“Capitalist development has dragged humanity down to so low a level that it no longer knows, and can no longer know, other than one incentive: money. Money has become the prime mover, the alpha and omega of all human action.” Paul Lafargue
Greta Thunberg and other youth strikers for climate action from across the world are hoping for adults to join a global general strike on 20 September. Thunberg issued the call for a general strike in an article in the Guardian.
“We’re asking adults to step up alongside us … today, so many of our parents are busy discussing whether our grades are good, or a new diet or the Game of Thrones finale – whilst the planet burns,” they write. “But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance … if we demand change in numbers we have a chance.”
“We’re asking adults to step up alongside us,” the youth strikers write. “Step out of your comfort zone to make this a turning point in our history. This is about crossing lines – it’s about rebelling wherever one can rebel.”
We are well aware of the fact that the majority in the environmentalist movement are not acquainted, for the most part, with what the socialist case is all about. One of the reasons has always been the alleged urgency of the climate crisis that seem to be of a greater priority. It is difficult for those of us in the Socialist Party not to feel irritated at times because the urgency is exactly the clue to the lack of comprehension of what the problem is about. To save the environment has become the great discovery of the past decade. The words ecology, climate change, global warming and carbon emissions have become household terms. The end of the world is at hand unless we do something about the environment has become a common refrain. A planet fit for human beings to inhabit has become the question of ultimate survival. The Socialist Party maintains that as long as we hold the relationships of a market economy, that is, the production of commodities to be sold for a profit — the environment be damned, profits come first. The prime concern of business is to keep the costs of production as low as possible. Profits have to be of paramount priority. The Socialist Party's case boils down to this simple premise: Let us eliminate the relationships of commodity production — let us produce goods to serve the needs of humanity instead of producing in order to make profits — let us organise our world on a democratically planned base instead of working for the benefit of the stockholders — let us harness the natural wealth of the universe and match it with the trained technology of the workers who live on this planet.
"Green" capitalism is illusory, simple wishful thinking. The destructive "grow or die" imperative of our market-driven system cannot be wished or regulated away. Capitalism is based on the premise of eternal growth. It is not a steady state, but a rapacious system that is never satiated. Under a capitalist system, not growing is not the same as standing still; it is moving backwards. This is the fundamental contradiction in a finite world. Countless studies have documented that limits to growth in such areas as energy, minerals, water and arable land (among others) are fast being reached. The energy corporations are desperately trying to crash through these limits with technological fixes such as fracking, tar sands exploitation and deep-water drilling, which are equally or more environmentally costly than traditional methods. Yet the trends continue. Capitalism has utterly failed us. It has destroyed our communities, our democracy and the planet we live on. As long as people believe that capitalism is sustainable, they'll focus on reforming it -- smoothing around the edges, re-writing regulations and so on. Some of us though seek a revolution that overthrows the whole system, clearing the way for something entirely new. Maximising accumulation is the force that drives capitalism. Appropriating nature and labour is the cheapest way for maximisation of accumulation. Capitalism is always about the theft of the people's sustenance and the looting of the source of their sustenance – Nature. Capitalists hate any sort of cost. Corporations don’t care much for building environmental costs into their production and spend millions of dollars in political lobbying to thwart such policies. This system where the master class try their best to maximise profit by minimising cost, by appropriating labour, robbing nature, grabbing everything within their reach, creating pollution and destruction of the ecology and causing the ruination of nature are acts of crime - crime against the planet, against posterity, against humanity. It is eco-murder! These are crimes that not only harm present generations but hurt future generations. Vulture environmentalism is vulture capitalism’s hungry and greedy twin. Capitalism is a system that must continually expand, a system that, by its very nature, will eventually come up against the reality of finite natural resources. By its very nature the capitalism system stands against ecology and environment as its only concern is profit, nothing else. Standing up for environment will inescapably lead to questioning this ever greedy hungry economic system. Nobody as yet ever talks about the CAUSE of all these "issues" and underlying reasons but they eventually will arrive at such questions.
Do we stand upon the brink of the destruction of the whole of mankind? If the catastrophists and those who predict social collapse are correct that ecosystem is in fact in the process of irreversible destruction, then all alternatives, even socialism, would seem to be not only utopian but futile. The popular media presents us with the dystopian vision of a Mad Max scenario rather than off a positive socialist alternative. The Socialist Party explains that we stand upon the threshold of a new age of peace, prosperity and plenty. What is the future of mankind? That is for humanity to decide. It must be decided by the majority of the working people. They must organise and speak with one voice: We demand life with socialism before death under capitalism. The fight for socialism has become the fight for the very existence of humankind. We have always said that the future belongs to socialism.