How close are corporations to acquiring de-facto nationhood? In this country they have already acquired “personhood”; a corporation, a legal; construct, can now have religious beliefs and political views. Don’t ask me how. Corporate money can be contributed to support political candidates. Yet corporations convicted of crimes cannot go to prison nor have any been “executed” – their corporate charter withdrawn for criminal activity.
The new TPP agreement, which none of us are allowed to read apparently goes a long way toward granting corporations powers previously reserved to national governments, such as overriding environmental regulation – suing for “damages” caused by new rules or regulation in a signatory country.
Meanwhile we all celebrated Earth Day with little media emphasis on the notion that global capitalism is the greatest threat to our natural world. Why do you think the right wing is so opposed to the idea of man-made climate change? Because the idea is a direct assault on capitalism.
To exist, capitalism cannot accept limits to growth; capital must constantly expand its production and hence consumption; it must break down barriers to expand markets and access to natural resources for raw materials and exploitable sources of labor. Since capitalism is inherently expansionist it eventually and inevitably must degrade the environment. Because of its expansionist quality, capitalism inevitably destroys the natural conditions of production (land, water, other resources, and labor).
Last week I saw a t.v. news report that Oklahoma had replaced California as the earthquake capital of the United States. During the past several years Oklahoma has suffered mor seismic activity because of……drilling and fracking.
Capitalism destroys rain forests, over fishes the oceans, pollutes fresh water, belches into the air. Capitalist profit is the reason poachers kill the rhinoceros for it’s horn. Capitalism is in the end not sustainable. The problem remains how to replace it and with what.
Unfortunately most of those in the environmental movement in general, are unable to think outside of capitalism. It appears inconceivable to mostpeople that there might be a future economic system that isn’t capitalist. You certainly won’t hear it in school.
One would think that, if they fully understood the role of the normal workings of the capitalist system in causing environmental havoc, people with concern for the environment might begin to understand that another social, economic and political system is not just possible, but essential.
There is no shortage of “ideas” about what to do — live more simply, recycle your plastic water bottles, purchase “green” products, purchase carbon credits to offset the global warming effects of an airplane trip, impose a tax on all fossil fuels (a carbon tax), etc.
All these ideas give the illusion that it is possible to solve the ecological crisis without confronting capitalism as a system. And it is capitalism’s necessity to grow the economy forever and the single overriding goal of obtaining more and more profits that are at the heart of the environmental problems we face.
“Green” or “sustainable capitalism” is an oxymoron. The very heart of the system — production of goods and services to make profits, which propels growth — excludes the possibility of capitalism being anything other than a system that has environmental destruction as a by-product.
But does it benefit all of the people or just the few?
Capitalist profit is the reason we grow all the food we need but millions are hungry. Capitalist profit is the reason there are so many poor while there is so much work to do. Captialist profit is the reason we kill the rhinoceros.