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Contribution of Communist Workers Party for Peace and Socialism Finland

Jan 15, 2024


Capitalism threatens humanity with environmental destruction. Capitalist profit-seeking makes it practically impossible to secure ecologically sustainable growth and to protect the environment, which is necessary for human life.

The natural environment is also threatened by armaments production and imperialist wars. There can be no lasting peace under imperialism, which is yet another reason why capitalism cannot protect the environment.

The impact of environmental devastation and climate change is fundamentally different for different classes. Capitalists do not have to suffer the ecological consequences of their greed, and instead benefit from environmental destruction. Millions of poor and working people on the other hand, have to live in polluted environments while climate change, desertification and natural disasters, drive them from their homes.

In Finland the bourgeois and reformist governments have consistently failed to protect the environment and climate. The Finnish government joining the EU's sanctions against Russia has prevented lumber imports from Russia and increased logging in the Finnish North, where they violate the self-determination of the indigenous people. The Finnish government has also given mining rights in Lapland to international monopolies.

As a result of increased logging during the social-democratic Marin government the Finnish forests have declined and gone from a carbon sink into a source of net carbon emissions. Finland also joined the imperialist NATO during Marin's government. Both the Marin government and the current Orpo government have tremendously increased military spending.

Already in the 1950s Soviet researcher M. I. Budyko quantified the effects of global climate change. He predicted that the increased carbon emissions could lead to the melting of the ice caps.

Capitalism has been unable to deal adequately with the problems he posed. The destruction of socialism in the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism, was also an environmental disaster.

Only socialism can secure ecologically sustainable economic growth and successfully protect the environment. The transition to a socialist planning is necessary for transforming the current economy into a sustainable one. Only a socialist economy is flexible enough for a rapid and radical transition, and capable of rational planning which takes the environment into account.

Already during the Russian civil war the Soviet government was planning environmental protection measures. Strict water and forest protection measures were implemented in the following decades.

In the Stalin-era the Soviet Union had the largest protected forests in the world. The forests near most of the main rivers of Russia were protected, to prevent soil erosion.

Massive forest planting campaigns were began in the late 1940s to undo the clear-cutting carried out in prior centuries, to stop hot dry southern winds, restore the climate to a previous cooler and more moderate state, to stop the spread of deserts and protect agriculture. Only a planned state can undertake a rational policy towards the climate.

Socialism can eliminate the inefficiencies and irrationalities of capitalism, such as the production of useless or harmful products, wasting of resources on purely fictional products for market speculation, short-lived products which quickly break down and so-called "planned obsolescence".

Socialism can put production on a rational basis and produce products that are built to last.

In socialism cities can be planned rationally and efficiently with public transport in mind, while in capitalism ineffecient and polluting private cars are practically mandatory.

The working masses must constitute a firm environmental movement which fights against destructive logging, polluting mining and other such practices in alliance with indegenous masses.

Such a movement must also take a firm stance against militarism and imperialist war, as ecologically destructive phenomena. We communists must participate and seek to steer the movement towards a correct path and advocate for socialism as the only viable solution to ecological problems.

The Finnish environmental movement is currently dominated by the bourgeoisie, as well as the petit-bourgeois radical movement known as the "Extinction rebellion". Our party is currently participating in these movements and trying to constitute a communist nucleous there. However, our participation is rather recent so we cannot report results yet, time will tell what effect it will have.

It is our job as communists to expose the myth of "green" capitalism, which is only a mask the imperialists use to sell products, to export polluting production to poorer countries, to fool the workers who are legitimately concerned for the environment.

Capitalists see climate destruction itself as only an opportunity for profit-making. They use environmentalist marketing slogans, sell luxury electric cars made from minerals plundered from neo-colonies, they drive third world farmers and indigenous people off their land to plant crops for bio-fuel. They even prepare for the opening of new trade routes and mineral resources when the polar ice melts further.

In order to fool the people and to gain their votes, the bourgeoisie must rebrand itself. They use different slogans: reforms, social-issues, nationalism, environmentalism. Each time they promise the people they will fix the social ills, which are really caused by capitalism.

The people inevitably are disappointed. The masses have also become disappointed with bourgeois environmentalism, by the so-called 'green' parties, bourgeois activists and by all the major capitalist parties, which all promise they will fix the environmental issues.

The masses are legitimately concerned about climate change, but also feel hopeless, since none of the bourgeois parties keep their promises. We must give the masses a solution. The solution is proletarian revolution, socialism and communism.

Thank you.