats towards a socialist future is over because the socialist revolution was repeatedly delayed and betrayed by reformist and centrist politics.
We, revolutionaries, were also responsible for this delay since we did not always understand the hindrance of centrism. Many times, we were overconfident of the possibility of winning it to revolutionary positions.
This delay in the socialist revolution is bringing us a future divergent from the one proclaimed by Stalinists, social democrats, and centrists —the renegades of Marxism. They continue to believe in the possibility of unlimited development of the means and forces of production existing in capitalism.
What is at stake is the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and oligarchies and the establishment of a society in transition to socialism based on the full use of science, development of sustainable forms of survival, new means of production in harmony with nature and in a framework of social relationships based on absolute equality and socialist frugality. This is where all existing resources are for everyone, changing the forms of consumption, eliminating competition and duplication of efforts and eliminating all traces of privileges and social classes — a society based exclusively on relations of cooperation and solidarity and not of coercion and oppression.
There is no margin for the ‘green’ bourgeois reformism that seeks a coexistence between capitalism and nature
The metabolic equilibrium is broken; therefore, every attempt at reforms collides and will continue to collide with the dominant oligarchies who will hold on to their privileges until the end. Their existence as a ruling class in today’s industrial society is based fundamentally on the production of cheap energy from the combustion of fossil fuels, or so-called ‘renewables’ such as bio-diesel and its highly polluting derivatives.
The only alternative within capitalism would be a utopian scenario where the bourgeoisie dismantles their economic system, abandons their privileges, ceases to desire profit, ends the production of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and hands over all their properties and capital to a social administration. This will never occur.
The proof that this will not happen is the existence of alternative technologies available from decades ago, blocked systematically by the capitalists and their governments, many of which were prevented even from advancing beyond their theoretical stage.
The bourgeoisie and oligarchies cannot apply any substantial measure beyond cosmetic measures to extend their power but not resolve the crisis.
There are no silver bullets that preserve species and the planet
We will all undergo brutal existential changes. At present we are being told about different proposals to solve this crisis. From massive reforestation to the capture of CO2, the use of alternative energy, to the gradual elimination of internal combustion engines.
We demand the immediate and large-scale application of all clean technology; that all governments spend their national budgets on these technologies and their development. We also demand that all science and technology be applied universally and shared free of charge in all countries.
It is necessary to create a system of industries compatible with the environment, socially owned, and under the control of workers and consumers.
The “idyllic” ways of returning to pre-industrial societies are not the solution because, due to their low productivity, they are incapable of generating the resources to sustain the current world population, that is not to say that we rule out that some of the economic practices of sustainability can play an important role in the stage of post-civilizational collapse.
On the other hand, there are currents of eco-fascism that characterize that the problem and solution to the environmental crisis depend on controlling the demographic growth and decrease of the population, advocating openly for genocide to save the planet.
Marxists maintain that population growth cannot be considered a sole or decisive factor in the face of the current problem; the problem is the capitalist system and its intrinsic process of accumulation of profits and capitalist exploitation of the environment.
Revolutionary Marxists repudiate the eco-fascism that accuses the populations of color of creating the ecological problem with its “unchecked” multiplication. This racist and classist thesis justifies the growing violence and extermination of races, ethnic groups, and nations.
The Obstacles of the Anti-Extinction Revolution
The anti-extinctionist revolution promotes the replacement, closing, or restructuring of the means of production to make them compatible with nature, maintenance of the diversity of species, one of the keys to the survival of the human species–and the life of the planet.
Reformism tends to reconcile with oligarchic projects by proposing superficial palliatives that are, at best, utopian and distract from the central goals of developing an international revolutionary Marxist anti-extinction movement. The logical conclusion is that reformism bows to counterrevolution–as historical research confirms.
All the proposals around a Green New Deal are based on negotiation and mediation with the bourgeoisie, the owners of the means of production, to ensure a long transition to new businesses and agree with the most backward sectors of the economy and politics. The civilizational collapse will come long before they reach any meaningful agreement to avoid it.
We must resist reformism, centrism (the ambivalence between reformism and the revolution), the labor union bureaucracy with its agents of the bourgeois in the ranks of the labor movement— and pacifism. These obstacles must be fought absolutely with no quarter. All these trends will be swept away by the catastrophe, new oligarchies, armies, and the vigilante groups. But as long as they exist, they will continue to be a barrier to the revolution. They will disarm us before the enemy and lead us again and again to surrender or defeat.
