Capitalism is Killing You But There are Real Solutions to Self-Inflicted Extinction

Today's article by Richard Smith at Adbusters titled 'Sleepwalking to Extinction' examines Capitalism as the prime mover of the destruction of life and earth [and does a great job of it].

Capitalism is killing us, as Smith says, "From climate change to natural resource over consumption to pollution, the engine that has powered three centuries of accelerating economic development, revolutionizing technology, science, culture and human life itself is, today, a roaring out-of-control locomotive mowing down continents of forests, sweeping oceans of life, clawing out mountains of minerals, pumping out lakes of fuels, devouring the planet’s last accessible natural resources to turn them into “product,” while destroying fragile global ecologies built up over eons of time."

Unlike many anti-capitalism rants, Smith goes on to explain: "it’s one thing for James Hansen or Bill McKibben to say we need to “leave the coal in the hole, the oil in the soil, the gas under the grass,” to call for “severe curbs” in GHG emissions — in the abstract. But think about what this means in our capitalist economy. Most of us, even passionate environmental activists, don’t really want to face up to the economic implications of the science we defend." [enter a gorilla stage left].

The fossil fuel industry, like capitalism itself, is driven by demand. Until humans learn to live within their means, learn that hard work isn't a sin - debt is - and get rid of capitalism, capitalist expansionism (endless growth) will continue its headlong gallop toward the cliff. There is no brake pedal on the capitalist train, the only solution it has to every problem is 'MORE'. Of course, very few want to hear this because, given capitalism, it would unavoidably mean mass bankruptcies, global economic collapse, depression and mass unemployment around the world.

It's true, demand driven consumer capitalism is the driver of the "Environmental Pollution" matrix. But it's also true as Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Those 'unavoidable costs' are the results of the same type of thinking that got us here. One person's mass unemployment is another person's self-employment. Don't let fear of the unknown put parentheses around your ideas.

There are solutions, people have lived and loved by the production the work of their own hands for hundreds of thousands of years. A return to small scale organic farming and ranching alone would change everything environmentally, financially...everything.

As long as the anti-capitalism debate focuses on the corporate suppliers it conveniently avoids the new thinking required to deal with real enemy, the enemy Pogo famously recognized as 'us' - the demanders. Worried about the future? Invest your time and money in your home [insulation or ?], in your kids education, or in your backyard garden. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming useless plastic crap, just slow down.