Friday, November 12, 2021

Face the Future


To ensure a harmonious relationship with our environment only a coherent policy can abolish the gloom and uncertainty which has been made possible by insane and irrational policies which result from an unplanned and blind economic and social system, which is what capitalism is. Capitalism is different from all preceding class societies in that its driving force is accumulation for the sake of accumulation. Commodity production has become an end in itself under capitalism. Goods are produced for their exchange value, not their use-value.

Under capitalism, there are no limits to exploitation as each unit of capital has to compete with all the others. Surplus value in the form of profits is reinvested in the production process by each capitalist rather than consumed. The logic of capitalist competition forces each capitalist to obtain the maximum profit possible; otherwise, they will fall behind their competitors and go out of business. Production is therefore organised around the short term and the effect on nature, negative or otherwise is not a concern for the capitalist. Air pollution caused by a factory is not treated as a cost of production internal to that factory, rather it is viewed as an external cost to be borne by nature and society.

The fight against climate change and transition to renewable energy sources mean breaking with a capitalist economy based on the endless expansion of production no matter the cost. It’s time we made conscious and collective decisions. 

The World Socialist Movement clearly identifies the culprit: the capitalist system with its insatiable greed and irrepressible need for growth. If we want to save the world, we must dismantle capitalism itself. instead of manufacturing products for profit, we will produce to satisfy human needs with useful, durable, repairable, adaptable products, not throwaway consumer goods. A radical break with the capitalist system is required.

Socialism is all about planning at the local, regional, continental, and world levels with major decisions that could be made by the population or by committees composed of elected delegates. We replace the so-called “invisible hand” of the market with the very visible decision-making of the collective will of working people. Rather than argue against the usual environmentalist approach that focuses on individual choice and lifestyle consumption, the WSM suggests questioning the logic of capitalist production itself.

Businesses are compelled to produce more in order to sell more to maximise profits and it employs a vast elaborate advertising industry to ensure customers buy more and with built-in obsolescence, those customers are obliged to constantly re-purchase replacements. Capitalism is a hugely wasteful economy that would not be necessary with rationally organised production.

Given the urgency of the climate emergency, there couldn’t be an any better argument than a mass social revolution that changes the priorities of the system. A reformist approach that advocates piecemeal gradual change can not even begin to seriously solve the scale of the problem. The WSM envisages a future socialist society that would prioritise human needs instead of profit and restructure the economy and energy and transport usage in such a way that is sustainable and beneficial to both humanity and our surroundings. Frequently, the objection to all the practical measures to reduce global warming by mainstream economists is based on cost.

Such financial reasons will not apply inside socialism. Nor will population numbers which are often mistakenly viewed as a problem prove to be an obstacle. Each new life will not be treated as an extra mouth to feed but as an additional brain and pair of helping hands for the betterment of humanity and nature.


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