Naomi Klein and Greta Thunberg discuss the emerging transnational movement that is our best hope for a sustainable planet
Naomi Klein and Greta Thunberg discuss the emerging transnational movement that is our best hope for a sustainable planet The Intercept invites you to watch a special event in New York City hosted by Intercept senior correspondent Naomi Klein, author of the forthcoming book “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Gr
Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Different
Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Different By Ben Beckett  A new video from the Bernie Sanders campaign is proof: Sanders has used his bully pulpit to amplify workers’ struggles around the country, in a way no national politician in the United States has done before now. “If I miss a paycheck, I’m scre
Trump’s Racism Is Not Blundering — It Is Tactically Deliberate
Trump’s Racism Is Not Blundering — It Is Tactically Deliberate By William Rivers Pitt (Truthout)* Donald Trump is a giant flapping racist and doesn’t give a single damn if that bothers you. Given this reality, it is important to note that when Trump dispensed with all pretense and held a one-man Sunday mo
 Grèce : L’introuvable  « retour à la normalité » sur fond de  faillite historique de ses gauches !…
Grèce : L’introuvable « retour à la normalité » sur fond de faillite historique de ses gauches !… par Yorgos Mitralias Presque unanimement, tant les médias grecques et internationaux que les leaders des principaux partis grecs ont commenté les résultats des élections du 7 juillet en célébrant
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: 'Hope is contagious'
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: 'Hope is contagious' One is America’s youngest-ever congresswoman, the other a Swedish schoolgirl. Two of the most powerful voices on the climate speak for the first time by Emma Brockes [The Guardian] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez enters a boardroom at her constit
Olivier Besancenot: «Est-il possible d’oublier les élections 30 secondes?»
Olivier Besancenot: «Est-il possible d’oublier les élections 30 secondes?» 12 juin 2019 Par Pauline Graulle (Mediapart) Le porte-parole du NPA propose de créer des « coordinations permanentes » qui permettraient à la gauche sociale et politique de retrouver le chemin d’un dialogue durable. Selon lui,
Tandis que le spectre de la guerre civile hante les États-Unis, Bernie Sanders et ses socialistes partent à l’assaut du pouvoir et du... ciel !
(Texte écrit pour la revue d'Attac-France "Les Possibles": https://france.attac.org/nos-publications/les-possibles/numero-20-printemps-2019/) Tandis que le spectre de la guerre civile hante les États-Unis, Bernie Sanders et ses socialistes partent à l’assaut du pouvoir et du... ciel ! par Yorgos Mitralias
Everything depends on what will happen in Algeria and Sudan
Everything depends on what will happen in Algeria and Sudan by Gilbert Achcar An Interview with Gilbert Achcar, originally published on April 22, 2019 in the Moroccan publication Tel quell. In Algeria and Sudan, the army has become an arbiter in the ongoing revolutions. For what reasons? These are military ins
The Martyrdom of Julian Assange
The Martyrdom of Julian Assange By Chris Hedges* The arrest Thursday of Julian Assange eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities, embraced by the Ecuadorian, British and U.S. governments, in the seizure of Assange are ominous. They presage a world where the inte
Rwanda: A look back at the 1994 genocide
Rwanda: A look back at the 1994 genocide by Eric Toussaint Starting on 7 April 1994, in less than three months, nearly one million Rwandans – the exact figure has not yet been determined - were exterminated because they were (or supposed to be) Tutsis. Tens of thousands of moderate Hutus were also slaughtere
Venezuela: Suspend Debt Repayments and Create an Emergency Humanitarian Fund
Venezuela: Suspend Debt Repayments and Create an Emergency Humanitarian Fund 11 March by Eric Toussaint There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s policies, those of the Lima group [1] and the European powers who seek to impose the usurper Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela and do not hesitate to interfe
Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run For President
Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run For President Δείτε και ακούστε το ιστορικό κάλεσμα του Μπέρνι Σάντερς στον αμερικανικό λαό (19/02/2019)
Contre les actes antisémites, contre leur instrumentalisation, pour le combat contre toutes les formes de racisme
Contre les actes antisémites, contre leur instrumentalisation, pour le combat contre toutes les formes de racisme mardi 19 février 2019 Nous soussignés associations, partis, syndicats, indépendants, sommes toutes et tous activement impliqués dans la lutte contre le racisme sous toutes ses formes. La lutte c
GILETS JAUNES : APPEL DE LA PREMIÈRE ASSEMBLÉE DES ASSEMBLÉES / Commercy - 27 janvier 2019
GILETS JAUNES : APPEL DE LA PREMIÈRE ASSEMBLÉE DES ASSEMBLÉES / Commercy - 27 janvier 2019 Nous, Gilets Jaunes des ronds-points, des parkings, des places, des assemblées, des manifs, nous sommes réunis ces 26 et 27 janvier 2019 en « Assemblée des assemblées », réunissant une centaine de délégations, r

