by Victor Agosto Brizuela
Today, the GPFL Council agreed to co-sponsor the North Carolina Amendment, an anticapitalist/ecosocialist revision to the GPUS platform. The amendment–reviewed and endorsed by Richard Wolff and Gar Alperovitz–addresses workplace democracy, a topic sorely missing from the otherwise excellent GPUS Platform. Florida joins Colorado, Maine, New York, and North Carolina, along with the Latinx, Lavender, Women’s, and Youth caucuses as a co-sponsor. More state parties are likely to sign on as co-sponsors. Green Presidential candidates Jill Stein and Bill Kreml have also expressed support for it. The GPUS National Committee will vote on whether to approve the amendment in the coming weeks. The text of the proposed revision is below.
“Sustaining our quality of life, economic prosperity, environmental health, and long-term survival demands that we adopt new ways of doing business. We need to remake commerce to encourage diversity and variety, responding to the enormous complexity of global and local conditions. Big business is not about appropriateness and adaptability, but about power and market control. Greens support small business, responsible stakeholder capitalism, and broad and diverse forms of economic cooperation. We argue that economic diversity is more responsive than big business to the needs of diverse human populations.”
Greens seek to build an alternative economic system based on ecology and decentralization of power, an alternative system that rejects both the capitalist system that maintains private ownership over almost all production as well as the old narrative of state socialism that assumes control over industries without democratic, local decision making. We believe the old models of capitalism (private ownership of production) and state socialism (state ownership of production) are not ecologically sound, socially just, or democratic and that both contain built-in structures that advance injustices. Instead Greens will build an economy based on large-scale public works, municipalization, and workplace and community democracy. Some call this small-scale, decentralized system “ecological socialism,” “communalism,” or the “cooperative commonwealth,” but whatever the terminology, Greens believe it will help end labor exploitation, environmental exploitation, and racial, gender, and wealth inequality and bring about economic and social justice. Production should be democratically owned and operated by those who do the work and those most affected by production decisions. This model of worker and community control will ensure that decisions that greatly affect our lives are made in the interests of our communities, not at the whim of centralized power structures of state administrators or of capitalist CEOs and distant boards of directors. Worker-owned production, embedded in and accountable to our communities, provides an incentive for enterprises to make ecologically sound decisions in materials sourcing, waste disposal, recycling, reuse, and more. Democratic ownership of the means of production would decentralize power in the workplace, which would in turn decentralize economic power more broadly.