We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Survival Is the Question

Click here to access an article by Michael Löwy posted in Solidarity that includes reviews of two recent books: 1) Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System by Ian Angus; and 2) Green Capitalism: The god that failed by Richard Smith. 

This reviewer like many of the academic upper-middle class seems to have a tendency to avoid what they regard as an unthinkable solution for our survival: revolution. So in the review of Angus's book he constantly refers to "fossil capitalism", by which he means fossil fueled capitalism. This type of framing, which is typical of other members of this comfortable class like Naomi Klein, and not wanting to offend their capitalist masters from whom they have received so many benefits, suggests that there is another kind of capitalism that is sustainable. Ergo, revolution is off the table, instead we must look to a reform of the system.   

Löwy clearly prefers Angus's book to Smith's which simply lays out a very convincing argument that nature and the human-made capitalist system are incompatible. Thus something has to give, and that something is clearly capitalism. But Löwy seems unsatisfied apparently because he expects Smith to provide a recipe for the elimination of capitalism.
Richard Smith’s point is perfectly coherent. The only remark I would make is the absence of mediation. How can we move from the suicidal train of capitalist civilization to an ecosocialist society? This question merits further examination. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated causing a little delay in being posted. Should you wish to communicate with me privately, please contact me through "About Me" on this blog.