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, May 8, 2014

Climate change is evidence of the death-wish of capitalism

Click here to access article by Renfrey Clarke from Green Left Weekly.

Unless you have been living in the information cocoon created by right-wing mainstream media, I think you can omit reading the first part of this essay. What is new and valuable in this piece is Clarke's excellent examination of the deep contradictions between solving the climate crisis and the logic of capitalism. Thus, I advise skipping down to the subsection "The Compulsions of Capitalism".
Capitalist firms have no choice but to try to maximise profits and growth rather than address social needs. If they fail to concentrate on these private priorities, they are soon outcompeted and ruined. In strictly private terms, carbon polluting can make for a killer bottom line. But this privately rational choice will, in time, be collectively catastrophic.