Dear Friend of CNS
If one is going to ask for money it should be for a really important
reason, for example, to help us understand whether we have a future
worth living, and how we can help make this happen.
fact today is that no thinking person can be sure whether a worthwhile
future exists. Colossal hurricanes, melting polar icecaps, growing
water, food and energy shortages, species extinction at a rate greater
than anything since the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the threat
of new pandemic diseases, and conditioning everything, a society entering
a phase of permanent war—all this shadows our future. The malignant
Bush adminstration is both a symptom of our times and a force accelerating
the breakdown of the global ecology.
neither a crystal ball nor a ready-made solution to the ecological
crisis. But I do spend a lot of time working on a journal, Capitalism
Nature Socialism (CNS), that takes the widest, deepest and most uncompromising
look at this crisis and fearlessly stands for the possibility of a
radical solution worthy of humanity and nature. Our name declares
our line of approach: Capitalism is the problem, a regime whose profit-seeking
and endless expansion sow chaos across the planet; Nature is being
invaded and destabilized by capital on an expanding scale; consequently,
we need to create a post-capitalist alternative, by definition Socialist,
yet a socialism that is ecologically rational and therefore radically
different from twentieth century models.
To be “ecologically
rational” is to stand for the flourishing of life in the face
of the system that would subsume life into money. It means going beyond
pop journalism, timid academicism, the standard nostrums of the left
as well as the alternatives posed by the system. It means being open
to multiple genres and perspectives from across the world, and committed
to first-rate scholarship as well as radical action.
forthcoming December issue, for example, you will find an article
explosing the official system of trading emissions credits to control
greenhouse gases as “carbon fraud” and neocolonialism;
and another that treats with anthropological depth the resistance
of Nigerian women who use nudity to challenge the incursions of Big
Oil. You can also find the thoughts of the great eco-feminist Maria
Mies about her “subsistence perspective”; an exploration
of scarcely known links between Karl Marx and Islamic philosophy;
a discussion of “micro-communities” of resistance and
affirmation; a description of female-centered grassroots stuggle toward
rational and just production of cotton; and Manifestos for ecological
socialism from the struggle in Italy and India. December’s CNS
even has a poem about the Hudson Valley and a meditation on the vagaries
of psychoanalytic therapy—in other words, the gamut of what
is critical of capital, affirmative of nature’s intrinsic value,
and open toward a radical ecosocialist alternative.
founded by James O’Connor and Barbara Laurence 16 years ago.
I have been its Editor-in-Chief for the last year, since Jim retired,
and I come to you now to ask for your support for our efforts on behalf
of an ecologically rational world. We need first to guarantee sustainability
of the day to day work of the journal by bringing aboard a salaried
Managing Editor to take over the work that Barbara Laurence has until
now done gratis, and to build a New York office. But we want also
to go beyond where we are, to realize our larger goals. These include:
our international network. CNS has editorial groups in New York, Boston,
San Francisco, Toronto and London, and works with sister journals
in Italy, Spain and France. In 2005, we plan to develop working relationships
with groups in India, Turkey and South Africa, with the aim of building
a global alliance of like-minded people.
Organizing an international conference. Planned for next July at Toronto’s
York University, on the theme of “Ecology, Imperialism and the
Contradictions of Capitalism”; it will also be a celebration
of the life and work of James O’Connor.
our Web presence. We are seeking to greatly improve our Web facilities
by adding a paid Web Developer to our staff. This will provide a forum
for our editors to exchange ideas, post drafts and carry on debates.
We will better serve our readers through newsletters, bulletins and
blogs. And the site will create a new avenue to involve more people
by offering CNS’s unique materials to a wider public as well
as interactive consultations about environmental concerns.
our publishing facilities to include books and monographs that will
further enable us to develop our message.
I ask that
you give generously to enable us to reach these goals. These changes
will allow CNS to involve a wider range of contributors, reach a larger
audience in more parts of the world and continue to develop a critical
red-green intellectual culture. CNS, with editors in 16 countries,
has the scope and credentials to play a leading role in the international
movement to bring a better, ecologically sustainable world into being,
and your support will underwrite the strong, healthy and vibrant organization
such work requires.
in advance. The whole world is at stake.
- $200 - $100
for Political Ecology is a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions
subscription fees of $44/annum are deductible. Click
Here for a form to print.