Neither socialism nor Animal Rights can succeed without the other. Nor can either survive without the other.
Animal activists and environmentalists must be part of any leftist move to revolution for socialism to be viable.
The future of revolution will be issues based, not based upon class. The Marxist model of class struggle is no longer viable, for a number of reasons. Industrialized societies are no longer hosts to sweatshops and child labor. Socialist constituencies which came together in revolution during the last century have become impotent or irrelevant. Capitalism has grudgingly done away with 60 and 80 hour work weeks. Workers in all industrialized countries now have insurance, healthcare, minimum wages, and workplace safety laws. The revolutionary ardor of workers is a thing of the past.
Labor cannot be relied upon to fuel revolt.
Only the most impoverished of Third World countries are presently possible candidates for revolution. And most of those countries have precious few leaders or organizations militating for revolution.
The greatest issue confronting humanity is its very existence. Climate change is likely ushering in the Sixth Mass Extinction in the Earth’s history. And according to scientists, that climate change is being brought about by human agency. Capitalist human agency, to be precise.
Capitalists are causing the clearcutting of rainforests, the very lungs of the Earth. They are the cause of carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and pollution of the air and the oceans.
Fully half of all life on Earth has been destroyed in the last 40 years alone.
Those raising the alarm are environmentalists and animal activists.
Jon Hochschartner’s website, Species and Class (speciesandclass.com) is perhaps the most important part of the equation of bringing the left and the animal movement together. Last year, Jon recruited me as an editor and contributor to Species and Class. His vision, and mine, is to meld the animal movement into the broader Left.
But the Left is not materially more informed than anyone else. We face constant observations of Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc, being unconcerned with animals and the environment, observations which are all too accurate.
But we cannot use yardsticks of the past to measure socialists of the future.
Marx was oblivious to women’s suffrage even as he opposed slavery.
Socialists who championed women’s suffrage were blind to gay rights. Socialists who embraced gay rights were still ignoring the environment.
Today’s socialists recognize the threat capitalism poses to human survival due to environmental destruction and climate change.
Future socialists will embrace animal rights if for no other reason than the efficiency of feeding the world population with grain currently diverted to animals.
The plain truth is that neither socialism nor the animal movement can thrive without the other. They likely cannot even survive without the other.
There is no future for socialism without the support of a radicalized animal movement and a radicalized environmental movement. The animal movement cannot survive in a political environment that is supportive of capitalism. And, unless capitalism is destroyed, the environmental movement also will fail.
Socialism in the future will be far different than the socialism of the past. Integral in the new paradigm will be the recognition and support of Animal Rights, and the protection of the environment will have to be placed above all other considerations.
Revolution will not be the product of disaffected workers, social class, or the economic victims of capitalism.
Revolution will be an imperative for the survival of humanity in the face of capitalist destruction of the environment. It will be brought about by a broad coalition of social justice advocates, environmentalists, and animal activists.
The race is on for the future of humanity.
Right now, capitalists have the lead.