What competition for profits means

Built into capitalism is competition between states and trading blocs for markets, raw material sources, trade routes, and strategic points to protect these. In fact capitalism is an economic system based on a competitive struggle for profits.

Military spending by states is an aspect of this competition as even in diplomatic negotiations might is right, meaning that states have to spend as much as they can afford on weapons of war. This waste of resources on instruments of death and destruction and training people how to use them is unavoidable under capitalism. When diplomacy reaches an impasse, as it tends to when the stakes for a state are high, this competition leads to wars, often proxy wars fought by local puppets of the major powers.

This competition also severely restricts what governments are able to do about the current climate crisis. If a state does too much to combat it while others don’t, it risks undermining its own competitiveness vis-à-vis other capitalist states and trading blocs.

It’s not just certain capitalist corporations such as fossil-fuel companies that are, or cause, the problem; it’s the whole capitalist system of production for profit. Governments can’t adopt policies to bring about a sustainable economy because that would be to go against the nature of capitalism as a system of unending capital accumulation out of profits, as reflected by rising GDP. A sustainable system of production will only be possible in a world socialist system when there will no longer be the economic pressure to make and accumulate profits as more and more capital.

No effective and lasting measures will be able to be implemented until the Earth’s natural and industrial resources have become the common heritage of all humanity. Then we can tackle this problem in a rational way without profit considerations or vested interests. All working people throughout the world have a common interest in getting rid of capitalism and nation-states and their frontiers. In a frontierless post-capitalist society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the world’s resources, ie, socialism properly understood, we will all be ‘citizens of the world’. Then there will be no waste of armaments or the threat — and reality — of war.

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