In the long run, if not visible already, capitalism/neoliberal policies (and it’s record on environmental stewardship) might singularly be regarded as public enemy number one when historians look back on how we as a civilization tackled this issue.
Bello has it right : ” In this regard, climate change is both a threat and an opportunity to bring about the long postponed social and economic reforms that had been derailed or sabotaged in previous eras by the elite seeking to preserve or increase their privileges.
The difference is that today the very existence of humanity and the planet depend on the institutionalisation of economic systems based not on feudal rent extraction or capital accumulation or class exploitation, but on justice and equality. ”
Right – but what rationality is there in supposing that the opportunity will be seized? That is to say – wouldn’t the elite rather that the human race be exterminated than to give up their privileged position within it? And if you deny my claim, what proof can you point to in past history to support your position? I, to support mine, can point to any number of things – the invention, manufacture, and proliferation of nuclear weapons being just one. Space-based weapons another. Any number of genocides (which through a domino effect can lead to genocides beyond the “controlled” one, as the Palestinians are now experiencing in the aftermath of the Jewish holocaust of WWII or as any number of Middle East countries may experience all too soon (besides Iraq).
The truth is, the very existence of humanity has been at stake for at the very least several decades, and the ruling class hasn’t once yet blinked in the face of that. Why suppose that now, with “another thing that can cause total human catastrophe” on the table, that that will somehow push them over the edge into sanity (forget empathy or compassion, they’ll never have any of that)?
As far as I can tell the elite care more about power than they do about life itself. They don’t mind living though – as we speak they are strategizing for how to survive climate catastrophe (which mostly involves spending lots of money on related goods and services and secondarily on secure real estate). Naturally this strategy doesn’t involve anyone but them living. Also naturally, without the exploited classes the “better people” will die off soon after.
My previous outlook was too rosy. This isn’t an insane world. Insanity supposes the tolerance if not support of truth. This is a world where the communication of truth is utterly subjugated to interests of power, as demonstrated in something I wrote a few years ago, titled “Money from the Sun”:
Conservatives are skeptical or hostile toward new public works. Global warming affects the entire world and the solutions are likely global and public-oriented.
Liberals prefer public works to an extent over private works.
Also, global warming is very much about having a social conscience, and conservatives aren’t so good at that.
Conservative: “My world consists of me and the stuff I control around me. Global social conscience? Nonsense!”
I’m starting to think people would no longer believe that the sun rises in the east if it profited them.
C: “Stupid sun. Where’s the money from it? Show me the money!”
L: “Uh, we kind of need the sun. Lots of money is indirectly…”
C: “Fuck that. The sun now rises in the west, until I get money from it.”
Planes are setup with money inside to fly in from a position between the conservative and the sun.
C: “Ah yes, here’s my tribute. Here’s my money from the sun!”
C: “So fucking sweet. If only I’d known that the sun rose in the west sooner!”
C: “What has truth done for me lately? Fuck it!”
C: “Truth is just another consumer”.
L, exasperated: “Now do you see where the sun rises? Look at where the planes are coming from!”
C, with a smirk: “Oh yeah. The sun rises in the east. You have defeated me.”
You’re not making any sense. That’s equally as bad as letting the corporations micromanage our lives and give us just enough to keep us alive. I can’t determine a difference between an oppressive government and an oppressive corporate sector. They both only care about profit for themselves and poverty for everyone else, and if they aren’t stopped that is the certain result.
If the Libertarian Right was serious they would attack corporations the same way they attack governments. But they are brainwashed into worship of the “free market”, don’t understand corporations, and don’t understand global economics.
Well, I appreciate your views, now that I understand them more clearly. I think one way to keep both kinds of predator off our backs would be to try to keep them away from each other. I will check out the book.