Eco Socialism

I’m spending hours searching for information about religion and socialism since learning about the idea of Religious Socialism.

Socialism has a negative connotation for many that is related to Marxism and its support of revolution by any means.

In one of our nation’s best moments, the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, Christian socialists played major roles. A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin were very open about their socialism, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who praised democratic socialism both publicly and privately, stood on the shoulders of previous generations of socialist African American social gospel leaders.

These Christian socialists agreed with Karl Marx’s ground-breaking analysis of the devastating impact capitalism wreaks on working people. But they parted ways when it came to Marx’s antipathy to religion, and they rejected Marx’s exhortations to revolution by any means. For religious socialists, the instrument of revolutionary reform is a political one at the ballot box and nonviolently in the streets. That approach works. Consider the many nations comparable to the United States, particularly in western and northern Europe, where socialist advocacy within the democratic process has led to universal healthcare, progressive taxation, and comprehensive social services that assure safe housing and a minimum income. Compared to the United States, life there is far closer to the kingdom of God on earth.

Christian Socialist by MAXINE PHILLIPS and FRAN QUIGLEY

I’ve long known evolving environmental chaos would be the end of capitalism. This chaos will increasingly lead to the physical destruction of the infrastructure that produces and distributes goods and the shops where they are sold, resulting in widespread financial ruin. The impact of severe drought and storms will significantly impact food production and supplies of clean water. These things will increasingly impact housing, energy, healthcare, education, finance, transportation, and other social and political systems.

We are finally at a place where the public can no longer refuse to recognize the impacts of climate change. The fear that generates, and the realization things will only get worse, is fueling social unrest. Movement toward authoritarianism, and domestic violence and terrorism.

I have become interested in religious socialism to create communities to support each other as current systems fail. This interests me as an opportunity to revitalize my Quaker communities. Or for more people to turn to whichever spiritual community meets their needs.

But it is unclear how many people will turn to spirituality, especially those who previously felt disenfranchised from churches and religious organizations.

As I’ve searched for information about religious socialism I’ve found a lot of information about Eco socialism, a term new to me. But which encapsulates what I’ve always believed about environmental chaos and the need for socialism to respond.

In the wake of Australian fire storms, global crop loss and catastrophic climate shifts, billions of people are recognizing the dangers to society and life itself presented by capitalism’s profit-driven despoiling of nature. At the same time, the last 40 years of deepening inequality inside virtually all nations have undermined their social cohesion, and increasingly, capitalism’s mechanisms are being blamed. Anti-capitalism is exploding across many political landscapes.

One broad socialist response to ecological crisis has produced a global eco-socialist movement and a rich set of eco-socialist writings. They rightly argue that a solution to the ecological crisis requires a transition from capitalism to socialism. Profit-driven capitalism is the problem that socialism can solve. Likewise, socialists argue, today’s extreme economic inequalities flow from capitalism. Socialism’s traditionally egalitarian focus on state redistributions of wealth and income has attracted mass interest and support.

Will Climate Change Provoke a Widespread Revival of Socialism? by Richard D. Wolff, TRUTHOUT, Feb 13, 2020

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