Author Topic: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us  (Read 676 times)

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Offline MH

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Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« on: November 25, 2017, 08:35:36 am »
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/opinion/climate-capitalism-crisis.html?smid=fb-share&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2F

I have been saving this essay, as I feared reading it.  I feared it would sway me, and it did a little.  I didn't need to be swayed that the system needs to be changed.  It does, and is always changing as an open system does.  But the degree of change required, according to this, demands a complete re-founding of our principles.  It says that we can no longer afford an economic system that allows individual freedom to pursue capitalistic initiatives.

The thing that sways me is the statement that it's the status quo now needs to be defended.  I have always asked people proposing a change to our system to propose something better, and now I think I will stop saying that as it implies that there really isn't anything better.   

What isn't better, however, is governmental central planning, and technocracy.  Concentration of power.  Closed systems.  And yet a full change isn't possible with a majority (strong majority) of the people unconvinced that change is required.  It's a quandary.

So... the topic for this thread is:

1. Accepting that wholesale change is needed, can it be done within a democratic framework ?  Can it be done in a global context ?  Can it be done ?
2. Accepting that wholesale change is needed, what does the new system look like ?

Of course, this sounds like and probably is Marxism but that's for the answer to #2 above.

Please if you want to discuss whether Climate Change is real, or whether enacting social/economic change to address it is a good idea then that's off-topic for this thread.  We have a lot of threads on that topic, but I want to find out if people on here have ideas about massive global social change.

If your opinion is that it would be a disaster then please say so.  I don't disagree with that either.


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Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 10:18:02 am »
That's like saying the basic problem with all the forest fires we are having is oxygen.  They would certainly not occur without it, but we wouldn't do too well either.
Time for bed said Zebedee...

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 10:27:51 am »
That's like saying the basic problem with all the forest fires we are having is oxygen.  They would certainly not occur without it, but we wouldn't do too well either.

Not sure I understand you here.  Are you saying capitalism is like oxygen, necessary for the survival of the human species?

Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 10:43:30 am »
Not sure I understand you here.  Are you saying capitalism is like oxygen, necessary for the survival of the human species?

I'm saying it is now.  If you want to go back a few thousand years and start again you might be able to figure out a different way that works, but I don't think you can now.

And even if you could, what difference would it make?  How are you going to keep eight billion people clothed, fed, warm and occupied relying on each state only?

I guess I can see it if you replace it with an extremely single minded worldwide dictatorship, but that's about it.

Edit>  Actually, let me change that a little.  I said we wouldn't do too well.  We aren't going to survive with capitalism either, so forget my first sentence there.  Either way we're screwed.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 11:02:56 am by bcsapper »
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline Omni

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 11:46:49 am »
I'm saying it is now.  If you want to go back a few thousand years and start again you might be able to figure out a different way that works, but I don't think you can now.

And even if you could, what difference would it make?  How are you going to keep eight billion people clothed, fed, warm and occupied relying on each state only?

I guess I can see it if you replace it with an extremely single minded worldwide dictatorship, but that's about it.

Edit>  Actually, let me change that a little.  I said we wouldn't do too well.  We aren't going to survive with capitalism either, so forget my first sentence there.  Either way we're screwed.

1. No need to suggest impossible/silly ideas, we don't need to go back, we need to go forward in smarter ways.

2. How many of the 8 billion do you think are being well taken care of under the current system? How many die each year in states where you can't breathe the polluted air?

3. Replace it by using the technology we have currently, and will continue to discover. And you don't have to put Exxon/Mobil out of business to do it. They are already getting on the renewable program.

Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 12:13:52 pm »
1. No need to suggest impossible/silly ideas, we don't need to go back, we need to go forward in smarter ways.

2. How many of the 8 billion do you think are being well taken care of under the current system? How many die each year in states where you can't breathe the polluted air?

3. Replace it by using the technology we have currently, and will continue to discover. And you don't have to put Exxon/Mobil out of business to do it. They are already getting on the renewable program.

Silly ideas make a good example to illustrate other silly ideas.

You seem to think I'm pro pollution.  I'm not. 

I agree with the article writer that we aren't going to tech our way out of our current predicament.  (unless someone comes up with cold fusion, of course)  I don't care if Exxon Mobil go out of business.  It seems like it would be a shame if they went out of business for nothing.
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline MH

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 12:45:24 pm »
So far so good.  We are looking at old bad ideas together and realizing that they won't work.

Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 12:57:32 pm »
So far so good.  We are looking at old bad ideas together and realizing that they won't work.

Nothing will work.  We are no different from the dinosaur or the dodo in our right to exist.  We differ greatly, of course, in our propensity towards self destruction.
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Offline Omni

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2017, 01:33:19 pm »
Silly ideas make a good example to illustrate other silly ideas.

