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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - 13 th congress (Nantes, 3-5 June 2017), Humanity in the living world (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Sun, 2 Jul 2017 13:56:00 +0300
Since Libertarian collectively elaborates an ecological reflection and political responses
to the ecological crisis that is mounting, these are structured around a certainty: " the
ecological urgency is to leave capitalism ". However, an ecological anticapitalism
remains to be invented. ---- This means integrating the environmental issue into all of
our analyzes. ---- The preservation of the capitalist mode of production imposes what "
common " language calls growth. This translates into processes of intensification of the
exploitation of human labor ; By the massive exclusion imposed on an increasing share of
the population ; And by a pillaging of the resources of the planet and a destruction of
the dynamic equilibriums of the living being, of which the human species is a part. We
speak of dynamic equilibrium, because species and ecosystems evolve and change
perpetually, depending on the evolution of each species, or changes in living conditions
(eg geological or climatic changes).
Our denunciation of the capitalist project must put an end to the claim of the capitalist
class to exploit the labor of a part of the dominated classes and to exclude the other
part from access to work and the satisfaction of their needs. And it must also attack the
appropriation and the unlimited exploitation of the resources of the living world and the
carelessness which constantly overturn dynamic living equilibriums everywhere. For the
maintenance of the capitalist economy requires a perpetual self-increase of capital, and
therefore at the same time always more productivity and always more pillage and
destruction of the biosphere.
There is an inextricable link between the uncontrolled development of the means of
production, the capitalist exploitation of human labor, the exclusion of a large part of
the population, and the process of commodification of the whole of life.
Within the framework of capitalism, it is impossible to solve both the ecological crisis
which imposes control and self-limitation on the overall level of production and
consumption and the economic crisis which requires the opposite. To overcome the one
implies necessarily to aggravate the other and vice versa. We must, therefore, denounce
the illusions of the political currents - reformist or revolutionary - in the field of
capitalism with a human face, whether radical , ecosocial or declining.
Our strategy of combating capitalism is therefore twofold: against the exploitation and
exclusion it imposes on the vast majority of humans with its cortege of material and moral
miseries, violence and alienation, as well as jointly against Environmental degradation,
widespread pollution, climate destabilization and very serious damage to biodiversity.
Our struggle against exploitation and exclusion is built first of all by the organization
of the dominated social classes, by the self-organization of their struggles and the
solidarity between the exploited.
This implies that, within the dominated classes, there is a growing awareness of the
consequences of the ecological crisis ; That the necessity of a rupture with productivism
be taken into account within the social movement ; Ideologically the battle against "
growth " is won ; Whereas, therefore, the struggles against redundancies are
systematically built around reconversion projects ; Demands on the reduction of working
time, transport conditions, the right to housing, the right to an environment without
pollution and rich in genuine biodiversity, the right to live and work Country or
But it seems illusory to imagine a significant transformation of the mode of production
and consumption without advancing in the construction of embryos of a counter-society
within which significant fractions of the disadvantaged social classes could access the
products of an industry escaping To the rules of capitalism. Obviously these alternative
elements can not, by an illusory process of generalization, lead alone to the overthrow of
capitalism. But, constructed in convergence with a dynamic of social struggles demanding
the socialization of the means of production, they are a necessity to create libertarian
imaginary and to structure a counter-power indispensable to the overthrow of capitalism.
Our project of society: it must also truly integrate our will to think the place of
humanity, in the heart of the living world, in breach with the capitalist claim of a
dominating and exploiting humanity of the living world. This text deals exclusively with
the last point.
What place for humanity in the living world
A transformation of the relationship between man and the living world is essential to the
survival of mankind and a large number of animal and plant species. From the current
imbalance in which we are mostly exploitative and destructive of nature, we must integrate
ourselves as a link within the living world, respectful of other forms of life, and
recognizing diversity, complementarity and cooperation as a basis for a new Dynamic
balance in our relationships to the living.
We must begin by finishing with the vision of a humanity supposedly superior to other
animal species. The progress of the life sciences has largely demonstrated today that
culture, altruism, intelligence, symbolic languages, to consciousness, in short everything
that man claims to be the basis of his superiority, are not The prerogative of humanity.
On many cognitive processes, animals have demonstrated greater abilities than humans. For
all that, presenting humans as animals " like the others " is contrary to reality: homo
sapiens is the only species to have settled in almost all terrestrial ecosystems ; The
complexity of its forms of social and political organization is unrivaled and endowed with
an unprecedented capacity for destruction.
