Monday, December 07, 2015

Is There A Future?

The most serious issue to mankind is the threat of global warming. The problem is simple: the increase in emissions of so called greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide, due to human activity. Unless this is halted and reversed the consequences could be catastrophic, even threatening the future viability of civilization itself. Even the world’s leaders recognise this, at least in words if not in actions. Global warming is the most terrifying environmental threat facing the world today. The picture is clear. The world’s major economies, based on burning fossil fuels and products which depend on these fuels, are threatening to destabilise the world’s climate with potentially catastrophic global consequences. The fossil fuel economy is dominated by some of the world’s biggest capitalist corporations and supported by governments which see their role as serving these interests. These corporations depend on this way of organising society, and production, for their profits, wealth and power. The pressure from these corporations on governments is huge and effective. The fossil fuel giants are at the heart of the world’s ruling class. Many of the politicians in the world’s governments need little encouragement to pursue policies in the interests of big business in general and the fossil fuel giants in particular. These politicians and their parties share the same worldview – pro-business, pro-market, pro-profit system – as the corporations. They instinctively act in line with what such corporations feel is in their interests. Being capitalist corporations with an eye to profit, some of these companies may decide there is money to be made from developing energy technologies and products based on cleaner, renewable sources which do not contribute to global warming. But it would be foolish to gamble that the logic of profit and the vagaries of the market will somehow reshape the core of the world’s economy in time to head off disaster.

Workers see through the motives of politicians. That's why they won't vote for them. Not in parliamentary elections, not in local government elections. And not even in their own organisations, union elections. Politics are a big turn-off. We have said before that the worst mistake the British workers made was the creation of the Labour Party. The politics was: you do our thinking for us, you represent us in the house of the enemy. As if this were possible. We were a class doing its best to turn its back on class politics. There is a whiff of the peasant mentality, touching our forelocks to our ‘betters’. It should not come as a surprise that the level of class-consciousness among workers in Britain is at a low level and to believe that class-consciousness improves as things get worse is the same dangerous illusion that pretends that the poorer you are, the more revolutionary you are.

This lack of class-consciousness is at the root of the failure of all working class organisations to recruit and thrive. It must be reversed for growth to come. "What can you do? It's all beyond us" has been the prevailing thought for many but now many are asking "We can do something about it" and it becomes the most revolutionary idea. We have to work out what is needed and get on with it.  What's missing is the recognition that we can do without capitalism which by its nature wastes resources and fritters away energy.  Capitalist politicians ludicrously call upon workers to cut down on energy consumption by turning down the heat, forgetting that the thousands of our old folk die of hypothermia every year. Most Greens are not interested in socialism and are not prepared to take their analysis to its logical conclusion, in that they propose class-collaborationist solutions, expecting the capitalists to act against their own material interests.

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