Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Socialism on the Climate Agenda?

This system of capitalism is pretty close to driving civilisation to catastrophe and collapse. Eco-activists must ask themselves what kind of a planet they want to live on, and what kind of a society they want.

Global warming is inevitable in the coming decades as the result of already emitted carbon dioxide. Far from halting carbon dioxide emissions, countries and corporations are pumping out ever-increasing amounts with little sign of any meaningful reduction. The consequences are almost unthinkable. Continued global warming will have large-scale, sudden and unpredictable impacts. All of these effects will  cause untold misery and immense social upheaval. One can only imagine the social and human catastrophe. It is not a morbid fantasy, but all too likely. The climate crises has all the  potential to cause such a social collapse on a global scale of anything deserving the name civilisation. The capitalist class are prepared see the whole of society plunged into chaos rather than risk their profit margins. There is no reason to suppose the ruling class will behave any differently from their willingness to let billions suffer poverty, hunger and war.

 It all points to the urgent need for a fundamentally different and democratic way society, one in which not profit but the needs of people and the healthy of the planet are at the heart of our way of life. Our aim is socialism.

The drive to introduce technology and cost-cut is not a component of a socialist economy. Under democratic planning, labour-intensive as opposed to technology-intensive methods of production may well be chosen. While labor-intensive production might reduce the possibilities of increasing leisure-hours, the scale-back in destructive technologies is also an important goal of an ecological society. With greater democratic control over economic production, and an elimination of the rule of profit, the potential to eliminate harmful  destructive technology becomes a real possibility. New technologies will be introduced by consensus if it actually promotes benefits for the communities. If a technological innovation translates into increased productivity and more opportunity for leisure or social welfare its adoption will likely be attractive. There will be no competitive necessity propelling their adoption.

 If you like that idea, then welcome to the movement for world socialism. When we reject the promises of those willing to destroy the planet and instead build a radical environmental socialist movement will we be able to save the planet and build a new world based on solidarity and sustainability.

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