By Quincy Saul
In 2001, the first “Ecosocialist was written by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy, inspired by the planetary convergence of anti capitalist movements for social and ecological justice. In the second paragraph, they prefigured the path ahead:
“Innumerable points of resistance arise spontaneously across the chaotic ecumene of global capital. Many are immanently ecosocialist in content. How can these be gathered? Can we envision an “ecosocialist international?” Can the spectre be brought into being?”
In the first two decades of the 21st century, spectre has become spirit has become substance- the First Ecosocialist International ha s been convoked and constituted, and is now traversing a global route of struggle. This path ahead is what concerns us the most. But as Pearl Buck said, “if you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”
What follows then is a chronicle of how we have come this far; a pre history in primary sources of the path that led to the Ecosocialist International. These are unusual documents; written not by a handful of spokespeople, but collectively crafted and ratified in smaller groups and larger assemblies, in groups ranging from a couple dozen people (first document) to about 40 people (second document) to over 100 people (final document). They are testament to the sophisticated political pedagogy of the grassroots revolutionary process in Venezuela. Only excerpts of these documents are reproduced here readers are encouraged to follow the links to the full texts. In addition to inviting the scrutiny and solidarity of participants in this forum, I humbly and
audaciously hope that these seeds may flourish in the fertile soils of Azania.
1. From “The Calling of the Spirits” 2015:
“Every year in a small village in the state of Lara in Venezuela, the Guardians of the Seeds converge. Last year this movement was able to lead the construction and approval of an anti GMO and anti patent Seed Law. This year, the hosts are offering a space…. for a “Calling of the Spirits” …they invite you to form part of a pluricosmovisionary commission, which will begin the design of a collective process of preparation to arrive at the First Ecosocialist International….”
From the everyday transformative actions of ecosocialist collectives, organizations and social movements, from spirited minds and from seeds planted in our hearts, the idea has emerged: To envision the Convocation of the First Ecosocialist International in Venezuela, Abya Yala. To specify and coordinate our anti capitalist and anti
patriarchal practices, and from their encounter to think and feel a new revolutionary ethic…..
We don’t aspire to unite academics who are not tied to socioeconomic and political mobilizations, but rather the militants from ecosocialist organizations and movements. And we come together not to beg or to denounce, but to articulate our struggles i n a Common Plan of Action, based on the concrete tasks of political, economic, social and ecological struggle in daily life….
We don’t believe that we or anyone alone can define the fundamental questions that will prefigure the soul of the First Ecosocialist International. For this reason, we are inviting organizations and movements, who believe like us in this dream, and walk the path of the word to attain it: to decide upon and send a spokesperson to accompany us…. to establish the parameters, and then t o spread the good news of the convocation around the world…..
2. From ,”The Cry of Mother Earth,” 2016
for the ancestors who,
for the ancestors who, with their lives and struggles, plowed the spirit and the strength of what we now call ecosocialism
CALL TO THE FIRST ECOSOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL! REWEAVING PANGAEA….
Ecosocialism is one of the voices which responds to the cry of Mother Earth, one among many convocations which emerge from our territories. Ecosocialism is a calling in which many others are evoked and resound; one of the many ways to name the pain of Mother Earth, which claims us, names us, and challenges us to change…
Who are we calling upon in response to Mother Earth´s cry and call to the First Ecosocialist International?
Those who never accepted exile call upon us: those who have resisted and remained rooted, who have been punished by a conquest which cannot tolerate them. The fact that they are still alive, speaking their languages at they are still alive, speaking their languages and maintaining their traditions expresses the greatest and most beautiful capacity of resistance and rebellion in and maintaining their traditions expresses the greatest and most beautiful capacity of resistance and rebellion in human history. Their survival, in spite of the mistreatment and abuse they have suffered, guides us and calls out guides us and calls out to us. They are peoples rooted in their land, indelibly interwoven with Mother Earth. It is these peoples who to us. It is these peoples who today confront the greatest risks of extinction.
Those who have returned, who have experienced the desolation of their banishment, and have taken the path home: they too call on us to join them. This is also their place. We need to pay respect to their word and home: they too call on us to join them. This is also their place. We need to pay respect to their word and experience by making it our own.experience by making it our own.
Those of us who, in word and action, in multiple and diverse ways and on different paths, resound with our commitment to return, and who therefore are walking in this common struggle, call upon ourselves to be, as we certain to become, from and with Mother Earth.
