It is no secret today that we are facing a planetary environmental emergency, endangering most species on the planet, including our own, and that this impending catastrophe has its roots in the capitalist economic system. Nevertheless, the extreme dangers that capitalism inherently poses to the environment are often inadequately understood, giving rise to the belief that it is possible to create a new “natural capitalism” or “climate capitalism” in which the system is turned from being the enemy of the environment into its savior.1 The chief problem with all such views is that they underestimate the cumulative threat to humanity and the earth arising from the existing relations of production. Indeed, the full enormity of the planetary ecological crisis, I shall contend, can only be understood from a standpoint informed by the Marxian critique of capitalism.
After a verbose "introduction" the professor (who can be reached at email@example.com) offers the following conclusion:
The Meaning of Revolution
The ecological critique generated by twentieth-century monopoly capital theory—the bare outlines of which I have sought to present here—only adds additional force to Marx’s classical ecological critique of capitalism. Every day we are destroying more and more public wealth—air, water, land, ecosystems, species—in the pursuit of private riches, which turns consumption into a mere adjunct to accumulation, thereby taking on more distorted and destructive forms.
The metabolic rift in the relation of humanity to the earth that Marx described in the nineteenth century has now evolved into multiple ecological rifts transgressing the boundaries between humanity and the planet. It is not just the scale of production but even more the structure of production that is at fault in today’s version of the capitalist Raubbau. “Such is the dialectic of historical process,” Baran wrote, “that within the framework of monopoly capitalism the most abominable, the most destructive features of the capitalist order become the very foundations of its continuing existence—just as slavery was the conditio sine qua non of its emergence.”40
It is the historic need to combat the absolute destructiveness of the system of capital at this stage—replacing it, as Marx envisioned, with a society of substantive equality and ecological sustainability—which, I am convinced, constitutes the essential meaning of revolution in our time.
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Here it is: Combating "the absolute destructiviness" of the western market economy and free enterprise is "the essential meaning" of the Marxist revolution "in or time". The present system should be replaced with "a society of substantive equality and ecological sustainibility". Sounds familiar, doesn´t it?
Flashback May 2011:
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for fundamental changes in humanity’s resource consumption patterns and values, saying the planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented pressure with far-reaching social and economic consequences
"Our excessive use and consumption and production patterns are no longer sustainable".
Flashback November 2009
Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of "sustainable consumption" was now urgently required, he said."Today we have reached the point where consumption and people's desire to consume has grown out of proportion," said Pachauri. "The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable."
Neither Bellamy, nor Ban Ki-moon or R.K. Pachauri mention that there already are countries where "a new value system" has replaced the old one - North Korea and Kuba. One kind of wonders why they choose not to bring up these beacons of hope for humanity as models for us to follow?