Thursday, October 08, 2020

Attenborough and Capitalism

 A headline into today’s Times:

”Attenborough: Curb capitalism to save Earth”.

David Attenborough is quoted as saying in a Radio 5 podcast:

”The excesses the capitalist system has brought us have got to be curbed somehow. That doesn’t mean to say that capitalism is dead. I’m not an economist and I don’t know, but I believe the nations of the world, the ordinary people worldwide, are beginning to realise that greed does not actually lead to joy”

Curbing capitalism — i.e. slowing down the rate of accumulation — won’t work because capitalism is precisely a system of capital accumulation sourced from profits. What might work is investment in non-fossil fuel energy becoming profitable as seems to be becoming the case, slowly.

Expecting capital accumulation to be curbed — the aim of all environmental pressure groups including XR — is just tilting at windmills. Capitalism can’t be curbed and it’s futile to try.

The only way out is to abolish capitalism altogether by making the Earth’s natural and industrial resources the common heritage of all so production can be geared to meeting people’s needs directly instead of to the accumulation of capital.


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