Capitalism's multiple crises and the fightback discussed at Ecosocialism 2022

Reihana Mohideen (left) and Sarah Hathway at Ecosocialism 2022. Photo: Angela Carr for Geelong - Socialist Alliance/Facebook

Feminist and socialist activist Reihana Mohideen with the Party of the Laboring Masses, Philippines, asked attendees at Ecosocialism 2022 to think “more deeply” about the multiple crisis of capitalism.

She said the manufactured debt crisis in the global South, the collapse of public health systems and the continuing disastrous financing and use of fossil fuels “must be accounted for in our clamour for climate justice”.

Ecosocialism 2022, organised by Socialist Alliance and Green Left, involved panels and workshops featuring activists  fighting for a safe climate, solidarity with the oppressed and workers’ rights as well as exploring the failures of profit driven-capitalist system.

Parames Elumalai from the Socialist Party of Malaysia spoke via Zoom about the housing crisis in her country, highlighting some victories by the urban pioneers’ struggle.

The workshops on capitalism and war focused on understanding imperialism, the historical conditions, examples of dissent and imperialism’s ecological destruction.

Merri-bek Socialist Alliance (SA) councillor Sue Bolton spoke about getting better organised to build powerful social movements.

Longtime unionist and Geelong SA organiser Sue Bull said: “Every time the working class has a significant win, the ruling class goes all out to overturn it because even small gains [for the working class] can damage the fabric of capitalism”.

She pointed to some of the gains of the Venezuelans who, over 10 years, built 3 million homes and are on track to build 5 million by 2025. The targets and funding came from the parliament, but Venezuelans mobilised through their community councils to get it done. Jobs were created and crime fell in the new neighbourhoods, because people had homes.

“SA runs in federal, state and local elections,” Bull said. “But we know that those elected can only make real change if they are connected to mass struggles organised outside of parliament.”

Angela Carr, SA candidate for the seat of Geelong in the Victorian elections, told a workshop on a socialist perspective on housing: “We know the government’s poverty payments are one of the major barriers to obtaining housing and keeping people in a cycle of poverty. It’s a political choice to keep people in homelessness and in poverty. Good luck seeing a politician live on Centrelink or a low wage.”

[Register for Ecosocialism 2022 events here.]