Eco-Socialism's Promise-Conservation's Blessings Showered on Our Woes...No Denial Required

Denial. We all live in denial, it's a defence mechanism. In recent years though it's being used more aggressively, more spear shaped, more offensively. Hopefully they're throwing some boomerangs too, cause very few folks, liberal or conservative, scientist or not, really want to face the economic implications of putting the brakes on growth and over consumption. The consumer culture must live in denial and believe in delusions because we all know that capitalism has to grow or it collapses and that that endless growth is impossible.

What's the alternative? Well, our cousins with whom we share the planet are hoping we ride this train right off the cliff to collapse, the quicker the better eh. Richard Smith's recent excellent essay says we're "marching to disaster", he gives the same rational reasons why we're marching but, though eloquent, can never escape the parasitic bourgeois' strangle-hold on his list of solutions, never says having and wanting less - Conservation - is the only viable solution, and it's free.

Conservation's blessings would be showered on all of our environmental, social and financial woes. Real conservation, though, would have to be big enough to make a real change. Globally, fossil-fuel-powered electricity generation accounts for 17 percent of GHG emissions, heating accounts for 5 percent, miscellaneous "other" fuel combustion 8.6 percent, industry 14.7 percent, industrial processes another 4.3 percent, transportation 14.3 percent, agriculture 13.6 percent, land-use changes (mainly deforestation) 12.2 percent. This means, for a start, that even if we immediately replaced every fossil-fuel-powered electricity-generating plant on the planet with 100 percent renewable solar, wind and water power, this would reduce global GHG emissions only by around 17 percent.

Denier, eh. Any effective conservation effort wouldn't slow 'growth', it'd collapse extractive capitalism. As there are no other green solutions, only green illusions and it's impossible to consume our way out of over-consumption, conservation is the only choice. The Question is, will collapse happen sooner, later or is it already well underway?.

There is no such thing as 'good' capitalism just like there's no such thing as 'good' slavery. Would liberals be allowed to argue that we could still all benefit if we just demand nicer more enlightened and progressive slave owners, regulations to improve the treatment of the slaves, a little less whipping here and there and other clever ideas to make the system work? How about green slavery, or progressive slavery? No, because it's the underlying system itself that's corrupted. Capitalism has much in common with slavery.

Post collapse, those lucky enough and prepared enough could find themselves inhabiting a different world in the same space. They might find that freeing themselves from the toil of producing unnecessary or harmful commodities provides them with a far higher standard of quality living while consuming less. They then could enjoy the leisure promised but never delivered by capitalism, to realize our fullest human potential instead of wasting our lives in mindless drudgery and shopping. This is the emancipatory promise of eco-socialism, no denial required..