The Deceptive Delusions of Green Capitalism — Why Endless Consumption of Our Finite Planet Will Take Us to Our Cliff of Doom and How We Can Prevent It

Endless Consumption of Our Finite Planet's Resources is Taking Us to Our Cliff of Doom... But we can save ourselves by saving the planet by changing our economic/consumption systemsBut we can save ourselves by saving the planet by changing our economic/consumption systems. This implies a radical transition of structures, replacing capitalism with a new paradigm whose sole purpose is to pursue the welfare of people and planet and NOT the market. To do this, people must organise to force change because all governments are subservient to the market and will lead to our extinction in this century. — Álvaro J. de Regil

Leaked Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports

On the Climate Change Planetary Crisis. If we want future generations to live with happiness on a healthy planet, we must stop denying reality and take action, for all governments are driving us to our final demise. —(Required reading to become aware that it is up to us, the citizenry, to save ourselves by taking eco-revolutionary action. — The Editors of Monthy Review

Lithium and the Contradictions in the Energy Transition that Devastate the Global South In Favour of the Global North

Green Capitalism is a Hoax, because switching to batteries is not sustainable and it keeps depredating the ecosystems. — Nubia Barrera Silva

Notes on Ukraine

A MUST-READ —An assessment shedding sobering and objective light on the underlying causes of the eight-year civil war in Ukraine turned into a full-scale war. This is a New Cold War and a great human tragedy. — The Editors of Monthly Review

Against Doomsday Scenarios: What Is to Be Done Now?

There is no option left but ecological revolution... the people will once again be compelled to take history into their own hands, in a struggle that is likely to be stormy and chaotic. — Interview of John Bellamy Foster

COVID-19 and Marketocracy

Confronting the pandemic in the context of the market’s supremacy over the welfare of people and planet. The result of the damage that humanity continues to inflict on the ecosystems of our home, Mother Earth. — Álvaro J. de Regil

Identifying a Safe and Just Corridor for People and the Planet

How biophysically “safe” targets can be achieved while also meeting goals for human well-being and justice. — Johan Rockström, Joyeeta Gupta, Timothy M. Lenton, Dahe Qin, Steven J. Lade ET AL

Buen Vivir: A Concept on the Rise in Europe?

Buen Vivir rests on an understanding of humanity’s relationship with nature that is fundamentally at odds with the Anthropocentrism of modernity. — Gustavo Hernández and Henkjan Laats

The Covid-19 Pandemic: "Their Contradictions and Ours"

It is urgent to define a clear set of demands and objectives that specifically defend the interests of the popular classes, i.e. the vast majority of the world's population. — Alain Bihr

Climate Change and Migration: Myths and Realities

Climate change is a threat multiplier; it cannot be isolated from social, political, economic, environmental and demographic migration drivers impacting both North and South. — Caroline Zickgraf

The Capitalinian — The First Geological Age of the Anthropocene

We propose The Second Age to succeed it to be "The Communian" by means of ecological and social revolution, derived from communal, community, commons. — John Bellmay Foster and Brett Clark

Manipulations of Freedom – The Dirty Fight for the Gig Economy

Here's why if you are socially conscientious, you must reject supporting Über and other corporations of the "Gig" economy that destroy livelihoods in pursuit of profit. — Sumona Gupta

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Great Reset and the End of Life as We Know it

How Capitalism in the 21st Century will take all species to the brink of extinction. To stop it we must start today by changing our way of life radically. — Álvaro J. de Regil

The Robbery of Nature – Capitalism and the Metabolic Rift

Capitalism's expropriation of nature is the basis for the exploitation of humanity and nature, leading to a rupture in the metabolism of nature and society, including its existence. John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark

Epidemic Response –The Legacy of Colonialism

The COVID-19 pandemic is at its root a crisis of globalisation, a crisis of racial capitalism, a crisis of colonialism, a crisis of the social organisation of our public health system. It is a crisis of treatment and care versus demonisation and wall building. And it is the latest pandemic in a long line of modern ones—from SARS to swine flu to HIV to Ebola—a predictable and predicted outcome, not the mysterious unforeseeable lightning strike as it is often portrayed. The COVID-19 pandemic is at its root a crisis of globalisation, a crisis of racial capitalism, a crisis of colonialism, a crisis of the social organisation of our public health system. — Jennifer Dohrn and Eleanor Stein

Racial Capitalism and COVID-19

Nonwhite racialised workers, have now been deemed essential, so they still have to report to work despite stay-at-home orders. While viewed as essential, they are also treated as expendable. — Zophia Edwards

Not a Nation of Immigrants

It is crucial to recognise that when and how “immigration” as such began, it was based on overt, blatant racism and a policy of exclusion, and it has never lost that taint. — Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Educating for the Future We Want!

