Deep Ecology versus Ecosocialism

Ian Angus at Climate and Capitalism says deep ecology is not compatible with ecosocialism and is “anti-human” at core as well as being politically and morally bankrupt.

He cites an article by deep ecology advocate Saral Sarkar who says Bolivia must allow large tracts to land to become wilderness again and to eject, presumably forcibly if needed, all humans from that land.

This means the indigenous populations will be forced off that land too. How they are to fend for themselves is of no apparent concerns to the deep ecologists who probably hope they’ll die anyway. After all, in his article Sarkar says that governments must “tell humanity that it must reduce its own numbers and immediately stop all kinds of economic growth.”

You can call this deep ecology: a better label is ethnic cleansing.

I genuinely hope deep ecology advocates never get any real political power because if they did, the purges and bloodshed in the name of protecting wilderness would make Stalin look like a schoolgirl.


    • Some indigenous cultures practiced slash and burn agriculture and despoiled the land, others, like the Axtec and Apache were vicious to the tribes they conquered. . So I don’t see them necessarily as exemplars of how to live. Nor do I think it’s a wonderful way of life to return too. Hot running water and penicillin are good things.

      • I’ve been very interested in deep ecology lately, starting with an interview of Derrick Jensen I saw on Democracy Now!. I have a tab open on my computer of arguments against his premises in the book “Endgame,” but I have yet to read it and I’m heading to Peru for two weeks later today, so I won’t read it soon….but my point is that I have yet to see a convincing argument against his very basic premises: civilization is fundamentally unsustainable and unsustainable means that it will inevitably collapse.

        On the other hand, you’re right about indigenous cultures – Polynesians caused massive extinctions (although not on the same scale as civilization, but surprisingly close) as they moved from island to island. Something similar happened when humans came to North America. So that’s a major flaw in deep ecology, and might just force it to be anti-human if it’s consistent. And once you start getting to that point, then it drifts into nihilism…….

        So it’s very interesting and I do believe it’s right about many things, but I’m still thinking about it.

        • I really don’t think humanity is incapable of living in harmony with the environment. The same goes for humanity living in harmony with each other. I think right now we live under an unsustainable system and if we keep on going this way it will collapse or the planet will change in way we can’t go on living. However, in the end, civilization is also needed to shape the methods we will need to use in order to live in harmony with the environment. It’s a double edged sword and we need to learn to wield it it better or end up impaling ourselves on it.

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