Conspicuously absent from the IPCC report is that this climate change is all the result of capitalism. Centuries of prioritizing profit over people and the conditions that improve human and planetary health have landed us here, not individuals taking showers for five minutes “too long” or using plastic straws at restaurants. Of course, there are measures that individuals can take to decrease their resource consumption and ecological footprint, but individual behaviors pale in comparison to the absolute havoc that corporations have wreaked on the planet. The 1 percent and the largest corporations continue to be the greatest drivers of climate change and our eventual climate catastrophe.
Posts tagged ‘capitalism’
Every part of this piece is excellent!
Link: “The media frames the climate crisis as hopeless – but that’s because they’re hiding the solutions”
While a large majority of Americans agree we need to act on the climate crisis, no one seems to know exactly what we should do, except push our government to do more. 40% of people who believe in climate change feel “helpless” about it.
But this helplessness is not an inevitable result of the severity of the crisis – severe as it may be. Instead, it’s a conditioned response to a world in which the most powerful politicians and corporations want to cast the issue as too difficult and overly complex. To protect their bottom line, those in power want to obfuscate what should be an obvious truth: We can only stop global warming if we end fossil fuel extraction. And we can only do that through direct action, protest, and political revolt.
In order to hide this truth, the powerful have used the mainstream media to make it seem like the answer to the climate crisis is in small, incremental, largely electoral steps. Mainstream news has made everyday Americans feel like we have no options to impact climate change beyond voting, and that’s given us the illusion there’s nothing else to be done. Until we adjust our media diets and start paying less attention to the everyday, overwhelming destruction, and more attention to the people who are already combating climate change, we’ll keep vacillating between overwhelm and helplessness.
I don’t agree with 100% of this (particularly not the holding up of Stalinist states as models of democracy 🤔) but the most important point I do. The “liberal” part of the ruling class is using modern, “woke” ideas to divide the working class – blaming the white working class for racism instead of themselves and their own damn institutions that keep systematic racism going. This promotes sectarianism among ordinary people that keeps us weak and divided, less able to unite together in our common cause to truly democratise our societies and improve our social structures, our living conditions, our lives. There’s also a part comparing the caste system in India to ancient European slave-owning societies like Greece or Rome.
To be a Luddite is seen as synonymous with being primitive — backwards in your outlook, ignorant of innovation’s wonders, and fearful of modern society. This all-or-nothing approach to debates about technology and society is based on severe misconceptions of the real history and politics of the original Luddites: English textile workers in the early 19th century who, under the cover of night, destroyed weaving machines in protest to changes in their working conditions.
Because consumer identities are constructed by external forces, Strasser said, they are uniquely vulnerable, and the people who hold them are uniquely insecure. If your self-perception is predicated on how you spend your money, then you have to keep spending it, especially if your overall class status has become precarious, as it has for millions of middle-class people in the past few decades. At some point, one of those transactions will be acutely unsatisfying. Those instances, instead of being minor and routine inconveniences, destabilize something inside people, Strasser told me. Although Americans at pretty much every income level have now been socialized into this behavior by the pervasiveness of consumer life, its breakdown can be a reminder of the psychological trap of middle-classness, the one that service-worker deference to consumers allows people to forget temporarily: You know, deep down, that you’re not as rich or as powerful as you’ve been made to feel by the people who want something from you. Your station in life is much more similar to that of the cashier or the receptionist than to the person who signs their paychecks.
Interesting piece, and also includes a section on the historical origins of the “service worker” (as in, when department stores came about). I would argue, of course, that this “middle-class class consciousness” is illusory, as most of these office workers are as dependent on selling their labour to fund their existence as anyone else. The differences in consciousness can be real, though.
Ignoring class divisions in Black America over the last 40 years has allowed the benefits of racial progress to be concentrated upon the Black middle- and upper- classes while the Black poor have largely been excluded. Popular culture embodies the problem in the same way higher education does, which is a problem because inequity is always a problem. However, the centrality of popular culture to America’s understanding of Black people, and the fact that popular culture contains within itself all the best platforms for sharing stories about ourselves, imbues the situation with a particularly bleak and sinister air.
This is a great piece, drawing together anti-capitalism, anger at racist policing, and criticism of our terrible fucking government that puts the wishes of our corporate donors ahead of scientific realities all the fucking time. There’s a lot of it I would quote, but really, you’d be better off just reading the full article because all of it is on-point.
Link: “Six Months After the Capitol Riots, We Still Won’t Admit Why So Many People Believe the Big Lie”
About how authority figures under capitalism (even though it doesn’t specifically call out capitalism) lie to us all the time, and when you are raised immersed in lies you tend to believe further lies that accord with the lies you were raised with. Enjoyed this article.
My good lords, I must bring to your attention a grave issue that requires our utmost concern. You see, my fellow land-owning gentry, it seems that the invention of mechanized industry, the rise of “capitalism,” and the impact of the recent plague have brought upon us a wave of moral degradation and irredeemable sloth — specifically, nobody wants to be a serf anymore.