Monday, November 01, 2021

Comment on COP-OUT26


Everywhere where the world’s ruling elite have assembled to decide their next step in trying to halt the climate emergency they have been met with protests and demonstrations that have attracted tens of thousands. Thousands of speeches such as have been made, thousands of articles have been written and hundreds of books have been published that explore the aims, objectives and alternatives offered by the environmentalist movement.

What is now clear is that the green campaigns, no matter how sincere and well-meaning, does not seek to replace capitalism with any real alternative social system. At best it attracts a myriad of groups, all pursuing their own reformist agenda. Some call for greater corporate responsibility for the environment. Some demand the restructuring of international banking institutions to end financing fossil fuels. Others call for the expansion of debt cancellation and more aid to assist the poorer nations to adapt to climate change.

 All, however, fail to address the root cause of the problems - capitalism. All promote that damnable system which they are seemingly critical of by applauding any meagre reform. The protesters in Glasgow, Scotland at the COP26 might think they are united in a common cause, but in truth, they are only united in supporting capitalism and in their mistaken belief that ecological destruction can be legislated out of existence. They have no blueprint for real fundamental change.

Instead of putting a price on Nature, we need to recognize that humans are part of Nature and that Nature is not a thing to possess or a mere supplier of resources. The Earth is a living system, it is our home and it is a community of interdependent beings and parts of one whole system. We humans are just one element of the biosphere. The capitalist system has gotten out of control and like a virus, it's going to kill the body that feeds it. Only through replacing growth with a steady-state economy can we be sustainable. This, however, does not mean advocating zero-growth worldwide, because that would deny development to a majority of the world’s population in urgent need of material advancement. 

Capitalism is going to make life near-impossible for humans as we know it. we need to recapture nature from the market's grasp, nurturing and legitimising more interconnected human-ecological relationships and understandings, along with tried-and-tested forms of local ecosystem stewardship based on them. We need to overthrow capitalism and develop a system that is based on the world community - a real commonwealth of peoples. It’s time to build a new decentralised, democratic, horizontal model, where all ecosystems are respected. A truly green economy would put an end to harmful policies which put profit before people and also end our obsession with economic growth and unsustainable consumption and embrace a focus on how everyone’s needs can be truly met in a sustainable manner. It means dismantling the corrupt, top-down power structures that maintain wealth for the few and reinstating decentralised, community-controlled economies.

 Only through replacing growth with a steady-state economy can we be sustainable. This, however, does not mean advocating zero-growth worldwide, because that would deny development to a majority of the world’s population in urgent need of material advancement. Instead of applying market rules to nature what we need is to forge a new system based on the principles of harmony and balance among all and with all things; common ownership and collective well-being; the satisfaction of the basic necessities of all. The global response needed to confront the crisis we face requires structural changes.

 We must change the capitalist system, not the Earth's system. The time has come to unite the thousands of struggles, the hundreds of campaigns, all the movements and organisations combating the many different ways capitalism has appropriated our destinies in every part of the planet. Peoples' liberties have been violated, the Earth and its resources destroyed and pillaged while companies continue to commit economic and ecological crimes without constraint. These corporations, driven by their imperative of maximising profit, pit workers from different regions against each other in a race to the bottom. Multinationals operate globally, moving from one country to another, applying the same recipe to generate profit at any cost. It is we, the working class, who bear the costs. Yet resistance is growing throughout the world. Every day, more communities and peoples struggle against these companies. Even so, we have not managed to halt the advance of corporations. When defeated in one place, they adjust their strategies and move to another location.

There is an urgent need for a concerted response. We must unite our experiences and struggles, learn collectively from success and failure, and share our analysis and strategies for putting an end to capitalism. Voting is only one step in taking control of your future. Being politically and socially active is more than voting, however. We invite you to join us in collectively building this process of mobilisation towards a global campaign against the power of the capitalist and coordinate global struggles, combining street protests with education and political action to create a potent movement of solidarity and practical opposition against big business, its apologists and its promoters. The truth and knowing the facts will prevent us from being fooled into believing what’s bad is good.

It is now no longer a utopian fantasy – but a practical, revolutionary proposition – to suggest we can live in a world without waste or want or war, in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation. We have the science, the technology and the know-how. All that is missing is the will – the desire to make that next great historical advance possible; confidence in ourselves as masters of our own destiny and to realise that it is possible to free production from the artificial constraints of profit and to re-fashion a world in our own interests.

How soon this happens depends upon us all – each and every one of us.

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