Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

“Would-be green capitalism is nothing but a publicity stunt, a label for the purpose of selling a commodity, or – in the best of cases – a local initiative equivalent to a drop of water on the arid soil of the capitalist desert.”
― Michael Löwy, Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe

Amazing, with terror management and terror creation on overdrive to include viruses, antimicrobial resistance, Delta and Omega variants, wildfires, human caused fires, droughts, endless military offensive weaponry, new and enhanced nukes, forever chemicals in mother’s milk, GMOs and Round-up in every cracker, cerebral flake and slice of bread in our dwindling food secure world, fetid water, e coli on beaches, lead in the water, ending water for farmers, chronic diseases on the rise, suicidal ideation ramping up, and, well, think of the rising water, melting glaciers, failing crops, and all those refugees.

Talk about a War of Terror promulgated by the barons of finance, media, law, real estate, retail, tech. In the upside down world of supposedly a war against corona viruses and then 913 billion dollars more in the greasy pockets of the billionaires. Imagine, ejaculated felons popping their loads in space. Imagine the entertaining ourselves to death watching those millionaires Holly-Dirt act as bad as they get, while, kids need relearning of history, rethinking of critical thinking skills, and an outright disgust of the world’s children in the hands of despots who have lovely Swiss bank accounts for their rape, drug dealing, land thieving and more.

I was at the transfer station today, dropping off a fridge I could have fixed, but there are no parts, and the only appliance repair in this county can’t get to our refrigerator until August 24. Then, the range, perfectly good, but we needed something more efficient. Look at the piles below. Outboard engines, carts, all of this. That our capitalist society — throwaway, dumping away, an unfixable production society — has forced the citizens’ hands this way, how in hell can we really work on climate change, extinction, collapsing systems, tipping points, etc.?

I’ve hammered on this for decades — forcing a society, a culture, all cultures, to live by a durable goods ethos, and one where grants are given for people who want to learn how to fix and give them the tools and places to fix things. Making the corporations build things we need, of course, and to make all those processes — embedded energy, investigating toxicity levels in both the production of and use of those products.

Every single part of that oven comes from mother earth, and the bulldozers and explosives to crack the ores, and then all the cooking to smelt, to melt, to form, all of it, to include the various processes that envelope human and nature killing chemicals — paint, chrome, lead, all the plastics in knobs.

Built to break down, that’s the motto of capitalism. Broken and unfixable, another one. One stop shopping — no need for repairs.

This new new normal, pre-Corona Capitalism, and now, includes the fact that the well off and rich have nothing to worry about if an oven or Big Screen TV breaks. No worries about the car needed a tune-up. But the rest of us? We have to put money away from rainy days, and a fridge has only five major areas that could go wrong. A hundred bucks, and a few dollars more for the part. Instead, we are forced to buy buy buy and throw-away throw-away and throw-away. A fridge that just 6 years ago would have cost $250 now goes for $800. I made calls to Lowes and Home Depot, and alas, no one answered the phones. Several times each. I ended up on a Chat with Kyle, who stated he was in Ohio. Again, no help, nothing.

Luckily, I found the local store with those two items. Nice folk, and no luck for me for a social worker-teacher-military vet discount, or senior citizen. In any case, not just the two appliances cost. If I didn’t have the van and the brawn, the delivery costs for each one, $80, and then disposal fees for both, $50 each. That’s $260. This is the epitome of America — fees, charges, taxes, fines, tolls, disposal add-ons, all of that, adding up not in nickels and dimes, but in Benjamins.

Contemporary capitalist civilization is in crisis. The unlimited accumulation of capital, commodification of everything, ruthless exploitation of labor and nature, and attendant brutal competition undermine the bases of a sustainable future, thereby putting the very survival of the human species at risk. The deep, systemic threat we face demands a deep, systemic change: a Great Transition.

In synthesizing the basic tenets of ecology and the Marxist critique of political economy, ecosocialism offers a radical alternative to an unsustainable status quo. Rejecting a capitalist definition of “progress” based on market growth and quantitative expansion (which, as Marx shows, is a destructive progress), it advocates policies founded on non-monetary criteria, such as social needs, individual well-being, and ecological equilibrium. Ecosocialism puts forth a critique of both mainstream “market ecology,” which does not challenge the capitalist system, and “productivist socialism,” which ignores natural limits. —- Michael Löwy is a French-Brazilian Marxist sociologist and philosopher. He serves as Emeritus Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris and is the co-author, with Joel Kovel, of An Ecosocialist Manifesto (2001). His published works include On Changing the World: Essays in Political Philosophy from Karl Marx to Walter Benjamin and Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to the Capitalist Ecological Catastrophe

Here, the PDF, The Great Transition.

It goes without saying, Ecofeminism and Ecosocialism go hand in hand, and that is the only way forward in a socialist world:

Ecofeminism also develops a proposal for social change that promotes comprehensive social changes based on the recognition of interdependencies between human beings and between humans and nature. It sees humans as interdependent and eco-dependent beings that all need care and attention to survive. What is more, we are all beings that need quality care to live “a life worth living”, just as nature needs us to take care of it and respect its limits and vital cycles (Herrero 2013, Eisler 2014). The change proposed by ecofeminism basically involves highlighting the material bases of care and sustainability of life and denouncing the anchors of the capitalist system of domination. These anchors are: invisibility, devaluation, disregard, exploitation, plundering and the appropriation of wisdom, knowledge, work and all activities – the majority of which are carried out by women – without which human survival and the production and reproduction of culture and society would be impossible (Shiva 1995, Herrero 2013).

Simple stuff, really, reclaiming the sacred, reclaiming the old way of elders and youth, working hand in hand, growing food, canning, preserving; building microhomes, learning how to do things with one’s hands, while thinking and talking like a mountain or river or lake or reef. This amazing world destroyed, largely, by a few evil white men, and their millions of men and some women in armies, marketing, and those industries.

Yet, again, Capitalism on the slide runs fear into the minds and backbones of both those on the mini-left and heavy-right. Here, a book, and a quote:

“It is not only the radical left that is concerned about the future of capitalism and democracy as they are practiced in America. There is a recent flood of books not only by long-standing critics but also by erstwhile defenders, successful entrepreneurs, and powerful ex-policy makers.”  — Anne Case and Angus Deaton

As I repeat, it all comes down to one fridge at a time, and all those engines of pollution, all those things thrown away, made to break, marketed to wear out quickly for a new style or model to embed into the American citizen/consumer’s minds.

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