Politicians, UN officials, NGO members, and thousands of environmental activists from across the world have come to Glasgow’s COP26 to decide what ‘green’ economics really means.
They all agree and accept that each country is to interpret the concept of a green economy according to national priorities and it is up to each country to define what is meant by a green economy.
The world currently produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, and there is not yet 8 billion of us. That is, with 8 billion human minds at work, we produce enough food for 10 billion human bodies. Imagine how much food we can produce with 2 billion extra pairs of hands and 2 billion more minds. There is no reason to think that we are running out of human ingenuity. If anything, a larger population means more opportunities for the kind of scientific collaboration and increased specialisation that results in such scientific leaps forward. Human knowledge can be passed on through the written and spoken word in ways that evolutionary or biological advantages can’t be. If we built this world, what makes us believe we cannot build something different? As of now, we use most of our manpower, creativity and intelligence to build weapons of war, unsustainable technologies and meaningless products. We mostly unite forces for military action. We waste incredible human potential inside of small cubicles for tasks that could be automated, or that serve no higher purpose.
What if we used all of our brainpower for the betterment of all life instead of using it solely to empower the few at the top? What if we united forces not for war and destruction, but for peace and creation? What if we instead used this same potential to create sustainable technologies, beneficial products and harmonious systems that would allow humanity and the earth to thrive? Imagine if we united as a people, stopped complying and created a more beautiful world — not because of some piece of paper we would get in return but because it only makes sense. Scientific and technological advances have been enormous. Thanks to breakthroughs in communications, millions of people globally routinely conduct live, visual conversations with one another. In medicine, replacing damaged or diseased parts of the human body has become commonplace. In biology, scientists have mapped the human genome and are well on their way to understanding the structure of life itself. Computers have dramatically improved the acquisition of knowledge, the storage of information, and the dissemination of it at incredibly high speed. Automated manufacturing is guided by artificial intelligence directing robots.
Yet there is a glaring discrepancy between these kinds of advances and the social institutions that can ensure that they are used for the benefit of humanity. Despite great progress in modern medicine, vast numbers of people receive no medical treatment or, at best, inferior medical care. The media and the internet’s ability to convey information, culture, and education around the world is used primarily to distribute mindless, shallow entertainment and peddle commercial products. The ravages of climate change are ignored and instead, corporations roll out plans to further destroy the environment. Stimulating consumer demand through the latest advertising promotional tricks of the trade, corporations churn out a vast number of quickly-redundant throw-away gadgets whose manufacture fills the air, the water, and the soil with dangerous contaminants. Drawing upon the science of robotics, business is beginning the displacement of millions of workers, condemning them to unemployment and poverty rather than offering leisure and shorter working hours. While governments press into service the latest scientific and technological knowledge to spy on the public, as well as to produce new weapons and other automated unmanned means of destroying millions of lives in war. Capitalist greed has stunted social impulses. The real question is whether people can muster the political will to reshape society to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
What the World Socialist Movement is all about is advocating a vision for tomorrow where we live on a planet that provides for everyone if we were to use it intelligently and rationally.
Contrary to the doom-sayers our planet is bountiful in resources and could provide for everyone’s need, yet every year wealthy industrialised nations countries waste food, enough to end hunger and malnutrition. Yet the poor still starve – not because resources are scarce, but because they don’t have the money or the title deeds to sufficient land. In other words, poverty and inequality cause hunger, not population numbers. This world is just very badly managed and inefficiently run. Some experts find it is easy to claim what is needed is some technological measures such as GMOs to “solve world hunger” but how about actually criticising the economics behind our system and ways in which it promotes inequality for the benefit of the few? How about questioning the belief that opportunities and abundance can only exist when money flows.
Poverty and privation are NOT inevitable. The Bible yet again is wrong when it says the poor will always be with us. Alternatives to unsustainable farming practices do exist.
Environmentally sound agricultural alternatives can be more productive than environmentally destructive ones such as permaculture and agroecology.
Sustainable housing and city planning can be implemented instead of slums and shanty towns. For example, every home can be equipped with solar panels for energy and have a greenhouse that grows some veg year-round, no matter the climate. A fish pond and chicken coop can also be added for a constant source of protein if veganism does not become the choice of diet. The possibilities are endless and would solve many of the social problems we face today.
Socialist society would prioritise human needs instead of profit and begin to restructure the economy and energy and transport usage in such a way that is sustainable and benefits humanity.
Men and women of all lands, in cooperation with one another, shall take charge and take responsibility for their daily lives through a network of inter-linked decentralised democratically-controlled committees, based on local neighbourhoods and places of work, rising to regional and then worldwide administrations, which will decide production and distribution requirements of society, based not on the ability to pay – but upon need.
Production would not be ever-increasing but would be stabilised at the level required to satisfy needs. It will create an ecologically benign relationship with nature.
This will be the opposite of today’s capitalist system’s cheap, shoddy, “single-use” destruction of resources.
There will be the abolition of prices and wages, there will be the abolition of money, and they will be the abolition of private and state-owned property.
The world will become one of free access.