Friday, November 23, 2018

The end of capitalism or the end of the world?

Mankind is incredibly adaptive to various climates and different diets but we are vulnerable to disruptive changes. The scientists may view CO2 and methane, these greenhouse gases, as the cause of climate change but the Socialist Party says capitalism is the cause. All production under capitalism is for the purpose of producing exchange value, products are not manufactured primarily for use but to be bought and sold on the market. The capitalists’ aim is to produce a commodity. The reason why the accumulation of capital is destructive is its need to expand endlessly.  The system is not geared to satisfy needs, but to produce a profit. This leads to broken lives and a broken environment. The Socialist Party calls for the world socialist revolution and the construction of a new society not dominated by the needs of capitalist accumulation. The struggle for socialism remains a necessity for our fellow-workers.  The longer the delay, the worse the consequences yet the destruction of the environment has now reached calamitous and catastrophic proportions. Capitalism has proven itself incapable of developing even adequate safeguards against pollution and the harmful effects of climate change.

 Increasing numbers of people are mobilising in protests and engaging in direct actions to draw attention to the pressing urgency to do something about global warming and climate change. They rightly accuse their governments of inaction. But mitigating climate change is seen almost entirely in terms of tweaking capitalism and its markets by introducing legislative and regulatory policies. Also, a  troubling misguided notion continues to be expressed in some parts of the environmental movement today that the root cause of ecological problems is population growth. While the rate of population growth has slowed and even declined in many countries, environmental problems continue to worsen.

The Socialist Party has never opposed the tremendous achievements that science has contributed to society. But under capitalism, it has been used and developed in an irrational and unplanned manner which has resulted in many catastrophes. On a global scale, capitalism has proved incapable of using modern scientific technology to ease the nightmare conditions of the billions who live on this planet and suffer malnutrition, disease, and squalour while new technology and artificial intelligence have made abundance possible for all. Capitalism presents working people with the impossible choice: Your job or your life. Poverty means a choice between starvation and suffocating amid smog (often both.) The polluting industries come along with promises of jobs and national and local governments are convinced or coerced into sacrificing the air they breathe and allowing the toxic plundering of their soils. Poverty allows environmental degradation as a lesser evil when there is the urgent need to put food on the table. We witness the coal miners of West Virginia oppose clean air regulations and to tolerate violations of environmental standards in order to gain income. A lack of control by the workers over what will happen to them means long-term planning is not a practical option and change to climate change less urgent. While the planet seeks sustainability, the capitalist economy needs growth. Ignorance and climate change denialism is not the absence of information but a mix of data about irrelevant things, fragmented knowledge, and false dichotomies. Poverty dismisses long-term vision as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘just’ theory.

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