Ecology of Class

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on various predecessor movements:

". Connor Kilpatrick, for example – also a Jacobin editor – proposes a return to the ‘ecology of class’ approach of the 1970s as developed in the USA by Tony Mazzocchi, then leader of the most powerful trade-union organization in that country, the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers. This had enormous historical significance, and produced fundamental victories, such as the passing of Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, but its strategy – as the author himself acknowledges – rested within the power relationships embedded in a historical phase of capitalism where blue-collar labour enjoyed an economic and social relevance which is unthinkable today.

This approach thus leaves the dilemma of class-ecology intact: strong industrial development is needed in order to produce a unionized blue-collar working class capable of tackling the ecological problems produced by industrial development itself. A similar approach is developed by Daniel Aldana Cohen, who proposes to overcome the labour/environmental justice divide via alliances within a Just Transition (JT) strategy based on the expansion of green jobs – ignoring the inevitable impact and legitimate resistance spurred by many ‘clean energy’ infrastructures, and the differentiations already existing within the JT front. In short: although these articles raise important suggestions on how to decarbonize the US society from below, they are not convincing on how to recompose important fractures that divide capitalist societies – not only those between labour and environmental justice movements, but, more importantly, those between blue-collar and other sectors of the working class (i.e. reproduction, care, or cognitive labour), and between the working classes of different countries or regions, so that a global ecological class-consciousness could finally emerge. " (