What drugs are the socialists on?
(and why don't they share?)
(and why don't they share?)
Recently a lot of socialists have been talking about major cuts in carbon emissions, firgures like 50% or even 90%. While cuts like these would be nice I am quite confused by what they say next. For example these are taken from readingthemaps.blogspot.com in response to climactions recent street party.
"In reality, the cause of global warming is global capitalism, not the bloke filling up his Holden at the Swanson BP"
"It is big capitalist firms who pollute. The fact that we consume the energy (for example) that they produce does not in any way argue for reduced consumption. It demands the profits of these big companies be spent on improving the quality of their production and distribution, creating more jobs, as well as safer and cleaner production. Furthermore it points out that capitalism is unable to do this, that only the socialist transformation of society, the rational, democratic and scientific planning of production will allow such a development.
While capitalism continues pollution will get worse and so will their contribution to climate change, with all the attendant destruction and devastation that brings with it. We will all pay the price but will not enjoy improved living standards as a result. The capitalist class will improve its profits at our expense, with no concern for the wages and conditions of the workforce, or the destruction of the environment. Far from arguing for limiting consumption, we do indeed believe in a society of superabundance, but point out too that this can only be achieved by the pooling and planning of the world's resources."
Which of course leads me to my next question what drugs are these socialists taking that make them think we can continue our current level of consumption without killing the planet? How on earth does our current unsustainable life argue for socialism? Cuba, one of their socialist utopias has been through the sorts of cuts we need to see, and their entire population fell in weight a few kilos because of food shortages. A large percentage of their population had to move back out to the country and their cities only have water and power for a few hours a day. I plan to visit Cuba and I think they have a lot of ideas we can copy, however the changes hurt, they were significant, and even their socialism didnt save them from cuts in consumption.
Our consumption levels are unsustainable and we need to deindustrialise. A socialist revolution that has at its heart increasing productivity and industrial growth will kill the planet just as efficiently as a capitalist system. While our society is fixated on growth and consumption it doesnt matter who is in charge.
To be fair readingthemaps goes on to say "In other words, the solution to ecological problems like global warming is not a change in consumption choices by individual workers but a change of economic and social system. Cars are not to blame for global warming; nor are their drivers" I agree with this, we need to destroy the industrial system which is systematically killing ecosystems to further consumption in the west. We need to destroy this system which values human life above the rest of the natural world. We must come to live in balance with the limits of this planet. We need to take down the current system if we want to stop climate change, this means losing all the things this system provides such as cheap energy and high levels of consumption.
All of this will require a transformation in the way we live, it will require increasing community control, it will require the end to all sectors of the econmomy which involve extracting resources and it will require an end to all industrys which require that extraction. It will mean living in an agrarian society not an industrial society.
Socialists can't have their cake and eat it too. They cannot claim to want to halt climate change and still want high standards of consumption in the west. Their is a choice that has to be made: to continue living as we currently do until our ecosystems collapse or to begin a voluntary transformation to a sustainable way of living.
Blaming corporations for global waming without facing the fact that almost everything we currently take for granted must go to prevent climate change is at worst deception and at best ill informed. Yes climate change needs to be stopped, but so does industrial civilisation. I don't particularly care whether it is a socialist coal power plant or a capitalist coal power plant, that power plant needs to be destroyed. I dont care whether its a capitalist mine or a socialist mine that mining needs to stop.