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Toward Democratic Eco-socialism
as the Next World System

1. Introduction

Citation Information

Baer, Hans A. 2016. Toward Democratic Eco-socialism as the Next World System, URL = <https://www.rationalrealm.com/philosophy/ethics/toward-democratic-eco-socialism.html>.

Image of two hands enclosing earth's ecology

This essay is guided by two imperatives:

  • how do we live in harmony with each other on a fragile planet of limited resources, which have become unevenly distributed; and
  • how do we live in harmony with nature, particularly as humanity lurches forward into an era of potentially catastrophic, anthropogenic climate change that to a large degree is a by-product of the capitalist world system.

Social systems, whether they exist at the local, regional, or global levels, do not last forever. Capitalism, as a globalizing political economic system committed to profit making and continual economic growth, has created a treadmill of production and consumption that is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

While capitalism has produced numerous impressive technological innovations, some beneficial and others destructive, which are very unevenly distributed, it is a system fraught with numerous contradictions, including: growing social disparities within most nationstates, authoritarian and militarist practices, depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, including global warming and associated climatic changes, species extinction, and population growth as a by-product of poverty.

Even more so than in earlier stages of capitalism, transnational corporations and their associated bodies, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, make or break governments and politicians around the world, although the extent to which this is true varies from country to country. Although capitalism has been around for about 500 years, it manifests so many contradictions that it has become increasingly clear that it must be replaced by a 'next system' or an alternative world system—one oriented toward social parity and justice, democratic processes, and environmental sustainability, which includes a safe climate.

Copyright © 2016

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