Thursday, December 19, 2019

Warning Signs and Sign-Posts to Socialism

Climate change will exacerbate existing tensions within the capitalist system. It will become a factor in national conflicts and in the class struggle. Military planners have already identified climate change as of strategic importance where environmental pressures and increased competition for limited natural resources will cause political tensions both within and between states. Climate change and resource wars have become major preoccupations of the military. The greatest danger now posed by climate change is that a threshold may have been or soon will be crossed in which tipping-points and feedback mechanisms accelerate global warming beyond any possible human control.

Politicians, CEOs and even scientists are locked into the logic of the market. Their strategies involve an attempt to reconcile two opposing imperatives. To avoid instability and maintain the conditions necessary to capitalism’s reproduction, climate chaos must be mitigated, but, for governments and corporations alike, this must not affect the maximising of profitability and out-competing commercial and national rivals. Capital cannot tolerate barriers, to its expansion and politicians duty is to keep the wheels of accumulation turning. The dilemma is acute. What makes sense ecologically becomes a mortal threat to capital accumulation. By looking for solutions within the framework of “business as usual” and meeting the demands of shareholders, they cannot prevent the destruction of the planet’s eco-systems. Many environment campaigners stand for the continuation of capitalism complete with commodity production and rival nation states. Though they might think it is a new idea, policies of a controlled re-development of capitalism through the taxation system is an old and failed idea. Those seeking to understand solutions for climate change must conclude that we need to radically change the system, a fundamental transformation of society. The relevant question then is: “What sort of society can have a benign relationship with nature?”. 

The Socialist Party is part of the movement building an alternative to replace capitalism, which is our only guarantee for a world worthy of humanity and the rest of nature. It can be done, and the necessary technology exists to do so. Any society seeking to survive the climate crisis must be socialist. Because of the growing rage at the inability of governments and corporations to deal effectively with the environmental emergency, this is an opportunity to offer campaigners a socialist context and inspiration while instructing protesters in the ways of capitalism.

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