Under what conditions could ecology, instead of being a set of movements among others, organize politics around an agenda and set of beliefs? Can ecology aspire to define the political horizon in the way that liberalism, socialism, conservatism and other political ideologies have done at various times and places? What can ecology learn from history about how new political movements emerge and how they win the struggle for ideas, long before they can translate their ideas into parties and elections?
In this short text, consisting of 76 discussion points, Bruno Latour and Nikolaj Schultz argue that if the ecological movement is to gain ideological consistency and autonomy, it must offer a political narrative that recognizes, embraces and effectively represents its project in terms of social conflicts. Political ecology must accept that it brings along division. It must provide a convincing cartography of the conflicts it generates and, based on this, it must try to define a common horizon of collective action. In order to represent and describe these conflicts, Latour and Schultz propose to re-use the old notion of 'class' and 'class struggle', albeit infused with a new meaning in line with the ecological concerns of our New Climatic Regime. Advancing the idea of a new ecological class, assembled by its collective interests in fighting the logic of production and safeguarding our planet's conditions of habitability, they ask: how can a proud and conscious ecological class emerge and take effective action to shape our collective future?