If education is to be an agent of change, it has itself to be the subject of change. Our educational systems are implicated in the multiple crises before us. — Stephen Sterling

Confronting Inequality in the “New Normal”: Hyper-capitalism, Proto-socialism, and Post-pandemic Recovery

We must must address the roots of systemic inequality that lie in the uneasy relationship between labour and capital. — Tim Jackson and Peter A. Victor

Welfare Systems Without Economic Growth: A review of the challenges and next steps to be taken.

How welfare can be provided in a non-growing economy and the challenges that entail. — Christine Corlet Walker, Angela Druckman, Tim Jackson

Show COP26 and Ecology

A true ecology of consumption—a new system of enduring needs is only possible by incorporating it into a new ecology of production, which requires the destruction of the capitalist system. — Alejandro Teitelbaum

Marketocracy and the Capture of People and Planet — The acceleration of Twenty-First Century Monopoly Capital Fascism through the pandemic and the Great Reset

This study examines the trajectory that the world has followed since neoliberalism was imposed on humanity half a century ago, assessing the subsequent motivations—and their consequences for humanity and the planet as a whole—of key global elite groups and individuals (Gates, Musk, Bezos and the World Economic Forum, and its proclaimed "Fourth Industrial Revolution" through "The Great Reset") who have powerful influence on the world's governments. We live in dangerous times on our planet that threaten the future of all living things, but there is a way to avoid such a future –––– Álvaro J. de Regil

Water as the Pandora's Box of Ecological Debacle from South and Central America

The hydrological cycle triggers the pandora's box of global greenhouse gas emissions from South and Central America - the Amazon, the Andean Glaciers, the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay. Since the origins of the Earth some 4,5 billion years ago, water has played an essential role in the planet's biological activity. Through it, mineral salts are diluted, and the organic substances in the cells are maintained, which, in turn, enable vital reactions from the simplest forms of life to the most complex and specialised. In the tragedy of the commons, peasant resistance and struggles for water are fought daily. - Nubia Barrera Silva

Neoliberal economics, planetary health and the COVID-19 pandemic: a Marxist ecofeminist analysis

Planetary health sees neoliberal capitalism as a key mediator of socio-ecological crises; a position echoed in many of the comments on COVID-19. In this personal view, I set out an economic theory that emphasises some of the ways in which neoliberal capitalism's conceptualisation of value has mediated responses to COVID-19. Using the intersection of ecological, feminist and Marxist economics, I develop an analysis of neoliberal capitalism as a specific historical form of economics. I identify the accumulation of exchange value as a central tendency of neoliberal capitalism and argue that this tendency creates barriers to the production of other value forms. - Simon Mair

COVID-19 and Catastrophe Capitalism — Commodity Chains and Ecological-Epidemiological-Economic Crises

COVID-19 has accentuated as never before the interlinked ecological, epidemiological, and economic vulnerabilities imposed by capitalism. As the world enters the third decade of the twenty-first century, we are seeing the emergence of catastrophe capitalism as the structural crisis of the system takes on planetary dimensions. — John Bellamy Foster and Intan Suwandi

Capitalism of Dispossession in the Palm Oil Plantations in the Countries of the Global South

The commodification of land has deepened the ecological, social and economic crises. The unprecedented global pandemic of the covid-19 virus comes from the destruction of the habitats of species of wild animals and plants and the subsequent migration to humans. The neoliberal model is unsupportable in the sustainable conservation of nature and the planet's economy. A change in the capitalist economy is urgently needed. — Nubia Barrera Silva

An Eco-Revolutionary Tipping Point?

