Saturday, July 06, 2019

A Red Flag For Our Future

Some environmentalists promote green capitalism which is really a greenwash attempt to create a new model of capital accumulation for global corporate capitalism, based on "the commodification of the commons." Green capitalism, like the first Industrial Revolution, is based on a large-scale process of primitive accumulation (a technical term Marxists use that simply means massive theft). The primitive accumulation preceding the rise of the factory system in industrial Britain involved the enclosure of common lands. The new green model of corporate-state capitalism partly based on agricultural land-grab but also on enclosing digital information and innovation, heavily reliant on patents and copyrights than the existing version of corporate capitalism. The "green capitalist" model is intended as a response to the primary threat facing corporate capitalism and its model of capital accumulation: the technological potential of abundance. If allowed to operate without hindrance, the free adoption of technologies and freely replicable digital information would not only destroy most existing corporate profits but render most investment capital superfluous. It's this threat, all the "progressive" rhetoric aside, that "green capitalism" is intended to head off. It's a last-ditch effort to rescue an entire system of class privilege and economic exploitation based on artificial scarcity from the revolutionary impact of abundance.

The failure of the all the climate summits provides proof that the nation-state system cannot tackle global environmental threats. They were all about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects create market-based "solutions". Advancing social and environmental justice in ways that Paris and others actually meant perpetuating poverty for people in developing countries, and reducing living standards for people in wealthier countries. The object of those conferences as all equalising scarcity – except for ruling elites. The health and welfare, dreams and aspirations of the world's poor and their pursuit of justice and happiness were given only lip-service and then brushed aside. The proceedings were controlled by bureaucrats who see humans primarily as consumers and polluters, rather than the creators of the world's wealth and the stewards of it common treasury. Instead, they blamed the victims. The world we want must begin with actually defining what sort of world we want. We can't rely only on the bureaucracies of governments to address the problems facing our planet. We must start doing it ourselves. Our liberation will only come about when we, ourselves, for ourselves, do the hard work of organising, which needs class-conscious workers doing the equally hard work of convincing our fellow-workers. At the end of the day , as revolutionaries, it is not in our interest to try and save capitalism but rather to destroy it and to encourage current struggles to develop on an independent, self-organised, class basis and extend across national boundaries which may well give rise to an escalation of the social crisis and starts to challenge capitalism as a whole from a position of some class strength. Only the self-organisation of working people contains the potential to defend its own interests both in the short-term, economic and the longer term, political. A working class that can't defend itself is also a working class that is incapable of making a revolution.

Only by the campaigns for socialism will people be made capable of understanding their position as wage slaves, and the consequent necessity for the abolition of capitalism, and not of patching it up, as advocated with monotonous persistence by the generations of mis-leaders. Socialists point out to our fellow workers that they possess, as a class, all the needed energy and intelligence to erect a new social system based upon the common ownership of the means of life, in which system they will no longer need to sell themselves piecemeal as articles of merchandise. They will be free to enjoy to the full the results of their collective labour. Having arrived at this understanding, the workers will recognise that their political power must be put to an infinitely better use than that of providing fat jobs for nimble-tongued tricksters and seek the achievement of their own emancipation. The vote is not useless if backed by a class-conscious understanding.

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