An intelligent, caring New Green World, or an ignorance-based ideological planet-crashing system?
Um,m… Let’s see…
These are great ideas! A welcome alternative to trying to solve climate change and other crises with “business as usual.” I’m sharing this article with friends.
Unlike everyone else Richard is almost telling the truth about what has to be done. However even his hard hitting article does not fully explain the massive change people’s lives must undergo. People’s incomes will be equal, equal to almost nothing. Schooling? How much schooling do you need to tell a mule gee and haw. I do hope all those youths get a few years on an organic farm. Most of the nation’s population will have to be relocated, 100 million to farms and another 100 million so they will be close to their food source. Of course some lucky individuals will be allowed to stay in capital cities. The Hunger Games wasn’t supposed to be a how to book.
You do know that India, China, and Russia are going to tell you to pound sand.
Richard Smith hits a home run via Real World Economics. Listen to the roar of approval in your own heart.
Otherwise; think about it for a day and then tell your children you don’t care what happens to them when you get home after work.
Democratic socialists without the democratic party? I’m part of that; Let’s mean it as if we’re not lost in reforming a genocidal band of corporatistas. Otherwise, dear Richard, like me, is a nonpartisan independent green eco socialist. Sure, AOC in in the Ds and should hammer away as she fights her way through unbreakable sticky spider webs and quicksand. Yes, support her by all means.
It may be Smith’s version of a eco-socialist solution but it isn’t the socialist remedy.
Some radical palliatives are offered but let us not forget, FDR’s New Deal was failing and it took a World war to lead to its success.
There are obvious limits to the effectiveness of appeals to capitalist governments due to the constraints placed on them both by the workings of the capitalist economy and by their remit to defend the interests of the national capitalist class they represent as Smith correctly points out in his article.
Nor can we look at any national answer because of the competition between capitalist states to sell their products on world markets and to obtain the raw materials to generate energy they are unable to adopt a rational policy to slow down global warming.
What about the actual abolition of capitalism and the establishment of socialism as a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources, with production directly to satisfy people’s needs instead of for profit? Isn’t that eco-socialism?
Socialism, as a world in which the Earth’s natural and industrial resources will have become the common heritage of all humanity, is quite literally the only framework in which the problem can be rationally tackled by the necessary co-ordinated global action, not nationalisation and the creation of some sort of “war-economy”
II. Capitalist priority to growth and profits over people and planet
Would a “Capitalist priority to people and planet over growth and profits” work?
You need to site some kind of record for an otherwise empty fictional assertion that Roosevelt’s leadership was failing as a president in his efforts to cure a collapsed capitalist system without war.
Still struggling mightily to save drowning capitalism is closer to reality. It was a big job. Continued struggle with a collapsed economy is not failure. Capitalism is what had failed and it was society that fixed things.
You are funny
“… establishment of socialism as a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources, with production directly to satisfy people’s needs instead of for profit? Isn’t that eco-socialism?”
One edit offered, I know you know. Add needs of biodiversity first, then we humans who depend on biodiversity even for the air we breath.
Seriously, isn’t nature capitalistic? Survival of the fittest and all?
The difference between our species and others is ours has money. There is no money in nature to upset its population/resource balance. That means no 1% with the money-power to glom most resources of the 99%.
Nature is not in the least capitalistic. Nature is a web of cooperation as well as it is predator and prey. Look how the bear poops salmon poop for miles away from the river and makes the forest grow. Capitalism sucks the world dry and pollutes it with plastic instead of poop in the forrest…
The idea of social Darwinism as a dog-eat-dog world beginning of European capitalism; thugs, known later as royals, chased pastoral humans from their homes on the land to make room for vast empty fields to raise sheep for wool.
There are many history books one can skip at this point for capitalism is nothing more than the game of monopoly played by adults who pay to have laws written. It’s a very boring game of growth to infinity on a finite world. We live in a world that seemed unlimited but now has become so polluted and stressful that US life expectancy is falling and over 20,000 farmers a year are committing suicide.
Did you read this article? Rich people seem rich and getting richer but regular people can afford to buy them out using their heads working together. The idea of this article, in part, is the rich will be glad to sell out because their world depends on a free lunch no longer given by a sick Earth. Capitalists already ate the goose that laid the golden egg. Now its up to regular people to evolve beyond dog-eat-dog barbarism.
Sorry kids and most all other life on Earth, it’s too late. Even those with the best intentions have tinted glasses on. As the insects are dying out, let me give you this remedy: there ain’t one. Face it!
Commonly believed history is often the hardest to refute and there has been decades of sympathetic studies of the FDR New Deal but a review of the contemporary left-wing analysis says different.
