The Morning Star: An allotted assembly could not address the climate crisis

The British socialist newspaper The Morning Star has published an editorial in which it criticizes XR’s “non-ideological” stance and XR’s demands for an allotted climate assembly. The background for the editorial is a recent tweet by XR:

Just to be clear we are not a socialist movement. We do not trust any single ideology, we trust the people, chosen by sortition (like jury service) to find the best future for us all through a #CitizensAssembly A banner saying ‘socialism or extinction’ does not represent us 🙏🏽🙏 [@XRebellionUK, 4:56 PM · Sep 1, 2020]

This tweet has apparently been issued in response to a photo showing participants in an XR protest carrying the said “socialism or extinction” banner.

The Morning Star editorializes:

The proposal of a citizen’s assembly selected by sortition, frequently made by XR, is linked to its claim to be non-ideological.

But the problem with the assumption that such an assembly could address the climate crisis is the same as that of XR’s whole tweet: it wilfully ignores the central role of the capitalist system in driving climate chaos.

Appeals to parliaments and presidents to “do something” about climate change will fail if they treat such decision-makers as neutral actors rather than instruments of class power.

6 Responses

  1. Trots want to put themselves in charge? Who’d have thunk it?

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  2. Indeed. And a significant number of UK Trots have gone over to the dark side (Daily Telegraph, Spectator, Spiked, UKIP etc). Once an authoritarian, always an authoritarian.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read: “But the problem with assuming that such a meeting could address the climate crisis is the same as that of XR’s entire tweet: it willfully ignores the central role of the capitalist system in fueling climate chaos.”

    The climate chaos is simply caused by the use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. In all countries in the world, within all administrative systems (capitalist or socialist), there is the use of fossil fuels.

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  4. In attacking the idea of an allotted chamber, the socialists – The Morning Star as well as Jacobin magazine – seem to fail to realize that the allotted chamber is exactly the forum where they should be making their argument regarding the need to address the systemic roots of the crisis. If they can’t convince the allotted chamber about this issue, what chance do they have to convince the public at large whose attention is much less focused? And even if they do convince the public at large, how will that newly acquired public opinion be translated to policy?

    That said, it is also true that without addressing those systemic roots it would be hard to get to a situation where an independent allotted chamber would be empowered to take decisions on the climate issue. Therefore, instead of attacking the idea of an allotted chamber, those who would like to see democratic action on this issue should be championing an independent allotted chamber and attacking those powers that are doing their best to block its formation. This seems like a much more achievable goal.

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  5. The Jacobin article also opens by getting the numbers of CCC proposals adopted versus dismissed by Macron exactly backwards, which does not inspire a great deal of confidence in its analysis. That said, a citizens’ assembly without the power to make law would indeed be toothless.

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  6. Good for Extinction Rebellion for pointing out that the “socialism” banner brought by the “Young Communist League” with its hammer and sickle does not represent them.

    From a quick look, the Communist Party of Britain (of which the Young Communist League is the youth wing) appears to be the modern version and successor of the former USSR-aligned Communist Party of Great Britain. They do not appear to be admirers of Trotsky so far as I noticed, but rather admirers of Lenin, and come out of a history that was on the Stalinist side of the Stalin/Trotsky divide. (Maybe I’ve got some of this wrong but that’s how it looks to me from a quick look.)

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