4.12 Democracy now!

The fight for democracy is the fight for life. Whatever can be achieved towards the defense and strengthening of democratic practice during the transition to a green social democratic society serves to reduce the damage that might otherwise be caused by the forces of reaction and ignorance. Until a green social democratic society is established, we face the reality of

  • governments whose economic and environmental visions can be limited to those acceptable to the more powerful national and trans-national corporations and to their allied socio-political elites embedded in corporate sponsored "think"-tanks and within corporate funded academic departments and media outlets (the result being the sacrifice of the longer term interest of society in a healthy and sustainable environment and a fair distribution of rewards for work in favor of shorter term and more selfish interests),
  • trans-national corporations that escape responsibility for the damage their actions cause to the environment, playing one country off against another,
  • attacks from the right on the education, health care, social security, regulatory and other public systems, laws and institutions that provide benefits and protections to those without the resources to escape the consequences of a society that prioritizes the private accumulation of wealth, and
  • other consequences of being beholden to private-for-profit corporations that are driven by competitive pressures to advance their own security while destroying everyone else's, including, when they can, colluding with or eliminating competitors.

Most threatening are the attempts of some of the wealthiest owners and executives of the largest trans-national corporations and their representatives to undermine existing democratic rights and freedoms. This is happening in response to their increasing difficulty in managing the socio-environmental crises that neo-liberal policy has created. This is particularly the case for that part of the ruling elite who most fear the loss of their privileges and continued rule in the face of real or imagined organized protest and opposition.

In these circumstances, there is even some risk of a modern form of fascism, expressed in the reaction of some of the dominant sections of finance capital to the results of the 2008 global financial meltdown, which included pro-cyclical economic policies, a continuation of wealth transfer up the wealth and income ladder (the very measures which brought about the crisis in the first place!) and measures which undermine labor and civil rights, probably aimed at limiting anticipated organized resistance.

In these circumstances, the fight for democracy is becoming a fight for life. One only needs to examine the Koch Brothers' use of their economic wealth to undermine democracy in the United States and create more favorable conditions there for their oil pipeline and other fossil fuel related business interests. To defeat such a challenge to the environment and democracy it will be paramount for pro-democratic forces to recognize that the members and representatives of the trans-national corporate elite are a small minority of the population, however individually powerful they may be. They can only prevail by a policy of dividing and diverting the majority.

The strategy of green social democrats, then, must begin with human solidarity and education. The defense of democracy includes

  • solidarity and support for the people in destabilized countries with the aim that they regain stability through economic, social and political development,
  • solidarity with those in one's own country who are victims of economic and environmental crisis,
  • opposition to all efforts to limit or curtail democratic rights, and
  • education about the existing environmental challenges and growing wealth and income inequalities and the emerging green social democratic alternatives.

The continuing development of this strategy requires the imagination to envision alternatives and find solutions, the development of the ability to think outside the box and move beyond past habits and customary practices when this is necessary.

This strategy also involves an offensive struggle that includes efforts to

  • advance and strengthen the level of democratic rights we currently enjoy,
  • take the environmental struggle as far as we can in the context of the present neo-liberal led societies in which we now live,
  • proceed as far and as fast as possible along the path to green social democracies,
  • participate in strengthening the content and methods of public education as preparation of students for meeting the challenges ahead and ultimately
  • participating in solidarity with the peoples of all countries in achieving a green social democratic global system, one that precludes unaccountable trans-national corporations from making clandestine decisions and taking actions in their narrow self-interest in defiance of the clear need of the global community for the conservation of nature, reduced wealth and income inequality and greater environmental justice.

With the coming into being of green social democracies, increased attention will need to be given to the flip side of autocracy, namely, non-participation. Not only must the opportunity for democratic participation in decision-making and action exist, human solidarity needs to find expression in the active invitation and welcoming of all to take part.


This website was launched September 1, 2010 in support of a green social democratic alternative to neoliberal capitalist policy and practice. The primary result is a work by Charles and Karen McFadden of seven chapters, grouped under the title, Towards a Green Social Democratic Alternative to Capitalism available here in pdf and html formats.

Below under the heading What’s New can be found the most recent materials posted on this website, including opinion pieces, book reviews, articles and selections from the 2017 edition of the main work.  For the interest of new and returning visitors, new materials will be included quarterly.

What's New


Authors' Preface

1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

6.0 The socialism we need against the "socialism" of the 20th century

6.8 Additional concerns about 20th century variants of "socialism"

6.9 The people united!

7.1 Policy alternatives and political movements to advance them


Charles and Karen McFadden, Is revolutionary transformation on the agenda

Charles and Karen McFaddenHumanity on the Brink

Charles and Karen McFaddenMovements of Resistance to Movements for System Change

Charles McFaddenTranslating Green Principles into Education Policy and Practice

Charles and Karen McFadden, The Role of Revolutionaries in the Labor Movement


Charles and Karen McFadden, “The Shape of Water” as an Antidote to the Age of Trump 

Charles McFadden, Decolonizing the U.S. & Canada: The People United for a More Just Sustainable Future

Karen and Charles McFaddenCan emergent early 21st century neo-fascism be defeated without coming to grips with late 20th century restructuring of capitalism into a global system

Karen and Charles McFaddenA Dominant Capitalism or a Sustainable Environment? Why we can't have both.


William I. RobinsonThe Crisis of Global Capitalism and Trump's March to War

William I. RobinsonTrumpism, 21st Century Fascism, and the Dictatorship of the Transnational Capitalist Class


George HewisonWINNIPEG 1919 & THE COLD WAR

George HewisonArt Manuel - "Unsettling Canada

George HewisonThe NDP and LEAP


Albert Einstein, David Swanson, Jill Stein, Chris Hedges, William I. Robinson, and others Selected articles for Winter 2018



1.7 The dynamics of capitalism as a system and the limits of single issue reforms

2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

3.1 The challenge of a moribund economic system

3.7 Public banking: A cornerstone of a green social democracy

4.7 Economics and culture

6.5 Using the non-market economy as an opportunity to begin moving beyond capitalism


1.6 The epochal nature of the period we are entering

2.0 Theoretical Perspective: Defining Green Social Democracy

2.5. Socialism and green social democracy in historical materialist theory

4.3 Culture in historical perspective

5.1 Contrasting a green social democratic world with the currently prevailing, but challenged neo-liberal one

6.2 Socialism and capitalism as coexisting social systems


2.11 The economy in transition towards a new deal for labor and the community

5.7 Defeating neo-liberal capitalism: The role of social movements

7.3 Justice: Creating a just society, based on the right of all to a dignified, secure existence

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applies to all work posted on this website except that which appears with authors whose last name is other than McFadden, in which case standard copyright should be assumed to apply.