a Marxist critique of the Green New Deals and Extinction Rebellion
Selling Extinction is a short introduction to the capitalist notion of a “Green New Deal”, the NGOs that support it and the recent Extinction Rebellion protests in London.’
Given its length (24 mins) I’ve done a very rushed transcript of the first 7 mins or so, then some of what’s mentioned past the half-way mark, to perhaps entice you to watch in case videos of this length are as agonizing to sit through as they are to me. Dunno how many sessions it took me to finish…
“there is a great strangeness and tragedy in greeting our historical moment, and yet…it cannot be avoided. we are today living in the sixth mass extinction…and may lead to the end of the human species, moreover: t is urgent. an oct. 2018 UN report that we have but twelve years left for preventing the situation to becoming irreversible. these are the end times. the top 100 companies in the world produced over 70% of global emissions since 1988.”
[Not included per se is amerika’s war, inc.™ which has the largest carbon footprint on the planet.]
“these facts indicate the reality: profits come first. the destruction of our environment is entirely the result of capitalist imperialism. that is: monopoly capitalism dominated by finance capital; it is structurally incapable of considering anything other than profit.this reality is clearly expressed by the ambitions of factions of the ruling class who believe it is possible to make a ‘Green Capitalism’. whether motivated by ego or simple incomprehension, it cannot be said, but one thing is clear: with the human species being confronted by extinction…capitalists can only see opportunity. Down with capitalist New Deal. In 2007 a largely british group of NGO and financial directors, along with the economic editor of the Guardian and the green party MP, caroline lucas, formed the green new deal group to argue for a restructuring of capitalism. their first report published in 2008 by the new economics foundation outlined the fundamentals of a green new deal.”
[Neweconomics.org: Why ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ needs a Green New Deal]’
“in essence, the proposal seeks to restore profitability to the capitalist system by destroying the fossil fuel industry and opening up new investments in green jobs, as well as destroying masses of capital by the break-up of big banks.
in various iterations of the deal, this is complemented by what is known as ‘the payments for ecosystems services system’, which argues that this new round of investment by the valuation of natural assets. that is: the privatization and financialization of the whole sphere of the globe. whilst the report and the literature surrounding it correctly identify that neoliberal globalization is ended, its understanding of this phenomenon is profoundly incorrect. throughout their writing, the green new deal group argue that what is required is a return to the economic thought of keyenesianism and roosevelt. this…is a dead end.
roosevelt’s new deal did not restore profitability to the capitalist system, nor end the great depression. profitable reinvestment was allowed during the post-war boom precisely because of the violent destruction of the over-accumulated capital across particularly europe and japan during the wars, and the depressed wages left in fascism’s wake. with the return of the imperialist countries the crisis conditions in 1974, the ransacking of the state under neoliberalism and the redivision of the world (among) competing imperial powers following the collapse of the soviet union in 1991. the economic conditions that we face today are more akin to those that preceded the wars than those that followed them.
Down with great power competition.”
At about 12 mins, the film makers discuss the Extinction Rebellion, including the organizer’s plans, the class structure of the protests, its monetization including XR business as per a letter in the Times. They also indict the organizers for leaving those arrested or harmed by the police as having been pretty much hung out to dry, and charging them with collaboration with the Metro police, all while noting that the activists themselves are right in their dreams of a new world. Left out of all discussions is the fact that the UK green new deal admitted that aside from their mobilizations, only Cuba, a socialist nation, has policies makes it the only sustainable nation on the earth, although the reasons for that have been left out of the discussions.
For further reading:
‘Trees don’t grow on money – or why you don’t get to rebel against extinction’, timhayward.com, April 29, 2019
…in which he delves into XR’s two demands for ‘halting biodiversity loss and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, and what they really mean…and don’t mean.
Green Anti-Capitalist Front, Climate Struggle Is Class Struggle, which includes their brief manifesto.
Climate Activism has been Madison Avenue Indigenized
"Activism" has been completely commodified. So grotesque - yet normalized. Barneys New York, The Window: "Meet Indigenous Climate Change Activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez" pic.twitter.com/sOrt4UcEH3
— Cory Morningstar (@elleprovocateur) April 18, 2019
and infanitlized, as Red Kahina had said, but I’d add: also future utopia ID politicized, as well as ‘Wise Indun-ized.’ Remember that AOC’s Green New Dream extols Net-Zero emissions, public/private partnerships, as well as market solutions like carbon credits, carbon offsets, and big business loves: carbon capture and storage, and makes appeals for the plan w/ ID politics, over and over. But hey: ‘we had all the technology!’
— The Intercept (@theintercept) April 17, 2019
"Climate change is a direct product of capitalism and cannot be rectified by more capitalism." pic.twitter.com/9h2tZs1z5Q
— Cory Morningstar (@elleprovocateur) May 1, 2019
ach, there's more related stuff, but that's enough to digest (or not) for now. i might bring more in comments; we'll see.
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)