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Capitalism and the Climate Collapse! Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet!

Originally published: Capitalism and the Climate Collapse! Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet! on January 26, 2023 by Entitled Millennials / Double D (more by Capitalism and the Climate Collapse! Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet!) (Posted Jan 28, 2023)

In this episode of his “Thinking Out Loud” series, Double D analyzes an interview with John Bellamy Foster, where he discusses his new book, ‘Capitalism in the Anthropocene‘, and his arguments for how capitalism is the driving force behind climate change. Double D analyzes some of the contradictions of capitalism, and how those contradictions are the primary cause of climate collapse. He cites capitalism’s inherent obsession with growth, citing a system of “compounding growth” which leads to the economy doubling roughly every twenty-five years. He points out how this contradiction has led to an economy of such a scale that its continued growth is impossible on a small planet with limited resources. He also asks his viewers to consider what this compounding growth has done in just the last two hundred years since capitalism’s “coming of age”, pointing out that in that time we have already pushed past three of the nine planetary boundaries which lead to climate crisis.

Double D goes on to compare this “growth for growths sake” to the modus operandi of a virus or a cancer cell. He dismisses nihilistic points of view that compare humanity to a virus or a cancer cell, suggesting instead that capitalism is the cancer, a cancer which has been allowed to fester for far too long in the civilizational organism. He compares social movements, militant organization, and the movement towards socialism as a medical procedure that can eliminate the cancerous growth of capitalism which threatens all life on this planet.

Going on with the video, Double D discusses the failings of social relations which occur under the capitalist system. Citing the article with John Bellamy Foster, he examines our mass marketing consumer culture, which serves as a synthetic replacement for actual human needs such as community belonging and the time and resources necessary to pursue self-actualization. Citing his own recent departure from his job, he notes how much less he has had to consume while not being a part of the 40+ hour a week work grind. He then asks his viewers to consider this on a mass scale, suggesting that part of the transition from capitalism to socialism should necessarily involve using existing productive capacities to ensure that all human beings have the necessities, while requiring them to work far less. He cites the pandemic as an example of how drastically carbon emissions can be cut when human beings are permitted to slow down and simply exist rather than carry on as cogs in a terminal growth machine.

Ending the video, Double D ruminates on China’s recent push for an ecological society. He uses this analysis as a chance to examine the global south’s inevitable economic development, suggesting that without “green reparations” that will help developing countries modernize in a sustainable way, no amount of green initiatives in the global north will be enough to stop the tide of ecological collapse. Closing the video, Double D asks his viewers to comment with their vision of an ecological civilization, with a special focus on how they feel the transition from capitalism to socialism can make that dream a reality for future generations.

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