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Oct 8 discussion

Comments by Jason inspired by last Sunday’s discussion

If I heard right and recall right, Brian had a focus on just doing the work where we are and can and not just doing defensive struggles (democratic confederalism) whereas David said he thought the question of state power had to be dealt with (I don’t remember if he said how).

First, whatever the limitations of the DSA, from the outside I thought it’s “big tent” approach meant “everything-goes” is a probably-unproductive way (and maybe that’s part of it too) that it can be a similar solution to such disagreements the same way this wiki is supposed to be a “yes, and” rather than “no, but” which is 1. Some people focus on the defensive struggles 2. Some people focus on doing direct work like coops, carbon farming, etc. 3. Some people focus on an overall let’s say political framework (dealing with the question of state power) And of course there are different ways within each of those, but if as long as people are committed to a set of shared universal values and pooling their experience in a “big tent” (which in the US right now for most active socialist youth is the DSA as an organization but it could be informal and formal networks of networks), then the approaches are “yes, and-ing” each other.

I will note that William Robert’s recent book on Capital argues that Marx’s point in the chapter on “so-called” original accumulation is just that if you go off and found a ‘democratic con federalism’ as an island in a capitalist world, that the economy and/or state will swallow you up. I do think it’s an important argument that a coop in one factory—or one city—on it’s own cannot work (which isn’t what Brian is saying I know), but that also doesn’t mean building those coops isn’t a contribution (esp. if it’s reinforcing other efforts through a ‘big tent’ network).

A particular possible initiative

On a particular sort of application of this, the Carbon Farming book says: “Rattan Lal, one of the foremost experts in the world on carbon sequestration, argues that sequestering carbon in soil is the most cost-effective mitigation strat- egy, and that it can even be a negative cost (a net gain) because of the many economic benefits of increased production and environmental services.11 The IPCC has compared the costs of mitigation strategies and found that agriculture is cost-competitive with energy-, transportation-, and forestry-based options.12” & that “Almost every practice pro led in this book, and many of the crops, have networks and organizations devoted to it. These groups are local, regional, national, and international. Directing climate funds to these groups is a low-hanging fruit of mitigation. We need to help them maintain and scale up their efforts.”

So it’s not a question of thinking carbon farming alone can solve the crisis but if it is a big, big step in that direction, cost-effective and people can take big steps now themselves (without waiting on politicians), shouldn’t this be one of the loudest things ecosocialists are saying and doing?

Particularly if combined with Salatin’s model of combining animal husbrandry– (“Joel says one acre of healthy grass can sequester more carbon than 2000 grass fed cows can emit.”). Weirdly Salatin appears in the bibliography of Carbon Farming but I can’t find any references in the book to this issue (but just searched keywords).

So if we could get some of that ‘green’ nonprofit money and ecosocialist people power to focus (among other things but a bigger focus than it is now) on building a network of carbon farming food supplying coop farms, linked to coop restaurants and solar powered earths-ships and democratic confederal-esque city-level initiatives like Cooperation Jackson, well that would seem like a big step to me.

OK, this is a bit disjointed but hopefully better to post for feedback than keep working on it.

oct8mtg.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/10 22:07 by Jason Hicks