The previous historical periods that gave humanity two world wars, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the capitalist restoration in Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, and the rest of the workers’ states (misnamed socialist countries) and that witnessed the betrayals of as many revolutions attempted throughout the planet should serve as a lesson to confront them now. We must not give quarter to reformism nor centrism.
The revolutionary anti-extinction strategy
The current global situation is unprecedented. We never faced a situation in which human material existence was already compromised to the extent of heading inexorably towards extinction and civilizational collapse. The bourgeoisie, in the best of cases, is forced to recognize that there will be environmental catastrophes, and their only concern is how to mitigate them enough to continue their plunder of nature and stay in power.
Our task as revolutionaries is to assume leadership of the masses, so that life on the planet and human life survive. We can only achieve this by overthrowing the bourgeoisie and its system on a planetary scale.
Faced with the diaspora of hundreds of millions due to the environmental catastrophe, we are entirely on their side and fight for their right, if they so choose, to migrate to other regions or countries for their survival. It is reactionary to create a regional or national “fortress” to stop or repress climate migrants in the name of spurious nationalism. We will assist and be part of the self-defense of the migrant masses, and we will defend their right to maintain their language, culture, and customs. The self-determination of the people means, first of all, their right to survival, which takes precedence over any territorial restriction.
We fight every attempt by imperialists to appropriate territories via eco-colonialism that still offer survival possibilities and impose their domination over what they consider to be their territories. We do so based on territorial universality for the survival of the species.
With the climax of the environmental crisis, the castes of armies and police forces will use the collapse of governments and regimes to become independent from political control and assume power based on their relative advantage in terms of discipline and weapons, or they will join the fascist movement of the petty-bourgeoisie.
For this reason, it is not only essential to fight against imperialist wars but also for the end of militarism and the armies, the dissolution of all repressive apparatuses, and immediate nuclear disarmament, starting with unilateral nuclear disarmament in each country. We, revolutionaries, are clear that this will be achieved only with mass mobilization. When possible, we will work for the generalized arming of insurgents, combined with organizing work within the armed forces to promote rebellion against their bosses, officers, and governments. The goal is to destroy them, from within and from without.
All of our democratic demands should serve to agitate and organize against the growing danger of emerging oligarchic-militarist regimes and advance the development of the consciousness in the vanguard. The masses must be conquered for revolutionary action.
Without capitulating to its leadership, the Unity of Action (unity-confrontation) and the United Workers’ Front continue to be central tactics for the mass organizations, which the vanguard must demand. Still, we are conscious that revolutions have never been the product of utopian “majorities,” but rather the development of homogeneous mass vanguards, which achieve at least the neutrality of mass sectors that, otherwise, could support the counterrevolution. We also anticipate that sectors of the exploited classes will align themselves with the emerging oligarchies to temporarily receive the crumbs that are dispensed to them from existing powers.
We revolutionaries fight for the exploited and oppressed to form their own democratic institutions (soviets, coordinadoras, councils, cordones, councils, etc.), within which we propose a program, strategies, and tactics so that they take power into their own hands, grabbing it from the dominant bourgeoisie and oligarchies. On the ideological, cultural, and class consciousness sides, we dispute the domination in these spheres of the classes in power, knowing in advance that the domain of the revolutionary consciousness can be universalized with the exploited and oppressed in power. The revolution does not end with the seizure of power; it only inaugurated a new confrontation between the classes.
Against the barbarism that leads us to extinction
A transitional program for the socialist revolution
The transitional slogans in this epoch have to do with the demands to apply all scientific and technical advances and political initiatives against the bourgeoisie to ensure survival.
1 Expropriation without compensation and closure of all sources of fossil fuels, mines, oil wells, and producers of greenhouse gases and their immediate replacement by alternative energy sources. Demand that this be done immediately, as the resources, science, and technology exist to do so.
2 Elimination of land, air, and sea transportation based on internal combustion engines (including gas turbines). Development of wind, solar, etc. alternative modes of transportation, etc.
3 Immediate ban on plastics and other petroleum derivatives. Essential products based on the use of plastics must be replaced by clean and safe materials for the environment.
4 Implementation of sustainable consumption and housing policy. Large cities must be decentralized in communities with the maximum possible technological advances and equipped with all the resources for their sustainability, including alternative energy systems and modes of transport that do not pollute.