In the end, what must be put down is the claim of the human being to be superior to the
rest of the living, without denying his specific place in the bosom of the living world.
We must finish with any conception of hierarchization between species, for each species,
including homo sapiens, depends on all other species for its survival. Any utilitarian
conception of life is dangerous because it involves a manipulation relationship with the
rest of the living world. The living world - vegetable as animal - is this interweaving of
relations of competition and cooperation between individuals of the same species as
between different species.
Today philosophical currents affirm that humans must abandon all forms of domination over
any other animal species, which means, if one goes to the end of logic, by abandoning not
only fishing and Hunting, but also all breeding and domestication. Alternative libertarian
condemns persecution or fierceness towards other animal species and claims a significant
reduction in meat consumption to ensure a sustainable diet for all.
This philosophical conception still echoes part of the history of our current and we can
not ignore it. And if collectively Alternative libertarian denounces ideologies reducing
the " other ", human or animal in thing, in quantity, in series of data to be managed,
it seems inopportune today to impose this philosophy at all, the conditions at the same
time Cultural, economic and political problems are not met for such a change. We will
remain condemned for a long time to manage the contradictions between the reasonable
welfare of the human population and the respect of the life of our cousins of other animal
Obviously, it is quite different from the political considerations which involve a
redefinition of the agricultural productions needed by humankind to ensure a sufficiently
high protein diet for all men, women and children, which will imply Necessarily a drastic
reduction in meat consumption in Western countries. Obviously, the same is true of the
indispensable evolution of the standards of breeding and slaughter of domestic animals, in
order to eliminate all that is more or less related to the maltreatment of sentient beings
by a species affirming an illegitimate superiority, And in particular to put an end to
industrial systems of battery breeding, chain felling, etc.
To conclude, contrary to certain currents that claim to be radical, our aim is not and can
not be to advocate solutions aimed at ridding the planet of all human technology. A virgin
nature, free from all human action is simply a fantasy. Even in a region like the Amazon,
flora and fauna have been profoundly altered by human activity, even before the arrival of
Europeans on the American continent. The future we want is that of a nature where human
activities can be developed but controlled by the need to control our impact on the rest
of the living world and to safeguard biodiversity.
This shared future imposes a fundamental break in the way we imagine the development of
humanity. In particular, the following points are addressed:
The spatial planning of each country, the constraints necessary for a genuine policy for
the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecologically compatible urbanization ;
The necessary changes in the broader agricultural sector (culture, livestock, forestry,
The necessary evolutions within the cities, including as much the question of the habitat
as that of the articulation between habitat and organization of the production. This
includes extractive industries, manufacturing, construction and public works, services ;
The question of the international organization of labor and economic relations between
countries of the South and the North.
Differentiated spatial planning
The plundering of resources, the endless exploitation of fossil energies, the
artificialisation of soils, lead humanity to an impasse. Without a major and rapid change
in human activity, the wall could unfortunately be hit faster than imagined today. It's
probably only a few decades--
The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was presented to the United Nations to assess the
extent and consequences of ecosystem changes. Its main conclusion is that mankind has
changed ecosystems more rapidly in the last fifty years than since its history:
destruction and pollution of natural environments, overexploitation of natural resources,
introduction of species from one environment to another, and Global warming causes an
irreversible loss of biodiversity.
Mexican and US experts in an article published in June 2015 in the journal Science
Advances announce that the " 6 th extinction " is on: the rate of species extinction due
to human activities continues to accelerate. Its impact rivals that of the five massive
biological crises that have punctuated the history of living beings for 500 million years
- the last, 65 million years ago, precipitating the fall of dinosaurs.
To achieve a new dynamic equilibrium with the rest of the living world, mankind must put
an end to the process of artificialisation of all ecosystems.
This means that it will have to set up differentiated management between:
The main zones of human habitat, with activities, on the one hand industrial and on the
other hand agricultural. In them human activity will seek to integrate itself into a
dynamic equilibrium with the development of other forms of life, even if it is inevitable
that human pressure completely transforms the equilibrium of living beings.
And protected natural areas preserved from human activities related to industrial
Protected areas, apart from the fact that they must not be reduced to the minimum, must
make it possible to sanctuate the current primary forests, or at least what remains of
them, but must also be established on all continents And on each of them, as far as
possible, to cover all types of existing ecosystems in order to maintain true biodiversity
and not only on land " useless " for industrialization.