Just a couple decades ago, we were told that neoliberal capitalism marked the “end of history.” Now it appears that the system’s ideologues may have been right, but not in the way they envisioned. The system of fossil-fuelled neoliberal capitalism is indeed moving toward an end of history, but only in the sense of the end of any historical advance of humanity as a productive, political, and cultural species due to the increasingly barbaric socio-economic and environmental conditions the system creates. There is now no alternative to the end of history as we know it. — Paul Burkett

Transitioning to Geocratia — the People and Planet and Not the Market Paradigm — First Steps

Parting from the fact that saving Planet Earth, our home, changes everything, we need to build a new ethos where the majority of humankind commits to a system whose only purpose is the pursuit of the welfare of people and Planet Earth. This requires that all Earth resources necessary for the enjoyment of life of all living things be managed to achieve true long-term sustainability. — Álvaro J. de Regil

The Contagion of Capital

The U.S. economy and society at the start of 2021 is more polarised than it has ever been. The wealthy are awash in a flood of riches, marked by a booming stock market, while the underlying population exists in a state of relative, and in some cases even absolute, misery and decline. The result is two national economies as perceived, respectively, by the top and the bottom of society: one of prosperity, the other of precariousness. At the level of production, economic stagnation is diminishing the life expectations of the majority. At the same time, financialisation is accelerating the consolidation of wealth by a very few. Although the current crisis of production associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened these disparities, the overall problem is much longer and more deep-seated, a manifestation of the inner contradictions of monopoly-finance capital. Comprehending the parameters of today’s financialised capitalist system is the key to understanding the contemporary contagion of capital, a corrupting and corrosive cash nexus that is spreading to all corners of the globe, and every aspect of human existence. — John Bellamy Foster, R. Jamil Jonna and Brett Clark

Marxism and Ecology: Common Fonts of a Great Transition

This essay unearths the deep ecological roots of Marx’s thought, showing how he brought an environmental perspective to bear on the overarching question of social transformation. From there, it traces the evolution of Marxian ecology, illuminating its profound, formative link to modern ecological economics and systems ecology. It concludes by discussing the wider project of building a social movement broad and deep enough to halt and reverse ecological and social destruction. — John Bellamy Foster

Democratising Firms –A Cornerstone of Shared and Sustainable Prosperity

We face a dilemma when considering the future of politics. Some argue that environmental sustainability is an obstacle to shared prosperity, calling it elitist and too costly. Others believe that environmental protection measures should take precedence over everything else at the expense of the poorest. This essay will argue that it is possible to respond to citizens' concerns about these issues, and care for the planet, in an entirely different way: by extending democracy in large transnational corporations to build a kind of internal constraint on their behaviour and decisions. I will argue that by addressing what I have called workers' "intuition of democratic justice" - their right to have a say in their lives and futures inside and outside the workplace - we can build a world that is both more democratic and more prosperous and sustainable. - Isabelle Ferreras

The Common Places of Environmental Scepticism

The challenge posed by the ‘limits to growth’ runs beyond the level of ordinary political debate, pointing to a crisis of philosophical anthropology: who are we, and how should we live, if we now believe that progress will not continue forever?— Richard Douglas

Keynesian Economics and the Welfare State

This work explains in detail the emergence of the new Keynesian economic paradigm as a consequence of the experience of the Great War and the Great Depression and the results obtained through government intervention during the New Deal. The goal here is to show how the post-war era, with the government in the driver's seat of the economy, provided the greatest period of progress in the welfare of both rich and poor nations, in spite of the very powerful interests that continuously moved in the opposite direction. The essay opens by stating that the war economy pulled the capitalist world out of depression. — Álvaro J. de Regil

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Research and analysis to provoke public awareness and critical thinking

We contribute to the liberalisation of the democratic instituions of society, for they have been captured by the owners of the market. They work in tandem with their market agents, who, posing as public servants, are entrenched in the halls of government. The political class has betrayed its public mandate and instead operates to impose a marketocratic state to maximise the shareholder value of the institutional investors of international financial markets. They own the global corporations and think they own the world on behalf of their very private interest.

Our spheres of action: true democracy – true sustainability – living wage – basic income – inequality – ecological footprint – degrowth – global warming –human development – corporate accountability – civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, responsible consumption, sustainable autonomous citizen cells...

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Parting from an ethos of true democracy and true sustainability, We, the citizenry, work to advance the paradigm whose only purpose is to go in pursuit of the welfare of People and Planet and NOT the market.

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Textile Sweatshops in the US
Textile Sweatshops in the US
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The End of Abundance

We have to decrease, but we must do it for real, distributing and delivering social justice

One day you have it all, and suddenly everything changes. In Europe, the feeling is of a change of era. What yesterday seemed ridiculous today is obvious. What was impossible yesterday is now the natural thing to do. There is talk of rationing disguised as "austerity measures". Strategic companies are nationalised - in many cases to socialise losses. People are beginning to say at the highest levels that this winter will be very hard. And suddenly, in the middle of the Council of Ministers, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, puts words to this pivotal moment and, with a gesture of compunction, declares "the end of abundance".

