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, December 7, 2017

Climate Crisis and Managed Deindustrialization: Debating Alternatives to Ecological Collapse

Click here to access article by Richard Smith from Common Dreams.

This "Richard Smith", who earned a PhD in economics, is the same person who authored my foundational paper entitled "Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth". He has long studied the phenomenon of climate destabilization and became convinced that capitalism was a primary driver. Since this epiphany he has devoted his energies to the task of alerting the general public to the catastrophes awaiting us if we continue with a social-economic system that will cause our Earth's habitat to no longer support human and many other life forms. According to the editor of Common Dreams, Smith is a co-founder of System Change not Climate Change

However, I am convinced that upper-middle class academic researchers such as Smith cannot lead a movement to overthrow a system that provides addicts, the ruling capitalist classes, with their drugs of profits and power. The upper-middle class as a whole identify too much with the capitalist ruling classes, from which they receive so many rewards, to be effective generators of a revolutionary organizations and actions. If we want to avoid not only a further deterioration of are lives, but catastrophic climate destabilization, then we ordinary people must form the backbone of any revolutionary efforts to overthrow the deadly system of capitalism.

If you have read "Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth", you won't learn much by reading this article. However, it offers a very good summary of that lengthy article.
...as our locomotive races toward the cliff of ecological collapse, the only thoughts on the minds of our CEOS, capitalist economists, politicians and labor leaders is how to stoke the locomotive to get us there faster. ... Corporations aren’t necessarily evil. They just can’t help themselves. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do for the benefit of their owners. But this means that so long as the global economy is based on capitalist private/corporate property and competitive production for market, we’re doomed to collective social suicide and no amount of tinkering with the market can brake the drive to global ecological collapse.

We can’t shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. They require collective democratic control over the economy to prioritize the needs of society and the environment.