Mumia speaking at the Luxemburg Conference in Germany
Transkript des Beitrags von Mumia Abu-Jamal für die RLK 2022
To the Luxemburg Conference 2022
Meine Freunde,! Wie geht es Ihnen? Willkommen!
We meet as many parts of the world are experiencing truly unprecedented weather events. From mass floods in Bahia State in Brazil, covering some 40 cities, to the firestorms accelerated by the 100 miles/an hour winds in the US state of Colorado, to tornadoes, gathering in clusters, wiping out rural districts in Kentucky, in the American south. Weather events are being seen globally, with arctic cold wind, hurricanes, floods and yes, fire storms.
Indeed, weather forecasters from the American west, now speak of fire seasons, as if such a thing is as normal as spring, but it’s not. The events emerge in the aftermath of human interventions in natural processes via the corporate profiteers who are poisoning the planet. When politicians attack environmentalists and call climate change a hoax, they are only doing so to serve corporate capitalist interests, not environmental ones.
The philosopher Herbert Marcuse, in his remarkable 1972 work Counterrevolution and Revolt, saw the emergence of the environmental movement as a significant social development and a sign of the western world’s exploitation and alienation from the natural world.
Marcuse wrote: “In the established society, nature itself, ever more effectively controlled, has in turn become another dimension for the control of man: the extended arm of society and its power. Commercialized nature, polluted nature, militarized nature cut down the life environment of man, not only in an ecological but also in a very existential sense. It blocks the erotic cathexis (and transformation) of his environment: it deprives man from finding himself in nature, beyond and this side of alienation; it also prevents him from recognizing nature as a subject in its own right – a subject with which to live in a common human universe.” Herbert Marcuse, page 60.
Ever the philosopher, Marcuse envisions the liberation of nature as the key, at least in part, to human liberation. Capitalism, however, with its dominate and domineering ethos of rationality, or should we say, partial rationality, leads to the harrowing present of ecological disaster.
The proof is scattered across the front pages of newspapers across the globe, in magazines, on TV and radio, and perhaps, more importantly, before our own eyes. Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice-storms, firestorms, each increasing in severity and ferocity. This is a global crisis, for hyper-capitalism is a global problem. It is a greed that knows no end. It is a rapacious hunger for ever more profit. It is a system thatreaches for war from the very ashes of chaos and catastrophe.
Imagine this: indigenous people in the United States lived in the millions for at least 60.000 years, according to scholars, and perhaps many more years. Similarly, Spanish explorers, upon invasion of Mexico, encountered cities of shimmering beauty with buildings nestled amidstthe bright blooms of flowers, sitting behind pools of water; they actually thought they were hallucinating.
My point here? That the people who lived here for tens of thousands of years did so in balance with their natural and environmental inheritance. These were the people that they called “savages,” yet after several centuries of European invasion and decimation of the natural world by these savages and the industrial revolution the earth’s climate is in crisis. One wonders who are the real savages?
This is the time for social movements and socialists to raise fundamental questions about the destructive nature of capitalism and its toll on mother earth and living systems. Another world is not only possible, it is necessary.
Thank you all. Auf Wiedersehen! Bewegung! Hier spricht Mumia Abu-Jamal.