This is the introduction to the pamphlet Ecological Servitude (Servitude Ecologique), published in 2011 in French. The texts of this booklet are available on servitudecologique.blogspot.com but apart from this approximate translation of the introduction, they are in French.
How was this booklet born ?
Let us “save energy”, let us “reduce the carbon footprint”, let us “sort waste”, let us “recycle”, let us “consume equitably”, let us “invest ethically” … let us “be responsible citizens” … seeing all these appeals to the will – to “do something” and get back onto the rails of submission – really started irritating us.
What irritated us was to see people around us falling into the traps the State sets in order to prevent us from radically criticising the whole system and prevent our general dissatisfaction from leading to a real questioning of this world.
Firstly, what struck us was an absence of a class instinct which makes us feel and assert: all that comes from the State is against us.
Obviously, the State is capable of mystifying our feelings and needs. The State can grasp real problems like:
・ the fact that the planet is collapsing under mountains of rubbish (and dangerous ones, what is more!);
・ the fact that the world population is increasingly stuck in slums, camps, ghettos …
・ the fact that the gap between wealth and poverty is increasingly deep and wide;
・ the fact that such vital things as the access to land and to water are private properties, kept in the hands of a few people;
・ the fact that the dependence on wages is increasingly important whereas getting a job becomes harder and harder.
The State can also set up impressive and misleading projects which divert our attention from the real problems, which do not solve anything but which on the contrary worsen the situation.
The State has become ecologist because it can not deny the general catastrophe. It is afraid of our reactions and must fake doing something, in order to prevent a general explosion – and first and foremost an explosion of our anger.
To start, the State is trying to make us responsible for the catastrophe that it has itself created and developed. We have been reduced to becoming the slaves of this system and the State wants us to sort out its excrements and to bandage its wounds!
But to a certain extent, yes, we are responsible for the present situation, as long as our revolt against this world remains so weak and scattered.
Like most ideologies, ecologism is trying to attribute all the issues to a problem of bad management – and, consequently, to orient our struggle into the choice of new policies, new political crews, into putting pressure on the governments. In that way, it avoids determining and examining the real causes of the problems. Its defenders never establish the link between how mankind is treated and how the environment is treated. Like any ideology (or science) ecologism separates all the questions from each other, and, despite the fact that it is the same relation of domination, enslavement, destruction, refuses to see the connection that exists between the exploitation of labour and the exploitation of “nature”.
The ecologists remain at the surface of the things. They address themselves to the “consumer”, making him or her believe that by making his purchases politically, s/he can change the world. But if so many products are harmful, toxic and polluting, why are they still being produced? Why don’t ecologists point to the aim of production: profit? Why do they avoid identifying the essence of the problem: the law of profit, the dictatorship of money, which is responsible for the fact that the society in which we live is at war: every man for himself, class war, war against life?
Finally, the ecologists intervene only at the tail end of process and suggest choosing between two catastrophes.
The ecologists’ function is to act in order to cure the system’s failures, to consolidate the State and to preach austerity.
The various articles which follow are trying to clarify all these questions and their implications and to explain our point of view. We will show that:
・ the “sorting of waste” organizes an increasing social control;
・ the “reduction of the carbon footprint”is a means of making us approve austerity measures;
・ the myth of “ethical” banks consolidates the illusion which pretends that money could answer human needs;
・there is no production that is not related to war;
・ “micro credit” contributes to greater dependence and poverty;
・barter reproduces all the categories of the capitalist economy;
・ no local solution is possible.
What we have written on these questions is inevitably incomplete and needs to be developed. This pamphlet is only one moment of the development of our criticism. Let us continue to delve deeper together.
Ecologism organises daily pressure on us. The appeals to be a responsible citizen are appeals to be submissive. It is time to react.
Let us develop our own information networks, our own reflection and action.
Contents of the pamphlet
· Ecological servitude
· Money, a human value?
· “Ethical” banks, fake promises!
· You said: “money”?
· Micro credits, genuine swindles!
· No local “solutions”!