You are here

Anti-imperialist Manifesto in Defense of the Environment

By various - La Via Campesina, June 2, 2021

Despite our adventures into space we know that, for now, we humans have only one planet to call home. Our survival here is dependent of the survival of all living things here plant and animal.

The unrestrained extraction and exploitation of natural resources for profit by the large corporations, and the logic of the capitalist system have depleted our planet.

The destructive power of the current stage of capitalism – financial capitalism – is unprecedented. Transnational companies continue to increase their capacity to exploit common goods, pushing forward in mining projects, deforestation, and the private appropriation of water among other things. In agriculture, transnational companies apply the model of agribusiness based on mono-crops and pesticide use, that destroy biodiversity and changes the climate. The imperialists of the USA and other global north countries attack peripheral countries looking to privatize common goods that the people, the real owners of natural resources, used to take care of in each country.

The result is clear: we are experiencing the worst environmental crisis in the history of humanity and all of humanity will be affected if this unhealthy dynamic of capital continues. Climate change is already affecting people’s lives all across the world, and this is not the only consequence of the environmental crisis. The world’s water is contaminated by plastics and pesticides and the springs are drying up. We are also seeing dramatic rates of extinction of the planet’s biodiversity as well as large scale biopiracy – where commercial interests patent naturally occurring biochemical or genetic material imposing limits on how they can be used even in their naturally occurring environments. The soil is being degraded by deforestation and mono-cropping, and large regions are being completely destroyed by large-scale mining.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest manifestation of this environmental and systemic crisis. The origin of these super pathogens is directly related to the destruction of ecosystems historically conserved by peasant and traditional communities. Environmental devastation liberates microorganisms that are in equilibrium in their natural habitat. When these microorganisms encounter large industrial installations, overpopulated with various animals that are confined and bombarded with antibiotics and hormones, they reproduce like pathogens, then they come into contact with large human populations, including people with reduced natural immune defenses due to the constant agrochemical contamination from the industrially produced food they eat. This process, in addition to deforestation and the elimination of the habitats of wild animals provokes the migration of pathogens to human beings. If this mode of production continues, we will have many new viruses, leading to new pandemics.

All human beings are being affected by this degradation of our planet, especially women, children, Indigenous and poorest people of the world. Today we also have more than 134,000 species of flora and fauna are under threat of extinction.

It is important also to highlight the nefarious role that military activities play in the destruction of the planet. In addition to carrying our constant attacks on the lives of the people themselves, The USA military, with its allies, is one of the biggest contaminators in the world, though its toxic legacy of depleted uranium, and its use of oil, fuel for air planes, pesticides and defoliants like Agent Orange and lead.

Some corporations, instead of combatting the causes of planetary destruction, focus on green capitalism, converting natural resources into commodities and new areas for market speculation, like carbon credits, environmental preservation credits, and other false solutions that will not resolve the social and ecological needs of the people. The empire has tried to restructure its economic base with market-based projects that are built around the increased exploitation of natural resources in the global south to produce a new supposedly ‘green’ technological base.

This path will inevitably lead to the destruction of humanity and of nature as we know it. It is a project of death, domination and destruction.

The solution is in the rebuilding of the relationship between human beings and nature, where life, collective well-being, and ecological rhythms – not greed and profit – guide the actions of nations and peoples. It is a solution focused on agroecological production of food; the democratization of the access to land through agrarian reform; the protection and care of common goods such as water, biodiversity and land; and the transition to an energy model that responds to the real needs of the working class with social and environmental justice, overcoming patriarchy and racism.

Putting a stop to capitalist barbarism is the central task of our time. We need to put an end to the domination of capital over life in order to create a world that is just, egalitarian and vibrant, so that we all can live well and in peace.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author.

The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.