[Marxism] NYRB review of Naomi Klein

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 16:02:50 MST 2014

I was describing the nature of Klein’s “anticapitalism”, not making a value judgement about it. Some would and have forcefully argued that her approach is fundamentally social democratic (I agree) and that you can’t stop climate change unless you expropriate the capitalists politically and economically (that remains to be seen).

On Nov 20, 2014, at 5:33 PM, Shane Mage via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> On Nov 20, 2014, at 4:42 PM, Marv Gandall via Marxism wrote:
>> Here’s a link to another review of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, this one by Elizabeth Kolbert...Kolbert thinks Klein’s various proposals to resolve the crisis through “managed degrowth” and “regeneration” are too vague to be meaningful or, like carbon taxes, “hardly seem to challenge the basic logic of capitalism.” This, despite the fact that Klein is avowedly anticapitalist, although her rhetorical flourishes about “changing everything” though a global environment movement are arguably aimed not at the system’s overthrow...
>> http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/dec/04/can-climate-change-cure-capitalism/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nybooks+%28The+New+York+Review+of+Books%29
> Not aimed at the system's overthrow? Such criticism is beyond stupid, ultra-left of ultra-left.  Greenhouse-gas-fueled economic growth,  still proceeding apace, threatens imminent collapse of human civilization, perhaps even of the (last unextinct) human species itself. The overthrow of the capitalist system (ie., the worldwide proletarian democratic communist revolution) is at best somewhere far beyond the horizon of present historical possibility. Therefore any measures to stop increasing and then start reducing atmospheric carbon gasses can only be effective not by "challenging" but by OPERATING IN CONFORMITY WITH "the basic logic of capitalism.” That is why the central program of any "green," "socialist," "working class," even "progressive" political movement has to be the immediate introduction of a comprehensive, substantial, and annually increasing carbon tax--taxation that would make all forms of carbon pollution, starting with the worst like coal and tar-sands, uneconomic (ie., unprofitable, loss-making) synchronically with the concomitant increase of increasingly profitable pollution-control technologies and pollution free (mainly solar and aeolian) energy supplies, an increase that is (in the latter case) inherently unlimited. This must be central to the Hawkins/Jones-style Green presidential campaign that we have to envisage for 2016.

More information about the Marxism mailing list