Capitalist drive to environmental destruction

It seems a paradigm shift is required to understand we can only make progress to protect Mother Earth and future generations by replacing the capitalist economic system. I have struggled to find ways to express this to other white people. When I asked an Indigenous friend about this, he said those who are doing well economically won’t understand until they their circumstances change, and capitalism no longer works for them. Something that is happening to a rapidly increasing number of people.

The Free

I often write about the necessity of replacing the capitalist economic system as essential to addressing our evolving environmental catastrophes. Recently The Free blog of post-capitalist transition re-blogged my post, It’s Decolonization or Extinction. And that starts with Land-Back. Many people and organizations are working toward a post-capitalist world.

As we gather in Glasgow for two weeks of deliberations for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties #26, (COP26) otherwise known as the “Conference of Polluters” or the “Conference of Profiteers,” we must be like Jesus in the temple overturning the tables of the money changers. We can no longer accept business as usual in the vein of moneyed interests suppressing ambition and holding us back from the bold commitments necessary to turn the tide of climate change. Too often, we members of frontline communities convene at these meetings, raise our voices and demands, yet find ourselves unwitting spectators to the parade of dominating capitalists who are more concerned with maintaining the status quo and corporate interests than saving the planet.

For Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the US, capitalism has never really worked out. By design. Indigenous and Black people were not only unwelcome participants in the “free market” system; through enslavement, we were actually the commodities being traded in the market.

As the settlers established dominance, they institutionalized policies, practices and an economy that has evolved into the complex system that prevails today, one that is rooted in exploitation, enclosure of wealth and power, and ruling by force.

So it is that we find ourselves on a collision course with climate change. Energy is produced by extraction and burning of fossil fuels, which sends greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and poisons the communities that host these facilities and practices. Moneyed interests invest in policymakers, trade associations, and political action committees that ensure that the suite of policies include everything from voter suppression to prison, school, and water privatization — all towards concentrating the spoils into the coffers of a handful of profiteers.

CAPITALISM HAS NEVER REALLY WORKED OUT FOR THE EARTH, or For BIPOC Communities. By Jacqueline Patterson, Island Press, November 2, 2021

Promoting anti-authoritarian, mutual-aid, voluntary-cooperation, horizontalism and culture of Sharing.

Buting Community Free Shop and Pantry

And yet, even as humanity faces perhaps the greatest existential crisis in its species’ history, the public debate on climate barely mentions the underlying economic system that brought us to this point and which continues to drive us toward the precipice. Ever since its emergence in the seventeenth century, with the creation of the first limited liability shareholder-owned corporations, capitalism has been premised on viewing the planet as a resource to exploit — its overriding objective to maximize profits from that exploitation as rapidly and extensively as possible. Current mainstream strategies to resolve our twin crises of climate breakdown and ecological overshoot without changing the underlying system of growth-based global capitalism are structurally inadequate.

Solving the Climate Crisis Requires the End of Capitalism by Jeremy Lent, originally published by Patterns of Meaning, October 13, 2021

We all know that massive climate action is needed. But our movements often get bogged down in individual actions and the immediate steps in front of us. We need to think bigger.

To get anywhere close to winning, we need to recognize the capitalist drive to environmental destruction, build up both the environmental and working-class movements and bring them together.

We only want the earth: a new pamphlet from rs21

I’ve worked on this diagram for some time to try to express these ideas. Capitalism (red box) is built on the labor of enslaved African Americans and the land and resources of Indigenous peoples. And to show continuing capitalism will produce more greenhouse gas emissions and worsening environmental chaos.

The solutions include transitioning to new, or returning to old social, political, and economic systems by means of the concepts LANDBACK, Abolition and Mutual Aid. “Promoting anti-authoritarian, mutual-aid, voluntary-cooperation, horizontalism and culture of Sharing.” –Buting Community Free Shop and Pantry

An example of Mutual Aid

Buting Community Free Shop and Pantry
Libreng Palengke
Mutual Aid Not Charity
Culture of Sharing

October 22, 2021

We packed 50 mix vegetables, good for “Pakbet” dish. One meal that can benefit four people in the family. We just put the banner and placards in front of our space with tables for vegetables to be given away for free for those in need. Our way to show solidarity to our neighborhood who were affected by the on-going pandemic crisis.

This self-managed initiatives strictly done by the community. We are not accepting, endorsing and promoting any dole-out or donation coming from the government, politician, Corporate sponsorship, party/NGO’s, foundation or any charitable institution.

This is done by the community, for the community.

Our dedication and passion on community-centered projects and values-oriented initiative will continue. Promoting anti-authoritarian, mutual-aid, voluntary-cooperation, horizontalism and culture of Sharing.

Buting Community Free Shop and Pantry
Buting Community Free Shop and Pantry

As we enter into COP26, we must remind ourselves that sometimes the most effective solutions are the simplest ones. We must also remind ourselves that those closest to the problem are best placed to design effective remedies

In the case of climate change, frontline communities are already showing us the way:

CAPITALISM HAS NEVER REALLY WORKED OUT FOR THE EARTH, or For BIPOC Communities. By Jacqueline Patterson, Island Press, November 2, 2021

More on Mutual Aid:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: