Number 7

I think Adam Baker's political approach in his two contributions to Alliance Voices (Who are we? and Socialism or Ecosocialism) is totally mistaken. It is mistaken in political method and presents a distorted view of what we are doing in the Socialist Alliance.

In every paragraph of Adam Baker’s contribution (Alliance Voices Vol 11, No. 6) there is, I think, something I take issue with. But let me confine myself here to something I have particular experience of: the environment, and the environmental movement, in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia.

Adam asks, “Are we honestly saying that the entire Soviet Union was an ecological disaster?” Later, he asserts: “To suggest the environmental damage was on the same level as the rest [?] of the capitalist world is drawing a very long bow indeed.”

I lived for close to two years in the Soviet Union, and for a further seven in post-Soviet Russia. Reporting on the local environmental movement was part of my brief as a GLW correspondent, and also a personal enthusiasm. I got to know the Moscow environmental scene well, and interviewed activists from numerous republics and provinces. I also travelled, and saw some of it for myself. The Moscow sociologist who has made Russian environmentalism his specialty remains a close friend, and I’ve translated several of his books.

I would like to submit the following letter from Ian Angus as part of the discussion  about the term “ecosocialism”. It is legitimate to hear his response because his presentation at the Climate change Social Change conference (which Resistance Books has published as a pamphlet) has been taken up by Adam Baker in his contribution to Alliance Voices.

In every paragraph of Adam Baker’s contribution (Alliance Voices Vol 11, No. 6) there is, I think, something I take issue with. But let me confine myself here to something I have particular experience of: the environment, and the environmental movement, in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia.

There is an interesting thread in the Alliance Voices blog leading into the 2012 conference regarding ecosocialism.

Comrades Sam Bullock and Adam Baker have advanced an argument for the Socialist Alliance to amend some of our public documents or whatever to say that we are an ecosocialist organisation would amount to some sort of watering down or weakening of our politics.

Disclaimer — signed articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily the views of the Socialist Alliance unless otherwise stated. Responsibility for all electoral comment is taken by P. Benedek, 22 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007. Alliance Voices submission protocols.

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