[Marxism] “It’s so hard to be good under the capitalistic system.”

Dan d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Thu Sep 1 09:04:46 MDT 2011

I agree with you on several points, Manuel, and disagree on others :

a) "You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk". That is, our goal
is to change the world not philosophize about it. People criticize but
don't do anything themselves, which is an easier stance than getting
your hands dirty.
Like many leftists, I do my bit by encouraging people to unite and go
beyond the limits of what is acceptable to present-day Capitalism
(question authority and take things into one's own hands through

b) The limits of what is acceptable fluctuate with the class struggle.
Currently, environmental activism is both within and without these
borders, which means that it can bring activists to question the social

c) However, it sets a goal that is external to the activity of the
working class, namely, the re-balancing of nature. Capitalism will
embrace such a goal as long as it provides the long sought after
equilibrium (and does not preclude profits). If Capital accumulation can
be made to coincide with the natural equilibrium of nature, so the idea
goes, then we will truly be living the end of history. Amen.

d) Of course, capital accumulation and the re-balancing of "nature" are
currently at odds. Which means that Capitalists will gladly focus on
proving that such and such a technology can leave a "neutral
environmental footprint"
What Greepeace proposes is abandoning nuclear technology in favour of
solar energy, replacing polluting mining industries with recycling,
replacing cars with clean public transport, replacing fossil fuels with
renewable energy, banning logging, banning GMOs, replacing meat with
soya, replacing industrial agriculture with organic agriculture, etc.
These are all constraints on Capitalist accumulation, but their purpouse
is not to go beyond the current mode of production. Rather, to make it
sustainable. To make us part of a harmonious whole, a sustainable

e) So confronting land-grabbing corporations and showing how their
profits have their origin in the intoxication of the rest of the
population is emancipatory. Showing the violence behind the serene face
of the market is emancipatory. Trying to promote the sustainable
reproduction of social relationships (wage-earning) is not. 

More information about the Marxism mailing list