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Thursday, January 10, 2019

With The Climate Clock Ticking, Socialists And Communists Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Promote Their Agenda


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Our circumstances demand that we break through the social taboo against opposing capitalism. There’s no time to be intimidated. We need to fight for an upheaval of how civilization functions.
Last year, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report which said that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced by 40% before 2030, there won’t be a way to limit the warming after the pre-industrial period well below 2 degrees celsius. This goal seems arbitrary given all the irreversible harm that’s already been done, but we know what we stand to lose if the temperature climbs past that point: the habitability of much of the world’s arid regions, additional meters of coastline, countless homes, vast habitats and ecosystems, and millions of human lives.
And while the risk of a doomsday methane bomb appears to be low, this and the other climate feedback loops are being exacerbated by every additional day that humans create carbon emissions. With the news that emissions have gone up throughout 2017 and 2018, we know that the situation is getting worse all the time. And the catastrophe that humanity faces is already incomprehensible. The fact that the planet’s landscapes, weather, and biological dynamics will be drastically changed in the coming decades and centuries is going to make humanity go through a phase of ecological grief-the feeling of deep loss and disorientation that comes with the destruction of familiar aspects of nature.
When this is happening, we shouldn’t be afraid of the stigmas against advocating for radical change. Capitalism is the root of this crisis, so it needs to be fought openly, unapologetically, and with a coherent vision for what will replace it.
Capitalism’s goal is to maximize profit. And maximizing profit is directly in conflict with having a sustainable civilization. Even when companies use “green” technologies, they end up continuing to produce carbon emissions. This has been shown in the capitalist “solutions” to climate change that have been put forth by organizations like the IPCC, which recommended last year that society gradually ease into a post-carbon emissions scenario while apparently working within the framework of capitalism. A system that demands expansion doesn’t allow for the immediate, complete systemic changes which we need in order to save the planet.
The goal of ending war and imperialism, which is essential towards realizing an environmentally sustainable future, is also in conflict with capitalism. This is because as the history of capitalist countries has shown, the capitalist drive for profit leads to efforts of military conquest. The green, anti-war, and anti-capitalist movements are irrevocably tied in with each other.
Those who advocate abolishing capitalism as a solution to the climate crisis are vindicated not just by the inherently destructive nature of capitalism, but by the futility of trying to achieve revolution by working within the capitalist class’ political system. The theft of the 2016 Democratic primary from Bernie Sanders showed that the capitalist oligarchs have effectively dictatorial control over the political process. When a candidate comes along that’s unacceptable to them, they can coordinate media smear campaigns, suppressvotes, and even digitally flip vote data to ensure their preferred outcome. And when presidents try to step out from what the ruling class wants, they can be intimidated into following in line.
America’s political system is a fortress that’s controlled by the capitalist class. To transform it in time for the climate deadline, there need to be vast strikes and protests which grind the capitalists’ system to a halt and create the opportunity for an eco-socialist future. A revolt of this size is entirely feasible-right now, with much help from the Communist Party of India, 200 million Indian workers are striking to defeat their corporatist government. As factors converge for an equivalent uprising in America, the explicitly anti-capitalist strains need to become central in the movement to overthrow the plutocracy.
Ideally this will result in the nationalization of many important industries and the democratization of business, which will make way for the creation of an egalitarian society where property is commonly owned and everyone is paid according to their means and needs. As Lenin said, “The goal of socialism is communism.”
To reach this goal, we’ll need to refuse to be gaslighted into accepting the continuation of our deadly current system. Socialists and communists need to become vocal about where they stand and extremely active in politics, because they’re crucial players in the fight to save our world.

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