Friday, April 29, 2011

300. A Word with the Readers

Mooshi: Assistant Editor

This is the 300th post for Our Place in the World. As a journal of ecological socialism (ecosocialism), Our Place in the World has a particular vision based on merging Marxian theory of socialism, which aims to emancipate humankind from the evils of class society, in particular capitalism, with wisdom of Deep Ecology as summarized in its Eight Point Platform.  From a philosophical materialist point of view, this synthesis is possible by placing our species in its evolutionary context.  Evolutionary in double historical senses: the coming into existence of this universe and the emergence of life on Earth.  Thus, Our Place in the World also relies on the knowledge gained from physics, evolutionary biology, and ecology. Moreover, it aims to learn as much from the modern humans so-called “pre-history” as it does from our “history.” For 190,000 years, modern humans lived in “primitive communist” groups much more in harmony with themselves and with nature than ever since; that is in the period our existence we strangely call “civilization,” marked by an almost pathological derive to "control" nature including by subjugation and exploitation of animals and plants. In the process, of course, we have also subjugated and exploited ourselves in many forms, that is, by gender, caste, class, race, etc.   This and continued rebellion against it is the history of class societies since the dawn of the “Agriculture Revolution.”

There is no doubt that humanity in now in great danger and that our mode of social organization, called capitalism, a society organized for and run by a small minority who own social means of production for the sake of profit and accumulation of wealth, is risking life on Earth.  The way out of this crisis of society and nature is fundamentally ethical and political.  It requires a process of de-alienation that will bring about harmony in society and with nature of which we are an organic part. This vision and process of radical change is Ecological Socialism.

Since my last “A Word with the Readers”, there has been 99 posts (no. 201 to no. 299 inclusive).  Of these 4 posts are about various ideas of socialism or ecosocialism.  One notion  enshrined as law in Bolivia recently is the rights of Mother Nature (2 posts).  With the rise of "civilization," animism widespread in "primitive" societies has been replace with religious/philosophical views that support the ideology of "man's dominion" that support the derive to "control nature." 

Fifteen posts are about Cuba, mostly covering the recent economic reforms and the process of the sixth Congress of the Communist Party. I urge readers who have not read these posts to review them to get a sense of how much more input the Cuban people have in their country's policies compared to the most "democratic" western society's including the United States.  There are six posts on Latina America and another two posts on Venezuela where class struggle is sharper.

The recent period is marked by the Arab uprising, imperialist wars, Japan nuclear disaster.  Six posts, including a series that I wrote, deal with the promise and challenges in the Middle East and North Africa.  Ten posts deal with various aspects of capitalism and imperialism, particularly in the United States. Twelve post are about dangers of nuclear power and nine are about corporate power that runs capitalist countries, again with a focus on the United States. Three posts report on the continued crisis in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of BP oil spill. 

We continue document ecological and environmental crises.  Nineteen post are about these topics. Another four deal with climate change. Six posts are about philosophy, science, and human nature.   Seven posts inform on evolution.

An important task of Our Place in the World is to draw attention to human tyranny against other sentient beings and nature. Two posts shed light on the richness of animal lives Nineteen posts report on these. Five posts deal with  "green technologies."  This is a contested topic.  "Green capitalism" advocates suggest that capitalist social relations can accommodate "green technologies" to deal with climate change and other natural hazards of capitalism.  Ecological socialism would instead rely on radical change in social relations of production that would also do away with technologies that degrade nature and oppress or harm other beings. There are three posts on animal liberation and rights of Mother Nature as well as one post on vegetarianism.  

Finally, there are two "art" posts . I urge you to visit them. One is a brilliant clip called "The Mountain" and another is a beautiful multimedia presentation about the history of Salsa. I hope to post more art pieces in the future. And, there is one book review. There will be more coming.

I should like to restate a standard journalistic policy: all signed articles represent the views of their author(s).  They are reprinted here because they relate to a subject of our interest. Only unsigned articles are the points of view of Our Place in the World.

Our Place in the World has been in existence for two years. It has become a resource for a number of people and communities across the world. Please help us to improve it by commenting on the posts, by sending articles, and by sharing ideas and criticism by writing to

The list of the last 99 posts with hyperlinks follows.

Thank you.

Kamran Nayeri


299. Report: Doctors Ignored Guantanamo Torture

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