Mother Earth: Those who have remained interwoven; those who were exiled
but have now returned; those who have joined in struggle to take the path back to your bosom and wisdom in word and action: we call upon one another….
We are aware that the few who will take part in the convocation of First Ecosocialist International will not be all not be all of us; indeed that most of us will not be there. Those who will meet in the first encounter of the Ecosocialist International must humbly realize this great limitation and assume an enormous responsibility: to weave a process between and beyond themselves; to carry it on all the required paths towards the liberation of Mother Earth. Although not replaced nor represented, the many absent may count on the commitment and experience of those present to consciously contribute to a movement of movements and a spiral of spirals. We seek neither answers nor leaders, but the weaving of many ways to free ourselves with Mother Earth…
We have decided to make the most of four days, between the 31st of October and the 3rd of November 2017, to be moved, and to lay the foundations for a short, medium and long-term plan of collective action. We must begin to respond in this short time with the greatest wisdom to achieve maximum impact. Thus we aim to identify prioritize select processes and individuals, who, responding to the criteria outlined here, will exchange experiences and propose directions. The purpose is not to exclude, but on the contrary, to begin to move forward from solid ground and vision towards inclusion. This initial plan of action will be presented both humbly and firmly as the axis of a spiral whose vocation and commitment is to contribute to compose word and action, word in harmony, until all are free from project of death that overwhelms us, until all are interwoven again Mother Earth…
3. From “Combined “Combined Strategy and Plan of Action of the First Ecosocialist International,” 2017
It has been one year since “The Calling of the Spirits” in Monte Carmelo, Lara, when, with spirited minds and seeds in our hearts, we initiated a convocation titled “The Cry of Mother Earth.” Those who responded to this cry are now here: around 100 people from 19 countries and five continents, 12 original peoples from Our America, and ecosocialist activists from 14 states of Venezuela…. we have done the work demanded of us: the
articulation of a combined strategy and plan of action for the salvation of Mother Earth.
We have made the decision and the collective commitment to constitute the First Ecosocialist International: To reverse the destructive process of capitalism; to return t o our origins and recuperate the ancestral spirituality of humanity; to live in peace, and end war.
We recognize that we are only a small part of a spiral of spirals, which has the profound intention to expand and include others until all of us are rewoven with Mother Earth; to restore harmony within us, between us, and among all the other sister beings of nature.
The First Ecosocialist International is not just another meeting, nor another conference of intellectuals to define ecosocialism. We believe that ecosocialism will define itself to the extent that it is reflected and conceptualized in praxis; based on what we do and what we are. Nor is the First Ecosocialist International a single organization or a rubber stamp in constant danger of becoming a bureaucracy. It is a common program of struggle, with moments of encounter and exchange, which anyone may join, by committing themselves to fulfilling one or more of the various actions agreed upon here in order to relieve our Mother Earth. No person or process can be owner or protagonist of that which is done and achieved collectively.
We invite all peoples, movements, organizations, collectives and beings in the world to join the First Ecosocialist International, and to undertake the collective construction of a program for the salvation of Mother Earth…
We have organized our proposals amongst the five elements: Aether, Water, Earth, Fire and Air, interwoven into the spirit, the milk, the body, the energy and the voice of Mother Earth; harvesting our ancestral cultures so that they may be dispersed as seeds throughout the four sacred directions of the world.
These actions are proposed for the short term a time of struggle, for the medium term a time of construction, and the long term a time of utopia, u nderstanding the long term as approximately 500 years…
ROUTE OF STRUGGLE OF THE FIRST ECOSOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
> Every year between October 31st and November 3rd, we will organize days of shared and synchronized work on a planetary scale for the fulfillment of this Plan of Action
> To follow up and amplify the plan of action of the First Ecosocialist International, we will program a PanAfrican convergence, to promote the interrelationship of Our America with Our Africa….
HOW TO BE PART OF THE FIRST ECOSOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
In the first place, we believe along with Jose Marti that “the best way to say is to do.” The best way to be part of the First Ecosocialist International is to commit yourself to fulfilling one or more of the actions in this Combined Strategy and Plan of Action. In this way, your collectives, organizations, and movements will be “part of the
First Ecosocialist International.” No individual or group is the First Ecosocialist International alone; it is only when we are.