The Conservatives say we Greens are socialists. Socialists say we are bourgeois liberals.
In an ideal world, it might be possible for us to be allowed to say what we ourselves think about our political position.
If we greens have to be labeled with an "-ism" it would have to be "ecologism", though I would answer more happily to "ecology", the science of a relation of an organism to its environment, or more accurately, "political ecology". We are political ecologists. Our ideology and philosophy is founded on the realisation that humans are rooted in a non-human natural system, and that we have to behave within the constraints imposed by that system.
Clearly, homo "sapiens" is a social animal, so the Green Party recognises the social aspect of human reality, and recognises that in order to emerge from the present political and physical chaos that threatens our species and all other species of life on this planet, we have to act together, act socially.
We also recognise that it is necessary to correct the divergence between rich and poor social classes, between rich and poor countries, and between present and future generations, so that all peoples can co-operate to achieve sustainability. That just about covers the requirements of a moderate socialist, I should think. But we go further.
To achieve equity requires radical political and economic reform. We seek an economics that has an in-built tendency towards equity, towards a convergence between the fortunes of rich and poor.
To achieve convergence, we have to remove or at least restrain the monopoly that private corporations have over the creation of new money by making interest bearing loans, since the debtor-creditor relationship is the engine that drives both economic growth and economic divergence. The creation of money by credit (done unwisely and to excess) is also the fundamental reason for the Credit Crunch.
It is passing strange that socialists not only pretend that Greens do not care about the divergence between rich and poor, while at the same time socialists do not address one of the root causes of economic inequality. They rarely challenge the creation of money by private corporations. This difficulty presumably arises because monetary reform has sometimes been associated historically with antisemitism and authoritarian extremists.
To reject monetary reform on this ground is to fall into the Guilt by Association fallacy. It is a mistake to take a simple binary approach to political and economic thought, as in "Whatever my opponent says, I will say the opposite". We need to think in systems terms, more structurally. Our role as Greens is not simply to align ourselves with the Left and reject anything that the "Right" may endorse. We are able to think for ourselves, because we have a firm new ecological framework for our thought.
PoliticalCompass.org shows that the simple Right/Left classification is inadequate - there is a left-right axis (socialist-individualist), but also an authoritarian-libertarian axis.
Greens would posit a third axis: Reality-Denialism : a dimension that measures the acceptance or rejection by politicians of the physical and biological realities of life on earth.
This ecological dimension is the unique contribution of Green political philosophy to modern political thought. We ourselves are possibly unaware of how historically important it is. I would put it on a par with the Enlightenment.
Green ideology should be inclusive, rather than exclusive, in its approach to other thinkers, with the exception of the extremists, chiefly at present, the extremists of authoritarianism and denialism.
There is an intrinsic attachment with, and love of Nature in every human being, but it becomes overlaid with the intellectual and cultural debris that we acquire from "education" and our ambient culture. Our task as green politicians is to clear away this debris. Our ideology does have a social dimension, but it also requires individual action (which again is distinct from the ideology of "individualism", the philosophy that stands behind capitalism). We are authoritative because of the solidity of the scientific facts that underly our political stance, but we reject the ideology of Authoritarianism. The BNP are authoritarians. They are not really of the political right, in the individualist sense; they are National Socialists, like the Nazis, at the authoritarian extreme, but positioned near the the middle of the left/right spectrum.
We Greens are strongly for individual liberty, (because this is necessary for the empowerment of the people, which is necessary to make the changes needed for sustainability) but we are not libertarians.
In short, our ecological framework is wide enough to include the moderate phases of all the most important strands of political thought - but closer to the extreme of any dimension a thinker may be, the harder its will be for him or her to integrate with Green thought. We can and must accommodate the positive insights of individualism, socialism, and liberalism, but with the best will in the world, we cannot be fussing all the time over the the "-ism" suffix that sometimes are thought to be a necessary part of politics. The ecological realisation that everything on the surface of the planet is interconnected enables the competing political philosophies to abandon their absolutisms and enter into a new, more harmonious relationship with each other.