Socialism, as a word, use to be a general turn-off in American conversations. However, 2019 has brought certain realities into clear focus: rapacious greed and increased ecological danger cannot be ignored. Moreover, social ineptitude and moral disregard for the general welfare of the people is plainly unacceptable by those in public office, in high or low status, in local or national leadership. Working Americans, particularly, are caught in a vortex of economic pressures carrying the weight of various levels of taxation, medical and other costs with little, if any, relief. Poverty is growing and deepening. The needs of the aged are often completely disregarded. These concerns are not just a urban issues. These problems affect every tier of American society, rural and urban. The only exceptions are to be found in the upper 20% which as a class controls about 90% of America’s wealth.
America is actually in competition with the so-called “Third-World.” America is no longer First World material and we did this to ourselves — or rather our legislative leaders did session after session, generation after generation. Instead of going forward, economically we have climbed our way back to the 1920s, the Guilded Age. Our laws, apparently, were not strong enough to prevent the avariciousness of capitalism which, in addition, to growing and segregating the wealth derived has ruthlessly destroyed and continues to destroy nature’s ecology here and in other parts of the world.
Maybe it is time for all of us to stop following blindly the capitalist model. It’s not going to change! “Today blind relentless economic growth structured into capitalism is destroying the ecological foundations of human society.” In earlier centuries, “socialist thought emphasized building up the productive forces in order to eliminate poverty.” What was wrong with that? Lifting poverty would, in fact, lift the entire social structure of our society and eliminate many of our persistent problems. In our current century, ecosocialism must balance issues and determine not how to produce more, but how to produce enough and distribute those yields to meet the basic needs of all of us within ecological limits.
Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster from Syracuse, New York. He has been active in movements for civil rights, peace, unions, and the environment since the late 1960s when became committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. He was a co-founder of the US Green Party in 1984. In 2010, he was the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal when he ran his first of three campaigns for New York governor.
Racial Justice Group.
Lucy’s Children is a community effort to examine the fiction of Race in order to address the fact of Racism. Our plan is to provide information, opportunities, and events that can help us come together as a society to end racism. We will meet Fridays from 4:00 to 6:30 PM at BSEC to plan our efforts, to share resources and related experiences.
All members of BSEC and their personal guests are welcome at the learning sessions of Lucy’s Children. Please contact one of the members for information on how to join the group.
Lucy was discovered in 1974 by paleontologists in Ethiopia. At that time she was the earliest known ancestor of the human species. This is why we call our group Lucy’s children.
With guest speakers:
Julia Bryant, member of the legal team for MTOPP and FLAC; also committee member for Parks and Recreations for Committee Board 9
LaShaun Ellis, member of the legal team for MTOPP and FLAC
Janine Nichols, member of the legal team/occasional petitioner; also the proud Secretary of the Sullivan-Ludlam-Stoddard Neighborhood Assn.
Movement to Protect the People and Flower Lovers against Corruption are two grassroots organizations that commenced a lawsuit against The City of New York, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Cornell Realty Management. The lawsuits challenge the fact that 18 lots of land near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden were rezoned without an Environmental Impact Statement. The lawsuit is ongoing.