Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time is running out

Another  Peoples Climate March is planned for April 29, 2017 in Washington, DC focused on fighting for climate, jobs and justice. The coalition picked the 29th because it would be the 100th day of the new administration.

Certain environmentalists adopt a rather smug attitude concerning proper green lifestyles. They leave out the material pressures upon millions of workers which leave them no option to live healthily.  Many in the Green movement supported by some scientists imagine that a sustainable environment-friendly world can be achieved through reforms of the market system. This is impossible. The capitalist system has destructive features which cannot be removed through reform. How is it possible for us to choose non-destructive production methods when these are in the hands of corporations which must place profit before needs? How is it possible for us to co-operate when we are dominated by economic competition? How is it possible to build a stable way of life, a non-growth system in balance with nature, while retaining a market system which is driven by a relentless pressure to renew its capacity for sales at a profit? The activists in the environmentalist movement must face up to these questions. Capitalism is primarily a system of capital accumulation and with any faltering of this anti-social aim it breaks down in crisis and a worsening of all social conditions. For sure, some efforts, both technological and legislative, will no doubt be made to deal with the effects of global warming. However, it can be said with certainty that any environmental improvements will come second to the accumulation of profits by the capitalist class.  Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class in the production process and exists only to make profit and accumulate capital. Workers have no control over pollution, locally or globally, while the state exists only to further the interests of the capitalist class, taking action only when their general or particular interests warrant it.  Capitalists only adopt new technologies and working methods when it is profitable to do so, not because the existing ones happen to be polluting the planet. It is sheer folly to believe capitalists will adopt an environmental policy if their competitors elsewhere in the world market do not. What would shareholders say to a board of directors which introduced costly anti-pollution machinery or practices if it meant that the company lost its competitive edge and market as a result? 

The false belief that problems can be solved by reforming the market system has led to the death of every decent hope for humanity  To avoid such a disastrous outcome we urge all those who wish to protect the environment—to join the work of establishing socialism. It is the only sure and practical way forward. With the planet held in common by all people and on this basis democratic decisions about how best to organise life in non-destructive ways could be freely made. There would be no economic constraints preventing us from using ecologically-sound methods. We would carry out the work through direct co-operation. A society which was not constrained by private property, commodity production and buying and selling would use as a matter of course the best possible technology at hand to ensure the safety of those working in the plants and the protection of the natural environment. Social cost would be the deciding factor, not commercial cost. Capitalism is unable to do this. 

While the planet will survive in some shape or form, there is now a fair chance the human race will not. 

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