"We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth." Greta Thunberg, 23 September 2019 United Nations: Climate Action Summit
Capitalist ruling classes, their political lackeys and media are attacking Greta Thunberg.
October 1, 2019
Perhaps the capitalist ruling classes of the world sense the global proletariat is awakening to the fact that capitalism and capitalist relations are at the root of our collective problem and that this exploitative and destructive mode and relations of social production that these ruling classes impose, promote, oversee, and control must be challenged and abolished. Otherwise, based on current climatic and ecological trends, we face an anthropogenic sixth major mass extinction.
Just as one cannot intuit the laws of physics or chemistry of our universe simply by looking at it, one cannot intuit the laws of motion of human society. Greta was right: "talk about ... money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth", using money to make more money as the foundation of a society's economy has become problematic to the point of extinction. The ad hominem attacks on her age are red herrings, and defense of her based on her age, race or gender only indulge in these particular red herrings.
"All entities move and nothing remains still." - Heraclitus
Who benefits from attacks against Greta? Who's attacking her? Donald Trump represents USA based capital and especially fossil fuel capital, the Emmanuel Macron government represents French based capital, operatives of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) represent UK based capital, Fox News represents the views of it's capitalist owners, etc. It's the politics of class conflicts and class partisan ideological attacks are part of it.
The next thing we working class gotta recognise, once we fully realise that climate disruption is a fact and a threat to all species of plant and animal, is that history has a trajectory and that modes of social production (ways of producing, appropriating and distributing necessities in societies) are not static but can and do change. History is full of class struggle. Like how a molecular cloud in interstellar space collapses to form a protostar or planetary chemistry creating biological life or a massive star going supernova represent revolutions in the evolution of these particular natural phenomena, class struggle based in material relationships and the overthrow of one economic mode and it's ruling class by another class represent evolution and revolution in human society. Slave relations replaced egalitarian relations, feudal relations replaced slave relations, capitalist relations replaced feudal relations so what relations will replace capitalist relations and which class has been historically positioned to overthrow the present ruling classes?
"In the domain of Political Economy, free scientific inquiry meets not merely the same enemies as in all other domains. The peculiar nature of the materials it deals with, summons as foes into the field of battle the most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest. The English Established Church, e.g., will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39 of its income. Now-a-days atheism is culpa levis [a relatively slight sin], as compared with criticism of existing property relations....These are signs of the times, not to be hidden by purple mantles or black cassocks. They do not signify that tomorrow a miracle will happen. They show that, within the ruling classes themselves, a foreboding is dawning, that the present society is no solid crystal, but an organism capable of change, and is constantly changing." K. Marx Capital Volume 1 1867 Preface to the First German Edition
There are 195 countries of human society on this earth and thus 195 capitalist ruling classes with competing economic and political interests. In terms of addressing climate change holistically, like it must be treated, this present global political setup is a recipe for continuing ecological collapse. There's one global proletariat class which is the vast majority of humanity and 195 capitalist ruling classes which represent a tiny, tiny fraction of humanity's numbers.
Climate change and disruption was/is not an unpredictable phenomenon that's developed unexpectedly all of a sudden outta nowhere. The recognition that human CO2 emissions could create a greenhouse effect on Earth goes back to at least the early 1800's. The science could have and should have guided societies climate policy since, at the latest, the 1960's but didn't because it spelled the "creative destruction" of fossil fuels as an energy source and as commodities, and thus Exxon Mobil, Shell, British Petroleum, etc. and their hundreds of billions of annual profits.
"The world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on January 1st 2018 [to keep global temps below 1.5C]. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons." Greta Thunberg, 23 September 2019
Our species has emitted approximately 70 gigatons in 20 months as total global emissions continue to rise. What did the species do to emit 70 gigatons of CO2? What did we make? Who decides what to make and how much emissions are allowable? The market? Supply and demand? Capitalists and their governments decide. Private individuals decide. At this point in our history as a species, these need to be social decisions discussed and decided upon by our populations as a whole. These private decisions are affecting the entire spectrum of plant and animal life that's evolved over the 4.5 billion year history of our solar system!
In a capitalist society like the USA, political power is determined by how wealthy one is. Material wealth is produced by physical labour. Capitalist wealth multiplies by exploiting human labour, making socioeconomic relations of production dominate-subordinate relationships. Capital is social political power, concentrated economic power as workers are dependent upon capital to provide jobs to get money wages to buy means of subsistence. Thus the labor process is a value and wealth producing process of commodity production whereby labour creates fresh values that the owners of capital appropriate and have control over.
Capitalist's have ignored how their production, distribution and consumption processes have affected the biosphere and it's ecosystems. Yet there are very real limits to capitalism's abuse set by Nature responding to anthropogenic abuse.
Capitalist wealth multiplies by producers/wage workers being forced to produce a value greater than their wage, the difference becoming capitalist profit. Mass extinction is ignored because capitalists and their lackeys can only count, calculate and talk about money. Vulgar economists don't give a damn for science because they get paid to spin fairy tales of eternal economic growth.
"In France and in England [~1830] the bourgeoisie had conquered political power. Thenceforth, the class struggle, practically as well as theoretically, took on more and more outspoken and threatening forms. It sounded the knell of scientific bourgeois economy. It was thenceforth no longer a question, whether this theorem or that was true, but whether it was useful to capital or harmful, expedient or inexpedient, politically dangerous or not. In place of disinterested inquirers, there were hired prize fighters; in place of genuine scientific research, the bad conscience and the evil intent of apologetic...." Karl Marx Capital, Volume One, 1873 - Afterword to the Second German Edition
An economy is an essential feature of any human group. Economy meaning a way in which human groups produce and distribute life's necessities. This daily activity is essential for the existence of any group whether hunter-gatherer or capitalist commodity production by wage labour. One thing that's not essential though in human economies is private property in the group's productive forces and the exploitation of a producing class. If there's no private property, there's no private economic interest and no exploitation.
"An organism at war with itself is doomed." Carl Sagan
An organism that destroys it's natural habitat not only dooms itself but, in the case of planet Earth, all other organisms reliant on these same natural habitats. This is what humans are presently doing to Earth's biosphere and it's ecosystems, flora and fauna and, all for the sake of profits!
Once capitalist commodity production and exploitation of wage workers has been overthrown, the labour process as processes of surplus labour and profit extraction from wage workers ceases to exist. Along with the end of capitalist commodity production, labour processes cease to be valorising relations of production of value and surplus value. Along with the end of value and surplus value, capital and capital accumulation ends as well. The economic necessity for compound capital growth comes to an end and with it's end so ends the assault on nature by capitalist's commodity production.
LabourPartyPraxis discussion - subscribe