Capitalism vs. Our Future —We Can’t Have Both


Climate Catastrophe Already Starting

            The logic is simple. Capitalism can’t survive without endless growth. Many of Earth’s species—including humans—can’t survive the onrushing catastrophe of climate change caused by unchecked growth. Choose.

            A rapidly rising international movement against climate change and for climate justice is growing ever more aware of this logic.

            Our struggles are multiplying against the dangers of oil and gas pipeline spills, tanker ruptures, exploding trains, fracking, and the mining/transport/export of coal.

            In turn, these battles open our eyes to even worse threats and already-happening disasters that result directly from burning these fossil fuels, filling the air with green-house gases, and raising our atmosphere’s temperature. Our opened eyes can clearly see more and greater disasters looming.

            Climate scientists are nearly unanimous that we need to keep 80% of known fossil fuels in the ground. If we don’t, the next few decades will suffer more super-storms, floods, droughts, famines, rising sea levels, species extinctions, and probably the end of human civilization—with all the horrors that implies.

            We cannot sentence our children and grandchildren to such a bleak future.

            A brighter future means our shifting quickly away from fossil fuel energy. We must end the incredible wastefulness of our production, consumption and war-making. We have to create a society and economy that is in harmony with the natural world—the complex and delicate ecology on which we depend for the air, food, water, and temperature range we need to survive.

            The root cause of climate change is our current social and economic system—capitalism—because it is based on unending growth. Profits, and thus production, must grow.  Or else, there is crisis: investment falls, layoffs rise, spending drops, production dips, more jobs are lost, etc.

            Insatiable profit-seeking and “market forces” make capitalism what it is.  It is wishful thinking that it can be reformed, can exist in some sort of steady-state, no-growth version.

            A no-growth economy  would have to be a planned economy aiming for social, economic, ecological goals—goals chosen by someone.

            That some-one should be us—all of us—democratically deciding on production and consumption priorities, based on principles of equality and eco-harmony. To make this system work all must have a stake. So, we also need to eliminate racism, sexism, and all forms of inequality and oppression, while enshrining First Nations' rights to sovereignty and self-determination.

            We call such a system socialism. It is not a reform of capitalism. It will be a new system, replacing capitalism. To get there we will have to strive—in huge public rallies, in our workplaces, and at the ballot box—to replace profiteers’ power with the power of working people.

            The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group is working for democratic, egalitarian, ecologically sane socialism. Check our web page (below) for time and place of our bi-weekly meetings. Join us.

The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group