Episode 83: Causes of the Climate Crisis: Consumers and Politicians, or Capitalist
The co-hosts discuss Brendan’s just-published article, “Should I Turn Down the Thermostat or Overthrow the Capitalist Mode of Production?” The article offers further thoughts on Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s perspective on the relation between capitalism and the ecological crisis, which we discussed in Ep. 59 of RFH. Brendan criticizes two common assumptions about rising greenhouse gas emissions: the assumption that they are caused, directly and indirectly, by consumers’ behavior, and the assumption that global failure to significantly reduce emissions is the result of bad leaders, corruption, and the like. He argues, to the contrary, that the laws of capitalist production are to blame. The quest for limitless profit and the competition that enforces it are driving the rise in rising greenhouse gas emissions, and they are restricting the ability of governments, businesses, and consumers to address the crisis.
The reproduction schemes in the third part of volume 2 of Marx’s Capital, and a paper of Andrew’s on the topic, “Marx’s Reproduction Schemes as an Unbalanced-Growth Model” (which we discussed in Ep. 51 of RFH), are cited during the segment.
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