How did the first world war actually end? - Paul Mason
How did the first world war actually end? by Paul Mason Journalist Paul Mason poses the question of how World War I actually ended, as this question is being roundly ignored amidst the often revisionist and pro-war cen
L’appel salutaire de Bernie Sanders à “Construire un mouvement démocratique mondial pour contrer l’autoritarisme”
Appel salutaire de Bernie Sanders: “Construire un mouvement démocratique mondial pour contrer l’autoritarisme”* Par Yorgos Mitralias L’appel lancé par Bernie Sanders le 9 octobre en faveur de la construction
Bernie Sanders:Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism
Bernie Sanders: Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism  Watch Sen. Sanders speak live at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on about the problem of auth
Our planet, our lives, and life itself, are worth more than their profits!
IPCC Report on the 1.5° Our planet, our lives, and life itself, are worth more than their profits!  by Ecology Commission of the Fourth International Not surprisingly, the IPCC’s special report on global warmi
The Communist Party vs. China’s Labor Laws
The Communist Party vs. China’s Labor Laws By  Elaine Hui, Eli Friedman President Xi Jinping’s support of a recent crackdown on workers’ attempts to organize a union is part of a broader centralization of p
Migrants et Europe : voici dix raisons d’ouvrir les frontières
Migrants et Europe : voici dix raisons d’ouvrir les frontières par AGIER Michel, GEMENNE François Une opinion de François Gemenne, politologue, chercheur et enseignant à l’Ulg (CEDEM) et à Sciences Po (Pa
ALLEMAGNE: Le projet de Wagenknecht, un nouveau mouvement ?
ALLEMAGNE: Le projet de Wagenknecht, un nouveau mouvement ? Manuel Kellner* Porte-parole au Bundestag (avec Dietmar Bartsch) du parti Die Linke (La Gauche), Sahra Wagenknecht vient de la gauche anticapitaliste du
Nicaragua: the story of the Daniel Ortega-Rosario Murillo regime
Nicaragua: the story of the Daniel Ortega-Rosario Murillo regime by Eric Toussaint The violence against demonstrators protesting against brutal neoliberal policies is just one of the reasons why different social m
Au Maroc, les militants du Rif écopent d’une vie en prison
Au Maroc, les militants du Rif écopent d’une vie en prison PAR RACHIDA EL AZZOUZI (Mediapart) Les peines prononcées à l'encontre des militants du hirak du Rif, ce mouvement social marocain d’une ampleur inédite
20 de septiembre 2017: Movilizaciones y represion en Catalunya (Documental)
20 de septiembre 2017: Movilizaciones y represion en Catalunya (Documental) Dirigido por Jaume Roures y producido por MEDIAPRO, ofrece una visión inédita de los hechos que sucedieron en la Conselleria d’Economia i H
Greece: the so called debt reduction is a sleight of hand
Greece: the so called debt reduction is a sleight of hand Eric Toussaint interviewed by Marie Brette for TV5 Monde Eric Toussaint, what do you think of the agreement between the Eurozone ministers? Has Greece got th
JOEL KOVEL, IN MEMORIAM
JOEL KOVEL, IN MEMORIAM by Michael Löwy The 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 tower
The Belgian Supreme Court announces its verdict
The Belgian Supreme Court announces its verdict: CADTM wins total victory against the vulture fund NML Capital by CADTM Demonstration in front of the Belgian Supreme Court in Brussels. Photo: Julien Bauwens. Press re
The Direction of the South Korean Labor Movement since the 2016 Candlelight Vigils
The Direction of the South Korean Labor Movement since the 2016 Candlelight Vigils by Song Ho-joon In November 2016 candlelight vigils began to flare up in South Korea. Millions of people joined the movement and within

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