You seem to think I'm pro pollution.  I'm not. 

I agree with the article writer that we aren't going to tech our way out of our current predicament.  (unless someone comes up with cold fusion, of course)  I don't care if Exxon Mobil go out of business.  It seems like it would be a shame if they went out of business for nothing.

1. Trying to deflect from the issue by wandering off into time travel is a silly idea, that didn't work.

2. If you don't like pollution why not use technology to get rid of it?

3. I care if Exxon goes out of business and not because I used to work for them. Having done so, I am aware they have some very smart people in their employ who have the techy skill to be successful in harnessing renewable energy. They are already at it.

Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2017, 01:40:21 pm »
1. Trying to deflect from the issue by wandering off into time travel is a silly idea, that didn't work.

2. If you don't like pollution why not use technology to get rid of it?

3. I care if Exxon goes out of business and not because I used to work for them. Having done so, I am aware they have some very smart people in their employ who have the techy skill to be successful in harnessing renewable energy. They are already at it.

It's not a defection, it's an example.  How could it be a deflection?

I am 100% in favour of reducing pollution.  That, though, is a good example of a deflection when the issue is why we don't solve AGW. 

The issue is not New Delhi choking to death or a sea full of plastic bags.  Those things are solvable, with the will.  Turning around an entire species that has being doing things a certain way since its inception is another matter entirely.  It's not the fault of the species or the way it does things that the industrial revolution came along and messed everything up.
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 02:11:34 pm »
Good topic Mike, i'll come back with my thoughts later...
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019

Offline Omni

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2017, 02:21:22 pm »
It's not a defection, it's an example.  How could it be a deflection?

I am 100% in favour of reducing pollution.  That, though, is a good example of a deflection when the issue is why we don't solve AGW. 

The issue is not New Delhi choking to death or a sea full of plastic bags.  Those things are solvable, with the will.  Turning around an entire species that has being doing things a certain way since its inception is another matter entirely.  It's not the fault of the species or the way it does things that the industrial revolution came along and messed everything up.

1. Not sure what it would be an example of, but not worth discussing.

2. You think pollution does not go hand in hand with AGW?

3. We turned around the way at least most of the entire species does things in short order when we went from the horse drawn carriage to the auto. Time to do that again.

Offline TimG

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 02:30:51 pm »
It says that we can no longer afford an economic system that allows individual freedom to pursue capitalistic initiatives.
Such ops ignore human nature. Humans succeed because they specialize. i.e. some people learn to make clothing well, others make stone tools well. There has to be a way to exchange the fruits of labour AND compensate people who are have a rare skill or use it more productively. Without the latter there is no incentive for people to produce more or get better. Some small societies have created cults/religion that convince people to share without special compensation but these societies are not sustainable because some people will invariably break free of the brain washing if they realize that the brainwashing is used to exploit them. In other societies an appeal to the "greater good" can work if the society is homogeneous. In heterogeneous, societies differences in groups will lead to resentments and a feeling that the "other" is not doing their share. Capitalism, like democracy, is not perfect but it is vastly superior to all others in terms of its ability to leverage human specialization for the greater good.

As a thought exercise to evaluate alternatives to capitalism consider how their are likely to perform on these points:

1) Respect an individual's autonomy - i.e. the ability to make their own choices.
2) Reward rare skills and/or better productivity;
3) Dealing with freeloaders;

I can't think of any system that can best capitalism with the caveat that capitalism depends on a system of rules and a bad set of rules can undermine the value of capitalism.

I see such ops as simply exercises where a writer takes their preexisting ideology and uses "climate change" as an excuse to push it. You could cross out "climate change" and insert "overpopulation" and the article would not change. So this op is not about climate change - change is just a means to an end. It is about capitalism.
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Offline bcsapper

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 06:09:25 pm »
1. Not sure what it would be an example of, but not worth discussing.

2. You think pollution does not go hand in hand with AGW?

3. We turned around the way at least most of the entire species does things in short order when we went from the horse drawn carriage to the auto. Time to do that again.

That was my point, really.

Not in the way you think.  Most pollution is curtailed because of its heath effect on humans.  CO2 and Methane have never been a problem as far as health goes.  NO2, SO2, Mercury, Particulates, etc., have always been the major concern when it came to curtailing pollution.  And it was always site specific. 

I think it's too late, and even if if there was still time, there isn't the collective will.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 06:10:58 pm by bcsapper »
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Offline wilber

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Re: Climate Change - Marxism will Save Us
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2017, 07:08:01 pm »
Animals specialize as well. They go extinct because they can't adapt to changes in time and there is no guarantee that humans can. I tend to agree with bcsapper, maybe not as far as extinction but definitely major upheavals, probably greater than any humans have undergone before.
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