Capitalism Is Killing The Earth: An Anarchist Guide To Ecology

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Capitalism Is Killing
The Earth: An Anarchist Guide To Ecology. Anarchist Federation. 40 pages. £3.00

This pamphlet from the Anarchist Federation is a well articulated and well written argument for the intrinsic link between climate change and ecological devastation and capitalism. As the pamphlet states: “Capitalism is a system reliant on the total exploitation of nature; whether that be sacrificing our clean water to frack for hydrocarbons or sacrificing our children for the production line.” It goes on to say that the market cannot be relied on to fix C02 emissions and that the only way to achieve meaningful change is to abandon the capitalist model.

The pamphlet is divided into chapters looking at the following subjects: Climate change under capitalism; Case Studies : energy and housing under capitalism; False solutions; an anarchist ecology; and How Do We Get there?

It addresses the question of zero carbon homes and the fact that energy efficiency in housing under capitalism is not seen as a priority when so many people face homelessness and poor housing conditions. It also correctly highlights the factor of land ownership and soil exhaustion under the market, the most obvious example being the cutting back of the rain forests but also the less obvious. It concludes this section by stating: “We can manage limited resources effectively but only through production for need rather than profit, as well as a return to the commons and the creation of a truly circular economy” (i.e. one where the waste of one product is used as the input for the next).

It argues strongly against false solutions like climate summits and national carbon budgets, carbon trading and carbon capture, green and ethical capitalism, state control, the divestment movement, primitivism and its opposite the use of technology to solve ecological problems, and population control.

The pamphlet argues strongly against productivism, that is, the advocacy of production for production’s sake under capitalism. It contrasts this with “a shift in focus to production for societal need and products that can be repaired and maintained” and the ending of entire sectors of the economy like advertising and the military industrial complex.

As it says “the environmental crisis cannot wait for a revolution to destroy capitalism, nor will a post-revolutionary society be environmentally sound unless we manage to change the relationship between humans and the rest of nature”. It offers several short term aims. One, that the link between capitalism and environmental degradation should be made explicit with a critique of the role of the State in facilitating this. Two, that anarchists need to get involved in the mass climate movements to shift the aims of these movements away from false solutions mentioned above.  Three, to get trade unions to adopt an environmental approach. Four, linking up of different struggles, with as an example, land justice campaigns having a clear link to climate change as landowners decide how land is used etc. Also rising nationalism as the State’s response to climate refugees. Five, the creation of networks of likeminded people, closer work with groups such as Earth First! Reclaim The Power and Rising Tide. Six, Actions and struggles independent of actions of politicians and NGOs.

A few criticisms of the pamphlet. Whilst car ownership is touched upon lightly, there is no deep analysis of the car culture and the effects of the internal combustion engine and linked to this the need for the increase in public transport systems and indeed for FREE public transport. In fact, campaigns against fare rises on public transport and from there the demand for free public transport and for its extension should be an essential part of the struggle against climate change.

Secondly, we find it a little strange that in the section How Do We Get There? There is talk of pushing “our unions to adopt an eco-syndicalist stance”. This seems at odds with the AF’s Aims and Principle which offers a correct critique of trade unionism. This sentence seems to imply that somehow the trade unions can be converted into fighting syndicalist organisations, something that should be seen as an illusion.

Despite these criticisms, the pamphlet is important in its linking of climate change to capitalism and deserves to be widely read and widely distributed.

There are 26 Comments

'Surveillance Capitalism' by S. Zuboff is slightly longer at 525 pages with another two hundred of references and at £25, somewhat more expensive. However, as an overall perspective, with the occasional deeper dives, this book provides an excellent read into why and how AI (the internet of things) is going to capture your inner being and there is no VPN or Tor or encryption that's going to 'protect' you. There is no sidestepping the telescreen as Winston Smith could do in 1984. Surveillance Capitalism is not only about profiteering, it is about capturing you inside and out!!!

KILL IT!!!!KILL IT!!!!! GET IT OFF ME!!!!!!!!

It seems like there was no mention of de-massifying. Community gardens, free mass transit and even production of goods only for need that can be repaired are all band aids at this point. Horizontal networks of autonomous people and groups who refuse to be coerced by outside political or economic forces is what will get us to wherever we need to be.

As a Nihilist I welcome the planet's destruction. Go Capitalism!

a nihilist does not. among other things, it does not welcome. always-already engulfed in an unwelcoming void, which destroys and ejects itself in manner resembling digestion, regurgitation, and excretion, but only in the way that nothing can resemble something, nothing being all-encompassing, by way of are not a nihilist unless you tip-toe merrily with a dark giggle, and take a peek under the void's dark tutu! unwelcomingly and without cheering!

I was starting to suspect you of being one of dem welcomists!

No way, Bohemian Nihilists live inertly within any ideological paradigm.

Nihilists certainly don't gatekeep the nothing, that would be silly!

anyone who thinks that only Capitalism is the cause is goddamn absurd and just repeating red-religious humanist talking points to gain status

Civilisation, Industrialisation, the techno-industrial system, overproduction, overconsumption, HUMANITY are all causes

Red/Green economics and society will not save anything, it will continue as long as the above continues

Exactly. Just kill everyone now. #FullNihilism

"Civilisation, Industrialisation, the techno-industrial system, overproduction, overconsumption, HUMANITY are all causes"

haha... yeah. Tho you left in your dead angle the very dogma that's driving all these things from behind. i.e. the drive for capital accumulation & consolidation.

