Parts of my reply to a comment on the /r/climate post of “The ecocide at the heart of capitalism”

I know I sound maybe a little jerky in here, but I thought it might be helpful.

> the “utopic system” that needs to exist (but probably never will) will be a blend/compromise.

A “mixture” of capitalism with socialism is just capitalism. Social programs are not socialism–they are welfare. Socialism is public ownership and control of the means of production. A situation in which, say, an otherwise capitalist country has nationalized the oil industry is still not “a mixture of socialism and capitalism,” because if the government is controlled by the capitalist class, then the industry is not publicly owned and controlled–it is owned and controlled by the capitalist class as a whole.

> We know this hypothetical future system will have to have the biosphere and human well-being/progress at the center, and solving the energy issue will be problem numero uno.

Absolutely, which is why our system cannot include capitalism in it. Capitalism allowed to persist in any part of the economy grows like a cancer, bringing more and more of the economic system into a realm where decisions are made not according to any plan but instead by the chaos that results when discrete blocs of capitalists compete for short- and mid-term profit. Only with a planned economy can we solve this problem.

> The power of corporations (and their subsequent influence in governance) will have to be entirely eliminated,

If we leave concentrated wealth intact, they will use it as a form of power. There is no way to leave the concentrated wealth intact and eliminate its political power. If you disagree, I heartily encourage you to click that link and grapple with the real issues of how we could eliminate every last one of those ways wealth is wielded as power–and for bonus points, tell me how we can get there without overthrowing them in a revolution. Tell me how we will get to a situation in which wealth is no longer power from our current situation, in which wealth is the ONLY power.

> Corporations, through open-source intellectual property sharing can actually create a form of collective-cooperation and healthy competition

This is not how capitalism ever works. I challenge you to name a single moment and region in the last 500 years when capitalism has ever, ever, ever behaved like this. As soon as large-scale blocs of capital exist and are competing, they must resort to all methods of competition, not just legal ones. They must resort to influencing the law to give themselves every advantage possible. The competition for profit doesn’t stop at legality or morality. It doesn’t stop for anything, and as long as they have the power, it won’t stop for anything. If you truly think capitalism can work any differently, I encourage you to read the first five chapters of Zombie Capitalism

> We don’t need a global economic model that’s a race to the bottom to still remain a global economy.

If you preserve private ownership of the means of production, this is how it will remain.

Just wanted to share this definition for socialism (in my second comment) I came up with as a way of answering this person I was talking with on reddit:

I said,

The Soviet Union made the [ecological] choices it made while trying to withstand the external existential-threat-level pressure of U.S. imperialism and the internal struggle, which was caused by the war-torn origins of the country and exacerbated by the pains that had to be taken to resist that external pressure.

They said,

The west used the same justification to crank up the MIC. All empires have used it.

I said,

The point is to ask whether global socialism–a world that has been unified by the common desire for an end to empires and imperialism and an attempt to permanently enact that end through a historically novel socioeconomic arrangement–might get different results from an empire.

A reply to a reddit post to /r/climate, “Trying To Be Optimistic, Find The Will To Fight”

The poster said,

I’m obsessed with thinking about it and cannot get it out of my head. I’m just absolutely terrified that the next generation is going to be totally screwed and that the end of my life will be awful. Given a lot of you are in the rough ballpark of my age group (I’m 27), I’m sure you can relate to this in some way.

I’d like to know – where do you find the will to keep fighting? How do you ward off the anxiety that comes with knowing that extinction is on the brink? What, if anything, is making you optimistic that we’ll at least mitigate SOME damage?

My reply was

I work to bring about global socialism, because it is the only possible solution. My fight to do this involves struggling alongside people who already face problems and being of whatever assistance I can in the work of solving these problems and building power in their communities.

People are already suffering, and have been for a very long time, and the world is overall a much less fulfilling, nurturing, or interesting a world than it would be if this weren’t the case. Because there is poverty, there is crime. Because of the necessity of controlled reproduction of a labor force (and other reasons), there is the domination of women and the oppression of all non-men and non-gender-conforming people. Because there is colonialism (which is fundamentally a political-economic phenomenon), there is racism. Because of all this, the world is filled with deeply fucked-up people, both victims and perpetrators of these horrific social mechanics, and cheap, unsustainable thrills to soothe the majority of us. What person even of substantial privilege wouldn’t at the very least have nerves just living in the same global society as all of that? I am deeply alienated by our world, and its misery enters my life on a daily basis, and the way to reduce my alienation and sadness is to work to change it. I believe socialism is the only way to resolve these problems, because the problems are, at their deepest root, a function of our economic system.

So I was already delighted to have found a way to serve humanity as a way of also working against my own alienation in this shitty world, but it turns out that it’s not only the well-being of the billions who are already suffering on the line (and that of billions to come after them if we don’t end capitalism)–it is actually everyone’s life, even the whole species’ life–on the line due to climate change, so I have all the reason to work harder.

That’s what gives my life meaning and gives me the will to fight, along with the relationships I make with people I meet, love, befriend, and work with as I do this work, and even a love for all life.