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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

Click here to access article featuring an interview with Fred Magdoff, coauthor of What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism. 

Magdoff explains the extent to which "there is no alternative" thinking has infected even the most independent thinkers preventing real solutions to our growing problems with extreme weather and environmental degradation.
As people talked about the variety of problems facing the earth and humanity I had the feeling that they were constantly “beating around the bush.”  So when it was my time to talk, I discarded my notes dealing with ecology and agriculture, and said that I thought a central issue was being ignored.  I explained that I was going to speak about “the bush” that I thought everyone was beating around — that is, the capitalist system and how in its very essence it is destructive of the environment.  This approach was a real stumbling block for most people there.  They were very interesting and innovative people — many would be considered “out of the box” thinkers.  But, I realized that they, and those in the environmental movement in general, were unable to think outside of capitalism.
It is quite amazing when one really thinks about it: how successful the thought control  and propaganda agents of capitalism have been in managing the minds of even the most independent thinkers.