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The failure to deal with climate change is a failure of our political economy system, a failure of capitalism.
Illusory solutions from CCS (Carbon, capture and storage) to Carbon Markets were promoted to;
(a) delay real action; and
(b) game the system for subsidies with boondoggles.
Vested private and corporate interests ruled. This is how our system, capitalism, works: private interest against public and natural system good.
We have entered the “Age of Consequences”. World systems, natural, social and economic are all de-stabilizing; rapidly falling out of their previous relative equilibria. It will be crucial to meet this period with socioeconomic change: to use the changes to dismantle capitalism. The system that is rapidly destroying the world is not the system which can save and rebuild it. We no longer need any further evidence that capitalism is riven with internal and external contradictions and is ultimately destructive of human and natural potential.
If we continue with capitalism, especially but not only market fundamentalist capitalism, we will essentially destroy the Holocene world, civilization and the human race. This is near certain on current trends. If we turn radically to Democratic Socialism we might save the situation. I say “might” because there are no certainties on this side of the equation. We have already committed far too much damage, social, economic and ecological. It will mean changing horses (systems) mid-stream in crisis. But this horse, capitalism, is dying under us and it is taking us under with it.
We can make a start by ceasing our compensation and subsidizing of those industries and boondoggles which are destroying society and planet and misdirecting resources. Decision and allocation power has to be taken away from those who hold capital. That can only be done by taking away their capital. So, we must commence by repossessing their capital and capital assets. It’s as simple (and as difficult) as that. We must commence with the political and people powers that are still at hand, if we have the political will to use them. As follows;
1. Cease subsidies to the rich.
2. Increase their taxes.
3. Remove tax minimization, tax avoidance and tax haven opportunities.
4. Nationalize strategic & monopoly enterprises.
5. Move more to a “state money” model.
6. Increase regulations, especially on finance and on the generation of negative externalities.
This may seem an unrealistic dream even at this late hour. However, crises from climate change and the general Anthropocence to the emergence now of the Pandemicene make these matters of existential import. The prospect of near term death and human extinction ought to concentrate a lot of minds. If not… it’s the end. Simple as that.
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