 

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Mészáros and Chávez: “The Point From Which to Move the World Today”

István Mészáros was a global thinker strongly committed to anti-imperialist struggles. In this respect, he allied himself with those fighting for socialist transformation in the Philippines, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, and elsewhere. He argued that in the descending phase of capitalism there was a “downward equalisation of the rate of exploitation,” by which he meant a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions, enforced by a global system of monopolistic competition. In 1978, he edited and introduced a book consisting of thirteen essays by the great Filipino historian and political theorist Renato Constantino, titled Neo-Colonial Identity and Counter-Consciousness: Essays in Cultural Decolonisation, in which Constantino developed the concept of counter-consciousness into a powerful philosophy of cultural liberation. Mészáros took great interest as well in Brazilian developments and struggles over the state, supporting various socialist movements there. But his most singular contribution to struggles in the Global South was the role he was to play in his strong strategic support of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.
 

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Writing our way to sustainable economies? How academic sustainability writing engages with capitalism

In this paper I explore the ways that academic sustainability writing engages with economic systems and consider the performative effects of these modes of engagement. Using capitalist realism and capitalocentrism, I define three mechanisms by which non-capitalist futures are foreclosed: 1) Actively Recreating Capitalism – where industries like advertising actively seek to recreate and reinforce capitalist values. 2) Capitalism Unseen – where capitalism is perceived as natural and synonymous with all economic forms. 3) Making a Monolith of Capitalism, where anti-capitalist writers focus so much on capitalism that they make it appear undefeatable. Examining the frequency of different terms used by academic sustainability writers when talking about economic systems, and looking at two different uses of the term ‘capital’ I argue that academic sustainability writers engage with and are influenced by these mechanisms in different ways. Currently, there is a substantive body of academic sustainability writing that contributes to Capitalism Unseen. However, there are also strands of work that emphasis discontinuity and change within economic systems. I argue that such work provides a model for escaping Capitalism Unseen and avoiding Making a Monolith of Capitalism.

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Is Population Crucial for Degrowth?

Population size is inextricably linked to the ideal of achieving a sustainable and dignified ethos for all living beings

The vision of most degrowth proponents is to gradually yet radically decrease energy consumption and all earth’s resources until we reach a truly sustainable stationary/steady-state ethos. In such a state, the consumption levels by the planet’s inhabitants would enable our “home” to replenish what we need to secure and preserve dignified conditions in our existence, allowing all living things to reproduce and enjoy our lives sustainably. To succeed, humans need to embark on a degrowth transition that builds a radically different paradigm that replaces its exact opposite, capitalism.

A safe and just transition to a sustainable paradigm, which I have called Geocratia (“Government by the Earth”), since my paper on the subject of 2020, can only succeed by drastically decreasing our ecological footprint, by decreasing our consumption of energy and CO2 emissions. This inevitably entails drastically reducing our consumption of the Earth’s resources. To achieve this, we must not only replace the capitalistic system of sheer production/consumption but reduce the human population, tantamount to billions of people that capitalism utilises as billions of consumer units to fulfil its nature.

Most degrowth proponents tend to avoid the population factor, many afraid of being perceived as Malthusian, which is not the case. But in the context of a genuinely democratic ethos, we must incorporate population degrowth at the core of any degrowth imaginary, for we are the preeminent source of the unsustainable consumption of our planet. If people become conscientious of the existential danger we are facing, we hope that many will opt to embark on a transition that includes as a key driver in our trajectory the gradual degrowth of population. If the majority refuse, that will always be their right. In such a case, we will have to face the consequences of significantly reducing the chances of accomplishing a safe and just transition—ecologically safe for all species and socially just for people, particularly in the Global South—to avoid the evident existential threat that we are facing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

‘The Present as History’ and the Theory of Monopoly Capital

...an interview...

Grzegorz Konat (GK): What are the most important qualities of the monopoly capital school? What distinguishes this tradition from other currents within Marxism?

John Bellamy Foster (JBF): The most important principle of the monopoly capital tradition is that of “the present as history” (a phrase first introduced by Paul M. Sweezy, forming the title of a 1953 collection of his essays). This means that the focus is on the historical specificity that separates the various modes, stages, and phases of production and accumulation, and the application of this to the understanding of the present. The idea of the monopoly stage of capitalism first arose in Marxian theory in the early twentieth century, with Rudolf Hilferding’s Finance Capital and V. I. Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. (In the United States the most important work was the socialist economist Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of Business Enterprise.) Lenin stated that “if it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we.should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.”