Αναζήτηση


JOEL KOVEL, IN MEMORIAM


by Michael Löwy

2018 06 23 01 JOEL KOVELThe passing away of Joel Kovel is a great loss not only for us, his friends and collaborators, but for the broad international ecosocialist movement, of which he was a towering pioneer.

I first met Joel at an International Marxist Conference at the University of Nanterre (Paris) , convened in 2001 by my friends of the Journal Actuel Marx. We immediately sympathised, and found a common interest : the urgent need to bring together the "Red" and the "Green", under the aegis of a new concept : Ecosocialism. We felt that the most of the Left had not yet understood the need for an ecological turn, and we believed one should attempt to contribute to such a re-orientation. The Fourth International, to which I was associated, had just decided to adopt an ecosocialist programm, and Joel felt encouraged by this decision.

Joel tells the story of our meeting in The Lost Traveller Dream, but, in his unassuming and modest attitude, does not tell that the idea of writing an International Ecosocialist Manifesto was his...I immediately agreed with the proposition and we worked out the document together, after several drafts. As he says, it was as sending a message in a bottle thrown into the sea...

Curiously enough some people picked the bottle, and we were able to gather a meeting at Montreuil (outskirts of Paris) in 2007, with the help of Ian Angus, and the support of the well known Peruvian indigenous leader Hugo Blanco, who explained to us : "We, the indigenous communities in Latin America, have been practising ecosocialism for centuries". At this meeting, which was enlivened by Joel enthusiasm and energy, it was decided to found an Ecosocialist International Network (EIN) - a short lived experiment, but which had one great success : the Belem Manifesto. This Second International Ecosocialist Manifesto, written in 2008 by Joel, Ian and myself, was signed by hundreds of ecosocialists from 40 countries, and distributed - with the help of our Brazilian ecosocialist comrades - in Portuguese and English to the participants of the World Social Forum in the Amazonian town of Belem do Para (North of Brazil, 2009).

By that time Joel had already published his masterpiece, The Enemy of Nature (2002), one of the most powerful ecological condamnations of capitalism ever written, a classic of ecosocialism for the generations to come. During all these years we remained in contact, by mail, but also by occasional meetings, in Paris, in Brazil or in New York. A real friendship developed, based on mutual understanding, and a common desire to build ecosocialism as a network of ideas and action. During the last years he invested his generous energy in developing ecosocialism in the US; his decision to convert to Christianity brought us together in the interest for liberation theology. I remember one of the last times we met : it was when he organized, in a Church, a projection of a film on Monsignor Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador, murdered by paramilitary gangs for denouncing the brutal repression of the popular movements.

I have a great debt towards Joel, I learned much from his writings and was inspired by his inflexible anticapitalist commitment. When he wrote his autobiography, I sent him a short notice for the back cover, which summarizes the importance of his contribution to our movement :

"Bringing together radical spirituality, Marxist socialism and an ecological cosmovision, Joel Kovel is an unrepentant fighter against 'the Enemy of Nature' - and of Humanity : Capitalism. By his thought and action, he is a pioneer of the ecosocialist international movement. His dreams are open windows on a different future".

In an inscription in the copy of the book which he sent me in 2017 he called me "a companion for those insane times", and signed "Joel the Dreamer". The times are insane indeed, but with the help of Joel's red and green message, the hope for a sane future is not lost.

If Life in the planet Earth is saved from the ecological catastrophe produced by capitalist insanity, Joel Kovel will be remembered as one of the first who raised a prophetic call for radical change, a rational and spirited call for ecosocialism.

Michael Löwy

scroll back to top