The stakes can sometimes seem trivial, in reality it is not. When it comes to ecology and environmental protection, a good fringe of supporters, often unconscious of capitalism, have invented for a little over a decade a language device that depoliticizes the problem and shifts conflictuality into an indefensible position. . YOU defend the trees, the flowers, the small birds, the butterflies, the crested newts? Pffft… Bobo, go! Do you denounce the use of pesticides, the concreteization of natural areas, urbanization and commercial development to the detriment of green spaces? Pffft… Well something eco-bobo-gaucho, that!…
Gaucho? Phew, honor is safe! So there is a lot of politics there. Admittedly, no one feels comfortable with the idea of assuming the qualifier of bobo: in short, it is a social category that is similar to the privileged bourgeoisie, endowed with an environmental awareness, and to whom economic and symbolic privileges allow them to adopt coherent behavior vis-à-vis the environment. On the other hand, awareness stops quite systematically on the threshold of the question of class privileges, precisely, but also on the questioning of capitalism as responsible for the depletion of resources, for the endangering of biodiversity and the destruction of ecosystems.
Gaucho, on the other hand, does tell us where the attack came from. Gaucho, it’s pejorative, it’s the one who follows like a sheep a kind of common sense, without thinking, feminist, egalitarian values, held to be distant from a certain social reality, someone who can afford to defend these values because it is detached from said reality (loss of masculinist reference point, gender theory, Islamization of Europe, etc.). Islamo-leftist, the theme is in fashion across Quiévrain, they say. Utopian. Or care bears. The circle is complete. A care bear is not in politics, so don’t bring it back with your beautiful ideas, your trees, your little flowers and your little birds…!
Except no. This well-typed discourse is that of the fascists, in particular, that of the useful idiots of the machine to produce by destroying. That of the useful idiots of capitalism. As in Dante’s hell, the circles are concentric. It is the circle which encompasses all the others which represents the real cause of the problem and this circle is that of capitalism, of the pursuit of a concentration of wealth in the hands of an increasingly narrow circle, of the increasingly full pockets. It is in the name of this deadly dynamic that, for decades, the exploitation of resources, the depletion of ecosystems, the sacrifice of biodiversity have been instrumentalized in order to promote profit. Just below this circle, ill-advised politicians persist in convincing themselves and the pôv ‘world that the solution to all our ills, impoverishment, unemployment, budget deficit, financing of pensions, etc. lies in growth. The deployment of economic activity. Even, oh imposture! growth with ecological varnish, sustainable development, green capitalism.
It becomes urgent to repoliticize the debate around the environment, in particular when we see what a so-called green party accumulates as inconsistencies in decisions where local democracy is flouted, scorned. Did you say useful idiots? But no, let’s see, it’s just economic realism, political pragmatism.
Namur, the self-proclaimed capital of Wallonia, is currently the scene of a final battle. Around a tree. A beech. A remarkable beech. In theory, this status protects said tree from felling. However, the decision suspended for several months is about to be implemented this Monday, February 22. The tree must fall. In the name of what ? To allow – we think we are dreaming! – the extension of a wing of the casino in Namur… Make no mistake about it, and perhaps we don’t focus on the tree which hides the forest. It is not the felling of a beech, however remarkable, that will accelerate the degradation of the environment, global warming. As if we had no idea!… Yes, the earth will continue to turn without the beech of the casino. But this action is symptomatic, again, of a society that is sick in choosing the order of its priorities. Who gets lost in the choice of his ends and his means. And which also suffers from a complete sham in the application of local democracy, reinforced through the spread of an alderman for citizen participation.
Namur always , one wonders how much longer the work, planned for a long time, with a view to leveling the Leopold park, not far from the station, will be able to be delayed. The trees must fall. This time, it is about the construction of an enormous shopping center, favorable to the reception of large distribution chains of junk food and textiles. These signs, which needless to be cited, shamelessly combine the qualifiers of polluters and exploiters. The problem is both ecological and social. No, the earth is not going to stop rotating for fifty trees sacrificed in the name of economic expansion. For the rest, we refer above.
Finally Arlon, where the ZAD still holds, the ZAD de la Zablière, located on the old disused sand pit of Schoppach, a place of great ecological interest. Doomed to be annihilated to establish a commercial zone. The ZAD holds, despite the threats, despite the eviction announcements. The ZAD holds, for how long? Until the moment when the economic imperatives will have taken over and will inspire the local authorities to feel authorized to use the supposedly legal force and violence to make the Zadists run away. These sweet and sweet dreamers. These utopians. These care bears…. Again, no. The political stake cannot be concealed under the artifice of a language device. A ZAD is the protection of an ecosystem, it is a way of grouping together to choose the defense of biodiversity rather than the standardization and standardization of a nature made up of beds and potted plants, rather than the concreteization of soils, rather than the search for profit at the price of sacrificing the natural environment on which the balance of life depends. It is also the pursuit of another ethos, another way of making society, of living the community of beings, through an alternative way of life, not or little dependent on productivist circuits, polluters and exploiters, anti-ecological. and anti-social. Perhaps it is even playing out the search for a classless society, without a relationship of domination, without state control, where freely constituted groups of individuals make decisions that concern them without hand it over to puppet representatives,
A tree, a park, a ZAD … Just for a portion of a small part of the world, it doesn’t weigh much. Multiplied, throughout the world, by tens, by hundreds, by thousands of hectares of nature razed, liquidated, annihilated to activate the machine to produce money for the benefit of the rich and the dominant, it ends up weighing heavily. We have known this for decades. We have known for decades that the machine got carried away and that its consequences are not only environmental. The choice of the ZAD is also that, in short: to take the side of the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, regardless of class privileges, against capitalism, and against all its useful idiots, detractors of bobos-gauchos or wait-and-see accomplices.
The stake is not negligible, far from it. Through these local struggles, it is power and domination itself in all their forms that must be opposed, with a view to achieving a self-managed, egalitarian society that respects people as well as the environment.
Here & Now Group (Belgium) of the Anarchist Federation