Global Justice School 2005

Globalization and Social Recomposition IV: Peasants and Ecology Struggles

Michael, 3 June 2005

1. Marx and Engels on capitalism, socialism and ecology

        Capitalism and the destruction of land fertility

        Is socialism only dealing with capitalist relations of production?

        Are the productive forces neutral?

        Hypothesis: to apply to the capitalist productive forces what Marx and Engels wrote on the bourgeois state: the state machine cannot be just appropriated by the proletariat and put to work for it. A radical transformation must take place.


2. Capitalism and the present ecological crisis

        Agro-business and the destruction of the environment

        The danger of GMOs (genetically modified organisms): a threat to human health, to bio-diversity and to the autonomy of the peasantry


3. Ecological struggles in the South

        The example of Chico Mendes in Brazil: the Alliance of the Peoples of the Amazonian Forest - peasants, rubber-collectors and indigenous communities - against the capitalist land-owners

        The socialist ecology of Chico Mendes


4. The global upsurge of peasant movements

        Via Campesina as a new form of alliance between peasant movements from the North and the South, around common struggles

        Peasant and indigenous movements in Latin America

        The example of the MST, the largest social movement in Brazil and the social vanguard of the anti-neoliberal struggle


5. The convergence of ecological and peasant movements around common issues:



        Organic agriculture against agro-capitalism


6. The role of peasant and ecological movements in the Global Justice Movement and the World Social Forum

        Via Campesina organized a debate on socialism at the WSF in 2002.

        Socialism as the alternative for peasant and ecological movements

        A new definition of socialism, taking into account the experiences of peasant and indigenous struggles and the ecological issue