It must be understood that these protected areas, in addition to portions of land, will
also have to integrate coastal and maritime lake and river areas within which not only all
pollution will be drastically combated but also any banned industrial activity, Character
" tourist ".
For non-industrial activities, such as hunting and gathering activities, fishing or
traditional culture in dynamic equilibrium with the surrounding ecosystems will have their
place as today the agricultural activities and in particular the breeding in the National
and regional parks.
Furthermore, protected areas can not be reduced to a set of isolated sanctuaries, if only
in relation to the challenge of maintaining biodiversity. Maintaining a circulation of
flora and fauna from one protected area to another will obviously be a major challenge.
Territorial continuity will be difficult to obtain everywhere. However, acceptable
compromises have to be devised everywhere to safeguard the potential of biodiversity on earth.
The management of these protected areas will form part of a dual system of power. On the
one hand, the people living there will organize themselves to manage the resources they
will use in their environment, as they have always done. On the other hand, international
coordinations will set global objectives for the protection of protected areas by
supporting local populations in the implementation of these objectives.
A new agricultural revolution
Concerning agricultural areas, it must be said that within them a new agricultural
revolution must be implemented, based on agrarian reform. The collective ownership of land
where the interested parties wish, or their redistribution to redevelop a peasant
agriculture must be put in place in order to increase the number of farms and the
installation of a large number of peasants and peasants. This is a sine qua non condition
for ensuring diversified production and food self-sufficiency in small regions.
This will mean ending the agricultural specialization of entire regions and reducing
agricultural export production when it is an obstacle to local food self-sufficiency.
The forms of farms have a direct impact on biodiversity and soil quality. Let us take the
example of reparcelling, which caused the destruction of the bocage form, thus reducing
the biodiversity of the hedges (and the continuities they offered), while facilitating the
leaching and desertification of soils.
A fundamental change in cultivation practices must be put in place in order to ensure that
there is no environmental pollution, food quality of production and the health of workers
on the land. The objective is the development of an innovative and diversified farming
industry that will be able to take on the important climate changes to come: innovative
techniques of organic farming, the use of robust varieties, the association of crops,
biological control, Polyculture-raising, no-till cultivation to combat soil erosion,
permaculture, differentiated management are all ways to develop and for some to generalize.
The new agricultural model described in the preceding paragraph will necessarily result in
the development of cereal and legume crops for human consumption and a decrease in meat
production and biomass for energy use.
Peasant and ecological agriculture requires more work than agro-industry. A significant
process of returning to the countryside will necessarily begin. But whenever mechanization
is compatible with the requirements of new agriculture and with ecological constraints and
will save human labor, it will be implemented.
Concerning fisheries, the first decision to take will be the prohibition of industrial
fisheries, a measure essential to stop the overexploitation of the oceans. Fish will
necessarily become a rare commodity, except obviously in coastal areas. In the same way,
forestry will be subject to at least two imperatives: firstly, the choice of species
adapted to the forests concerned, aimed at maintaining or developing local biodiversity,
and on the other hand to sustainable management, which does not consume More every year
than what the forests produce at the same time.
Urban planning, fundamentally transformed habitats
Modern urbanism has resulted in a bursting of functions: working, living, having fun
(leisure). The displacement links these three functions. In urban sociology, it has been
shown that the capacity to move increases as we have different cultural, social,
relational and economic capital. Relegation to neighborhoods of habitat too often prevents
self-organization and assigns individuals and groups to residence. Consequently,
ecologically consistent urban planning must promote a strict restriction of travel by
creating intensive and complex neighborhoods, villages and towns in which to live well and
where displacement would no longer be an imperative but a possibility open to all.
Finally, within an egalitarian society, the organization of present-day cities, structured
around the institutions of power and organized services for the propertied classes, will
disappear. A new multipolar organization will be set up, combining within a limited area,
ie a neighborhood, a set of housing islands and places of production, public education and
health services, places Cultivation, collective gardens - allowing the development of an
agriculture and a small urban livestock farming -, pleasure parks, places of practice of
sports, spaces for exchange and / or distribution of productions ... improving Greatly
reducing everyday life and drastically reducing energy costs associated with everyday
We are witnessing a triple phenomenon, on the one hand a " desertification " of many
territories, on the other hand an increase of cities and megacities, and finally of "
rurbanized " zones , phenomenon linked either to the exclusion of the poorest or to the
'Aspiration to live in a' natural 'environment. A harmonious development of territories,
linking social, economic and ecological, should see a revitalization of the villages of
the towns and a consequent decrease in the economic and demographic weight of the cities.