Deeper still, there are psychological precursors which produce the demand (desire) and the accumulation (function of consumerism).
But yes how this mass psychosis is di erted into a sustainable creative practice is up to the individualist.,.

Psycho-poo-logy is a product of social control within the scope of managing a "democratic" society, by targeting the "neuroatypical". Michel Foucault, read it up! Sociology has been sitting behind psychologists to analyze their obsessive-repressive control pathologies for roughly a hundred years.

We are conditioned to be, as Deleuze calls it, "desiring machines". We have been socially conditioned for desiring one or another thing since our early childhood. The originality of every being is how such desires take shape, how they are expressed, what are their objects or triggers.. But the desire for capital accumulation is deeply-rooted socially, before than it is entrenched in the psyche.

19,06 here, sooo you just used 4 times as many words to describe what I said, AND DON'T SPLIT HAIRS.!!
Read " Sustainable and Word Efficient Semantics " or SWES for short, by sum anon anarch monosyllabic rebel nihilist and you'll know what Im talkin' 'bout

Capitalism has its place, no denying that but that is a micro view of the actual causes, socialism or communism is not going to correct ecocide, it is just preaching for the believers, especially when it retains the same systems and foundations and a progressive/humanism society

WTF, This is an Winglish speaking site, wespect it !

Machine translation provided by Google translate:

How this mass psychological disorder is brought into a sustainable creative practice depends on individualism.

We're a fucken species of parasites.

19h century naturalism (which still prevails today among people who don't read too much, or think by themselves) was wrong in comparing humans to predator animals... that's totally not what we are. Even if there are predatory tendencies, they end up serving parasitic goals (military's the best example).

This why the parasites tend to be the biggest winners in human society, at any fucking scale and in any fucking milieu, no matter if you're under a theocracy, capitalist regime, oligarchy, monarchy, socialist republic...

Better be asserting this parasitic character, making it a virtue in itself, make it even a political agenda or paradigm, and fashionable life style, instead of pretending to be anything more romantic... like your fav liberal leftist hypocrite, for starters. Also the very notion of "parasitism" dissolves in the air when everything's free and open and people are just taking from nature what they need to sustain a living.

Deprivation from nature is at the roots source of the ecocide. Related to capitalism but not inherently capitalism, for how deprivation has been around for a much longer time. But it's also a lure to look far back in history, as it is also happening under your very nose and your buddies may be among those seeking to perpetuate it, for instance buying land off the countryside to transform it and raise its value, securing themselves nice "community" honeypots, building "communes", etc (things that aren't bad in themselves, tho). Eventually these unassumed parasites find ways to secure others from taking part, so instead of being just free-living, it remains, well, parasitism! You can also call that "privilege-building". By depriving or taking part in that social game of Deprivation, they are just perpetuating the same civilization of parasites.

Then there's the issue of monopolies, or the great lengths by which those who've secured these privileges will go aggressively after all those different people who are building privilege in more or less similar ways. Which often led to racially-driven massacres like the Holocaust or the Tulsa race riot. But that's another chapter. Parasites can wage war for their own dominion but that doesn't make them predators. That makes them fanatical bigots.

funn how i also misremember that monologue to say “parasite”. Smith says “virus”, “plague”, “cancer” and “disease” but doesn’t say “parasite” once! at least not in that part (monologue in The Matrix 1 where he has Morpheus tied up).

Fun nitpicking's fun, but a virus (which is indeed the word Agent Smith uses) is basically a parasite organism. It's just a more harmful, aggressive parasite, like humans; and unlike "nicer" parasitic suckers like remoras, leeches, tapeworms, etc. So, THANKS FOR RECTIFYING!

They've just cut the 20 extra minutes off the movie where he goes through a long-winded po-mo rambling about "bodies without organs", their territorialization, as well as "consensus realities" as Morpheus fights for not having the Emile virus infect him during this mind torture session. No, the Wacko-skis just kept to the saner, more mass-appealing species-being of the Virus.

Now gonna get my ass back to the joys of sound editing. 11 PM tonite on the @planet stream of all goes as planned!!!

what’s that? bump that bump, maybe i’ll log in to check it?

btw, i only made the observation about “parasites” cuz the other day i was gonna quote it expecting that to be the prominent word, and got a dose of the mandela effect XD

And the Wacko-skis aren't wacked-out merely due to their sex change. I couldn't care less about it, that's their personal choice. It may be in itself a strong political statement in Hollywood, but it helped nothing in exposing the actual sexist violence and abuse in this industry that liberal feminism has partially achieved.

It's their creative wingnuttism... how heavy-handed they got with their film ideas ever since the Matrix sequels (that goes downhill since the moment Trinity gets shot). Then they make the hero of V for Vendetta imprison and torture his female love interest for weeks... months... just to show her what it's like. They used to be leaning towards a kind of "critique" back in the '90s, but they went all ultra-liberal during the '00s and especially the '10s. Sense8 was an ID pol joke filled with abhorrent liberal yuppies. It's like they attempted a faint resemblance of subversion but instead went for televised LGB eroticism thinking it's the most subversive thing ever... Yawn.

In other news, Sean Baker's been doing the most intelligently, sharply subversive shit in the US nowadays. He's doing a true social critique.

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