• No matter how green you try to make capitalism, it is still unsustainable. Profit is the motive, not humanity.

    • Yes, but under any system we will still need fuel and workers will need to be paid.

  • The last part of your statement can’t be taken as a given. It all depends on what you mean by “paid”. Think co-operative, mutual aid, anarchist, There are alternatives, we don’t need to produce the volume of crap that we do. have a look at the carbon footprint of the top 10% of the West’s popupation. The largest carbon footprint on the planet is war and the West is good at that. The next revolution has to be a revolution of consciousness, the rules have to be scrapped, we have to think outside the profit motive. Think capitalism and you think selfishness, greed, growth, increase in personal wealth, and you are back on the road to oblivion.

  • All of that works well at a small neighborhood level. But does it scale? Tractors, trucks, computers have to be built and shipped all over the world. Most people will not want to work an assembly line all day long unless they get something for it. This is what I’ve never quite understood about anarchism. We don’t live in an agrarian world with small neighborhoods where everyone knows each other and sees mutual interest in helping each other (like farmers used to do with barn-raising and crop harvesting)

    To put it another way, in an anarchist world in dense urban cities, who will pick up the garbage and why would they want to?

  • It worked in Barcelona, and other places, in spite of fighting a war for survival. I’m quite sure that if you lived in a neighbourhood and the garbage needed lifting, there would be some agreement to have it lifted. Or would you all just sit and let the garbage cover your house? Take the money out of the equation and communities will do what they think needs doing to keep their communities decent to live in and have their kids. Put money in the equation and everything goes selfish and very personal. Without the monetary element people will start to shape society the way they want it to be, if that means tractors then there will be tractors, if they don’t, then there won’t be. Whose to say who is right and who is wrong? I will not lay done the grand plan of how any society should develop, I’ll leave that up to those involved in that society. What ever way it goes, it will have to be radically different from what we are doing at the moment, as it is obvious that this lot is heading for the toilet.

    • Yes, but how does one community build tractors, ship them across the world, then receive something in return for their time and labor? Because they have to eat too.

  • Eliminating capitalism does not mean going back to the jungle. What we have we can use minus the profit motive, that would depend on the people involved, we do not live in isolated village mud huts, we are a world wide community. Production would be geared to needs, not the desires of multi-national corporations. That its self would reduce the carbon footprint considerably, there is nothing wrong in shipping things around the world if the need is there, though I imagine that volume would reduce considerably, Co-operation, syndicalism, mutual aid with compassion for our fellow humans and a desire for sustainability would shape the world far different than the desire for wealth and to be top of the pile. Profit tends to make people want to put in a dollar and take out two, it can’t work for everybody, somebody has to be the loser.

    • DJ

      John, you’re rolling several concepts together and calling it capitalism. But I think the fundamental problem with your suggestion is this: show me the man (or woman) who is willing to do the mind-killing job of assembling tractors on an assembly line purely for the good of his/her fellow man. As Sue has said here before, if you give me the choice of an easy job or a difficult one, and there’s no upside to doing the difficult one, I’ll take the easy one every time. In the absence of compensation, tractors would cease to exist in any meaningful way.

      There are those who argue that we would be better served and more fulfilled if we went back to draft horses – and some farmers are actually doing that. But we can’t feed mega-cities that way. The U.S. recently transitioned from mostly rural to mostly urban. That trend would have to reverse. And populations would fall, not necessarily by choice, because we would no longer have the food or medical resources to care for them. Return to rural life and population reduction are two worthy goals, but that’s a harsh way to achieve them.

      I agree with you that Corporate Capitalism is killing our planet, our liberties, and our souls, but that doesn’t mean we need to abandon the entire concept of money as a medium of exchange between a willing buyer and a willing seller of more or less equal stature. The barriers to self-determination can be removed without eliminating money. The problem of global hunger will not be solved by eliminating money.

      I say this not as a money-hungry capitalist – I have spent a good portion of my life volunteering – but as a small business owner seeking to feed my family while doing the most good and the least damage. I oppose corporatism, I believe in altruism, and I do things that need to be done even though there’s no compensation involved. (But I won’t work an assembly line!) Still, the world you describe is not one I would care to live in. It works on a small scale in intentional communities; it would wreak havoc if implemented as a worldwide system.

  • We obviously have very different ideas as to how humans might behave in a society that is freed from hierarchy and capital. I would not even hazard a guess at whither there will be tractors or not in any future society, but I somehow think there will be, or there equivalent. Compensation can perhaps be those goods you need but can’t produce yourself.
    Your second paragraph has too many assumptions based on the way people think in the present society. Are you saying that nobody would want to be a doctor or a scientist just because we have changed the structure of society to a more free and co-operative model? As in this society there are those who will have much different aspirations and work within their ability, without being penalised for any lack of ability.
    In the third paragraph, to hold on to money as a means of exchange opens the door to those creating greater wealth, property, power for themselves and starting to walk down the same road that brought us corporate capitalism. Going by today’s record, global starvation will not be solved by holding on to money, so we have to look at an alternative, who has the magic formula?
    The fourth paragraph is obviously your subjective view and not an empirical fact, so can’t be stated with any certainty. Like all ideas, they are just that and are no more than a pointer to the direction we wish to go, or avoid. It is up to those involved to decide the shape and form the ideas take, consciousness changes with experience. I have every faith in humanity to work together given the right circumstances. We could change the manner of the assembly line, I have work in those conditions. I fear the future as it is moving along at the present but would not fear the future if society moves away from capitalism and hierarchy.
    I have also no doubt that we will not agree on lots of points but should agree that we don’t know the shape of the future, but can try to influence it in a direction we believe to be best for the most. One problem is that we all live in the same small room, but are all looking out of different windows and therefore see different worlds. Let’s keep discussing what we see and how best to understand the others vision.

  • I understand your concern; the fluctuation of the price of oil influences the efficiency of alternative energies. The battle rages on…continue to fight the good fight! One day alternative energies shall prevail…and whatever oil is left, will remain in the ground!
    bio energy dome

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