5 Charge oil and energy business people and companies with crimes against humanity and expropriation without compensating those who have benefited from their crimes.
6 Organization of migration and universal access to those geographical areas that remain more stable. Full support for migrants in searching for new territories, including their right to self-determination and preservation of their languages and cultures.
7 Massive reforestation on all continents, the concentration of efforts on cleaning and protecting habitats, especially those that are key to the survival of all species, including humans, on the planet.
8 Political independence of science and technology. All research, knowledge, and advances must be public worldwide and shared freely and without conditions by all peoples and nations of the planet. We call on scientists and technicians to break with the ruling classes and unite publicly or clandestinely, as possible or necessary, to the cause of the anti-extinction revolution.
9 We call for the most determined fight to close all polluting plants that cannot be converted quickly. There is an urgent need to close down all nuclear power plants, not only because they are intrinsically unsafe and produce nuclear waste that is a nightmare for humanity, but because of the extreme changes in the climate, most of them are at risk of explosions, intrusion of nearby waters or abandonment of their maintenance due to the collapse of the governments that administer them today.
10 Fight for establishing state programs of jobs and jobs compatible with the planet’s defense and the development of new means of production, especially in food, housing, health, and education, which are consistent with protecting the environment and against predatory capitalism.
11 Formation of coordinating assemblies of all the anti-extinctionist movements, of the vanguard of the movement of workers, the exploited and the oppressed of the countryside and the city, youth, and migrants, for both economic or political reasons, those displaced by the environmental crisis and the decomposition of capitalism, of the fighters for democratic rights and for the equality of women and indigenous peoples with the perspective that none of their struggles, and potential victories, can be sustained without an anti-capitalist, anti-extinctionist and socialist perspective.
12 For a revolutionary anti-extinctionist government of these coordinating assemblies that organize the survival and the transitional period with new productive forces that keep an environmental balance and protect species, towards a socialist society of full equality and without social classes, defeating all resistance of the exploiting classes and those who support them. These coordinating bodies should fight to assume power!
For the Construction of a New International Marxist, Revolutionary and Anti-Extincionist
International Conference / Mexico City / May 2022
The fundamental and immediate task that we have is to build a world revolutionary organization, capable of facing extinction and overthrowing the bourgeoisie, the most responsible for the situation; the first step in this direction is the consolidation of a nucleus of revolutionaries committed to this task, who recognize and vindicate Trotskyism as the most advanced of revolutionary Marxism. Due to the nature of this task, discussions, polemics and propaganda will be a priority in the immediate period; without ceasing to carry out agitation and organization campaigns among the vanguard for their intervention in the mass movement.
We call on all revolutionaries, especially young anti-capitalists, oppressed women and peoples, and conscientious workers, to found new anti-extinctionist and Marxist revolutionary parties and organizations without which the resistance against the bourgeoisie and its armies and oppressive apparatuses would be futile.
The so-called “self-organization” and “organization from below, which can be justified as an expression of the uprising against existing, bureaucratic and rigid organizations, will turn into their opposite if they become the method to confront the class enemy. The fragmentation of the democratic and revolutionary struggles will only prolong the stage of the bourgeoisie in power.
It is not about a call to “rebuild,” reunify, “re-found, “reorganize, “or” reform “the Fourth International, but rather to form a new Marxist, revolutionary, anti-extinctionist international, continuing with the best experiences of the previous internationals. The crisis of humanity continues to be the crisis of its revolutionary leadership, and it cannot be replaced by spontaneous or by the isolation of the struggles.
We propose the creation of new revolutionary organizations, with new parameters of broad democracy, internal discussion, and democratic decisions, without eternal leaders, or grand statutes, only at the service of expulsions and sanctions, and absolute unity in action to multiply the effects of our joint effort; organizations that place the advance of the struggle of the masses, before the simple aspiration to have an organizational apparatus. Any advance of the revolutionary organization must reflect the results of its intervention in the class struggle.
Let no one be naive; there is no peaceful way: will be violence, coups, the militarization of the borders, massacres and genocide, civil wars and insurrections, and we revolutionaries must prepare for this. The coordination between the sectors of the masses in struggle and self-defense is our program’s central point. To defend ourselves, but also to eventually prepare the counteroffensive. It is necessary to prepare for the insurrection, as the extension and deepening of the initial coordination and self-defense of the mass movement.
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