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 Transitioning to Geocratia — the
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Universal Declaration of the Rights of Corporate Power

To be serious about human rights implies radicalising democracy, building collective socio-economic projects, strengthening processes of social self-organisation from the grassroots and reconfiguring new spaces of counter-power at the local and global level.

Limits cannot be placed on private property and wealth accumulation because the legal security of contracts must be guaranteed. Still, the Spanish government has announced the seizure of a yacht from a Russian oligarch, and the German government has announced the expropriation of the Gazprom subsidiary. It has been said for two months that the energy market must be intervened. It took only a few hours to change the budget to be able to send arms for the war. It is impossible to judge Repsol in Spain for the ecological disaster caused by its oil spill in Peru. Still, the company was able to sue the Argentinean state in international courts when its subsidiary in the country was nationalised a decade ago.

The manager of the textile workshop in Tangiers, where 28 women workers died a year ago, has been convicted by a Moroccan court. However, the sentence makes no mention of Inditex or Mango, the companies for which the garments were made. Ukraine has every right to defend its national sovereignty against the invasion of Russian troops. In contrast, Western Sahara has to become a province of Morocco because it is the only realistic solution. Large property owners obtain golden visas unchecked and cheaply on the official market, while millions of people are subjected to migration bureaucracies and trapped in hellish legal limbo. 

At the institutional level, the debates focus on the discussion of laws and norms. But in this legal dispute, all that is at stake is a question of political will; in classical terms, of power relations. Normative asymmetry, not in vain, has been the basis of neoliberal globalisation: in the face of the strength of the legal armour built to shield the "rights" of large corporations, the extreme fragility of the mechanisms for controlling their obligations. In other words, while transnational private business is continually re-regulated, the deregulation of the protection of fundamental rights continues to advance.

None of this would have been possible without the formation of a great public-private alliance between central states and transnational corporations. And the collapse of global capitalism alone will not change this state of affairs. On the contrary, the flight forward in search of lost profitability will only deepen the logic of expulsion, dispossession, violence, confinement and necropolitics. With all its cataract of global pacts and agreements in defence of human rights, international law has become a meaningless piece of paper in the face of the war unleashed by the major economic powers to try to secure their share of the spoils in the midst of the perfect storm.

 

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Financial, Speculative and Parasitic Capital

It is a crime to rob a bank, but it is a greater crime to found one. - Berthold Brecht..

Concern to redress the injustice caused by the unequal distribution of wealth to the point of famine and misery, and to punish those responsible, has existed since antiquity. In 386 BC, wheat traders in Athens were put on trial for buying more grain from importers than they were allowed to hoard. Lysias, pleading before the court, asked for their death penalty, saying: "When do they make the most profit? When the announcement of a catastrophe allows them to sell at a high price? They seize the wheat when it is most needed and refuse to sell it so that we will not discuss the price."

People eat little and badly. “They are crazy to swallow this!” Christophe Brusset, an agri-foodindustrialist, denounces. From the diversion of raw materials to the manipulation of products via controversial hygiene controls, Christophe Brusset denounces the many evils of which he has been an accomplice or mastermind behind the scenes of the food industry for twenty years. Indian paprika stuffed with peppercorns, Chinese green tea treated with pesticides, fake Moroccan saffron, cheeses transformed into veal, fruit jam without fruit, oregano cut into olive leaves, and so on. Fraud with raw materials in the food industry is also part of this mafia system.

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Degrowth is About Social Justice

Campaigners for degrowth have thrown into question the dogma that holds that a growing economy is always a sign of progress. In Less is More, anthropologist Jason Hickel argues that only degrowth can steer the world away from its worsening ecological crisis. We sat down with him to discuss his new book and ask what degrowth would mean for relations between the Global North and South.
 

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Finding Flow: exploring the potential for sustainable fulfilment

Materialistic values and lifestyles have been associated with detrimental effects on both personal and planetary health. Therefore, there is a pressing need to identify activities and lifestyles that both promote human wellbeing and protect ecological wellbeing. In this Personal View, we explore the dynamics of a psychological state known as flow, in which people are shown to experience high levels of wellbeing through involvement in challenging activities that require some level of skill, and can often involve less materially intensive activities.

 

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Castellano Transitioning to Geocratia — the