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27 August 2010 @ 09:29 pm
Climate Camp  
I wrote a thing about Climate Camp here: http://oolong.co.uk/oo/climate-camp

I think I'll post more about it later. I need to articulate my thoughts about non-violence a lot more clearly...
 
 
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0olong: Jesus0olong on September 2nd, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I think you're being a little unfair. If you've reached the conclusion that capitalism and sound management of the economy are in practice mutually exclusive - which is not an altogether unreasonable conclusion, based on the dramatic ongoing failure of all known capitalist systems to manage the ecology soundly - then agitating for the overthrow of capitalism as we know it, as a necessary precondition for sorting shit out, obviously seems perfectly sensible.

Conversely, I don't think it's altogether unreasonable to hold out hope that 'green capitalism' actually does have some hope of working, either. In which case Climate Camp is not the movement for you, and you'll presumably be wanting to agitate for rapid, radical reforms of the capitalist system and particularly the way it deals with the environment, if you're bothered about this sort of thing.

For my part I'm on the fence, feeling pessimistic and wishing that both sides of this argument weren't so prone to thinking people are wankers because they've reached different conclusions about what needs to be done.
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on September 2nd, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Change is hard. The smaller the change, the easier it is. Therefore, a complete overthrow is pretty much shooting for the moon.

At best, it's being idealistic -- not that I'm against that, far from it, but I think that global warming needs to be tackled fast, by the quickest means, and that means idealism be damned. If greening the current capitalist system gets results and averts disaster, then I think it's probably the path of least resistance.

And at worst, it's hijacking one campaign to get your own agenda through. That's never a good plan.
0olong0olong on September 3rd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
Yup. As I say, your position is by no means unreasonable.

The fact that the smaller the change, the easier it is, cuts both ways though: It's going to be so very much easier for governments and companies to make changes which are nice and palatable to the rich and comfortable, and far too small to satisfy what the science suggests is necessary, rather than going out on a limb. There really are an awful lot of vested interests very keen to see business going on pretty much as usual, in denial of the fact that that's only going to be possible for a limited time now.

So, yeah... If greening the current capitalist system gets results and averts disaster, then all is well and good and we can leave overthrowing it for another time. On the other hand, if it doesn't, the chances are it'll be too late in a few years.

It's not impossible that we really will see some serious results in the near enough future, but I'm seeing an awful lot of backsliding from our governments, which seems to set in pretty much as soon as the pressure is anything less than intense. It's also not impossible that more radical leftist/anarchist type ideals will win out in the way that some people seem to envisage happening, especially if capitalism goes on eating itself the way it has been this last couple of years.

I'm not seeing any strong reason to be particularly optimistic about either outcome coming to pass, but since the only other obvious alternatives involve temperatures hiking several degrees in the space of a few decades or so, and millions upon millions of environmental refugees, I'm also not inclined to dismiss either possibility. And whichever way you look at it, we need pretty serious reforms to the way things are run, which means piling some serious pressure on the people who are supposed to be running them. Above all, we need very greatly reduced consumption, and I worry about ideological disagreements getting in the way of pushing through such a capitalistically unpalatable proposition.