In seven years of reformist planning, the New Deal has hardly scratched the surface of the problems presented by the cotton regions of the South. The masses of Southern tenants and sharecroppers are still illiterate, still racked by typhoid, pellagra, and malaria, three diseases which are symptomatic of a low standard of living. The New Deal has failed to solve the central problem of all; the serious disproportion between living standards in the South and in the rest of the country. President’s Roosevelt’s fine talk about the South being “the nation’s No.1 economic problem” and therefore first on the order of the day for action by the New Deal, this is simply – fine talk.
The reality was that for the United States the war in Europe and then its own entry provided the capitalist class with magnificent booty. It was not because Roosevelt’s New Deal that the Great Depression ended but by the literal blood sacrifice of workers. The usual manner of correcting economic slumps is through wide-spread unemployment that lowers wages, causes bankruptcies of the less competitive companies, and facilitates the take over of devalued plant and equipment by larger corporations. This reorganization of capitalist production on the basis of cheaper labor and cheaper materials all around, allows the surviving, enlarged and more “efficient” capitalists to re-new production at rates of profit, productivity and growth even greater than before the downward dive in the “business cycle.” Prior to the “war effort,” this process was underway but had not gotten the economy going again. However, the riches plundered in times of war—the take-over and re-organization of conquered nations’ entire material wealth, equipment, cheap labor, factories, and infrastructure—are vastly more profitable than is the process of domestic bankruptcies and economic rebuilding at home.
Unemployment in America was 24.1 per cent in 1932, the year when Roosevelt became President, and 25.2 per cent in 1933. By 1937 it was down to 14.3 per cent, though it rose again in 1938 to 19.1 per cent - an upward trend, reversed by what?
There was a reprioritized WPA projects, anticipating a major expansion of the U.S. military. "Types of WPA work to be expedited in every possible way to include, in addition to airports and military airfields, construction of housing and other facilities for enlarged military garrisons, camp and cantonment construction, and various improvements in navy yards. The WPA had already made substantial contributions to national defense over its five years of existence, by building 85 percent of the new airports in the U.S. and making $420 million in improvements to military facilities. He predicted there would be 500,000 WPA workers on defense-related projects over the next 12 months, at a cost of $250 million.The estimated number of WPA workers needed for defense projects was soon revised to between 600,000 and 700,000. Vocational training for war industries was also begun by the WPA, with 50,000 trainees in the program by October 1940. Unemployment ended with war production for war as millions of men joined the services, and miitary contracts made it attractive for companies to hire unemployed men and train them
Paul Mattick is worth a read on the economics of the New Deal
An early English economist, William Petty, observed that labour is the father of wealth and the earth its mother. It is a statement that Marx quotes approvingly in Capital.
Again i apologise for dwelling on the facts and not the fiction of FDR’s miraculous policies.
What i often overlooked is the 1937 recession
“…employment did not regain the early 1937 level until the United States entered World War II in late 1941…employment in private sector factories regained the levels reached in early 1929 and early 1937, but did not exceed them until the onset of World War II…”
The 1937 depression was halted and reversed, not by any normal upswing of the economic cycle, but by the speeding up of war preparations not only in this country but throughout the world. Step by step, the superstructure of administrative agencies created from 1933 to 1937 was adapted to suit the needs of the war program. The concessions to the masses (CCC, WPA, FSA, NYA) were curtailed or abolished, while the departments ministering to Big Business (RFC, Export-Import Bank, etc.), were enormously expanded. Thus the main agencies of capitalist recovery in the first phase of Rooseveltism were revamped into means of mobilizing the national resources for the impending war. The expansion of war industry lessened unemployment and increased the confidence of the workers and the bargaining power of the trade unions. The spurt in corporation profits convinced the masses of greater possibilities of securing increased wages. Hence from 1937 to the outbreak of the Second World War the trade unions were able to strengthen their economic positions. This situation was sharply reversed the minute war broke out. The administration forced the union leadership to abandon the right to strike, imposed longer hours and lower hourly wages, and launched an assault on overtime pay.
On the eve of the outbreak of World War II, the United States presented a picture of economic stagnation which could be changed by nothing short of war. The pump-priming of the New Deal had failed to revive private investment in capital goods – the dynamic element of capitalist economy. Some figures will make this fact vivid. During the nine years of 1921–1929, some 71 billion dollars had been put into plant and equipment. During the nine years of 1930–1938, only 55 billion dollars had been put in.
Housing construction during 1921–1929, there was invested 36.7 billions. But in the 1930–1938 period, there was invested only 10 billions.
Like his earlier namesake’s reforms of the Trusts, FDR was trying to save capitalism from the capitalists.