However, for a long time, cities will remain major areas of housing and industrial
activity. Obviously, it is not a question of making it a place of pollution or a waste of
resources. These will simply be places where biodiversity can be assumed to be low. But
the revolutions implemented, in transport, in the type of consumption and production, will
massively evolve these territories in order to make them livable spaces for humans.
We believe that major changes will necessarily affect the habitat. This will concern
building materials, designed from renewable resources and to be non-polluting during their
production and the integration of techniques making housing non-energy consuming, or even
energy producers using renewable, solar-powered local energies , Hydraulic, wind turbine.
But within a solidarity-based and energy-saving society, the structures of the dwellings
themselves will change, (or the structure will ... change) " individual dwellings " will
be integrated into housing islands that bring together many services and (Laundromat,
do-it-yourself equipment, collective room with audio-visual equipment, computers, board
games and sports equipment, meeting room for residents, bicycles, etc.). .). These various
forms of mutualisation also allow for a genuine user-friendliness, richer exchanges,
putting an end to the isolation within large cities.
The public places will be reorganized to promote social exchanges. In each neighborhood
will be set up a network of meeting rooms, open to associations and political movements,
promoting an intense associative and political life. Movements within and between
neighborhoods will be restricted to bicycles and public transport, tram, metro, bus, whose
networks will be developed, timetables adapted to the needs of the inhabitants and
accessible free of charge.
Urban waste management will be reinvented: Recyclable products, virtually prohibited
packaging, general composting, development of wastewater sanitation within adapted plant
areas (phytoremediation). The development of small urban agriculture, revegetation of
cities, and vegetation cover of buildings are important issues to improve air and soil
quality and to combat the rise in temperature in cities.
The same will apply to the overall spatial planning of each region and the balance between
the different regions on the planet. A dismantling of metropolises, the development of
which is a drift due to the hierarchical and inegalitarian organization of class
societies, will naturally be organized in favor of a more homogeneous distribution of the
population and the establishment of workers closer to the Availability of materials and
energy used in work.
These developments will also result from a transformation of the productive apparatus, in
particular with regard to the international organization of labor and economic relations
between countries of the South and North. On these fundamental questions from an
ecological point of view, we refer firstly to the text adopted in 2006 at the VIII th
Congress of Alternative Libertaire entitled " Facing the environmental challenge, three
revolutions are necessary ", and secondly to text adopted in 2012 at the XI th congress
entitled " Against free trade: productive autonomy ."
Attempting here to define the extractive, manufacturing, construction or services
industries that will function within such a society is meaningless. The only thing that
can be said is that this will result from decisions integrating partially contradictory
imperatives, between supporting the biodiversity of these activities, meeting the needs of
all men, women and children, defining these needs ... In any case, it will be a perpetual
search for balance between what humans can sustainably take from the planet's resources
and the satisfaction of human desires. In addition, toxic waste from productive activities
will be strictly controlled by the municipalities where it will be located,
What we know is that entire sections of the capitalist economy will disappear, especially
everything connected with the commodification of life, the control of dominated social
classes, advertising, overpacking, The private appropriation of land, buildings and
production tools, the stock exchange and the dominance of finance, the production reserved
for the privileged social classes, the daily transport imposed on the dominated social
classes ... This is an important part Of human activities which must disappear, rapidly
allowing both a reduction of the ecological footprint, the end of social exclusion and a
significant reduction in working time.
One way or another the question of human demography will weigh in these balances. We know
that this is a problem today. For implicitly posing the question of demographic
equilibrium can refer to racist assumptions which make it a burden on the peoples of the
south. We would like to recall that the ecological crisis is the product of international
What human population can the earth bear ? We have a certainty: it will be necessary to
find a balance between the resources consumed, the capacity for regeneration of these
resources and the decent life for humans. Humanity can not grow without end. But we know
that the demographic stabilization of humanity requires a fundamental factor: a process of
women's liberation, the education of girls, the right of all women to dispose of their
bodies, the fight against all violence against women , Free access to contraception and
abortion, and economic, social and political equality between women and men.
In conclusion, just as ecological struggle is inseparable from a struggle against
capitalism, it is inseparable from a struggle for the liberation of women at the
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