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Reconstituted Socialist Party of Great Britain (1991) - Capitalism and Global Warming - Global Warming: Boris Johnson at the Colosseum

Did you see Boris Johnson at the coliseum being interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg? He was in Rome to meet world leaders of the G20 to discuss, among other things, Global Warming.

To be interviewed at the Colosseum was a deliberate photo opportunity in collusion with the BBC who was desperate to retain its licence fee and corporation charter. He stood under the ruins of the colosseum, once used to provide "bread and circus" entertainment to the proletariat and allegedly to throw Christians, like Johnson, to the lions.

The interview with a craven and supine Kuenssberg allowed Johnson to equate the fall of the Roman Empire with global warming and the collapse of capitalism.

Would you believe that the former climate denier is now speaking in apocalyptic terms about the end of civilisation?

This "we're all doomed" language is frightening leader writers at the DAILY EXPRESS, SUN, DAILY MAIL and The DAILY TELEGRAPH who have, for years, been employing climate change deniers to misinform its readership that global warming is all a 'Marxist conspiracy' pursued by "anti-capitalists".

They blame his wife 'Carrie Antoinette'. "Let them eat greens", she says.

To justify his Road to Damascus conversion and embrace the reality of global warming, Johnson misquotes Keynes who, reportedly, said that 'when the facts change, I change my mind'.

Johnson has no mind to change. He will say everything and anything if the moment demands it. Facts and reasoned argument are unimportant to Johnson. Although, like Keynes, he fancies the idea of "saving capitalism from itself".

Economists and politicians do not have the power to "save capitalism from itself". Capitalism turns to tatters the theories of economic textbooks and destroys premierships, governments and politicians. In the face of a socialist majority taking political and democratic action capitalism becomes history. A socialist majority will not save capitalism but abolishes it.

This is what Johnson said:

'When the Roman Empire fell, it was largely as a result of uncontrolled immigration. The empire could no longer control its borders, people came in from the east, all over the place, and we went into a dark ages, Europe went into a dark ages that lasted a very long time.'

Johnson does not do history. There is no evidence that 'uncontrolled immigration' led to the fall of the Roman Empire. The immigration-destroyed-Rome story comes from Edward Gibbon's discredited THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE published in the late 18th century.

It was Marx and Engels who remarked that "The history of all hitherto society is the history of class struggles" (COMMUNIST MANIFESTO). It was the class struggle:

"...that each time ended in a revolutionary re-construction of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes"

Modern history gives a more nuanced and all rounded explanation of the fall of Rome. A good place to start would be Mary Beard's SPQR: A HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME or G.E.M. de Ste. Croix's THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN THE ANCIENT GREEK WORLD. Boris Johnson's account of the Fall of Ancient Rome is fantasy history, myths to use politically to justify Brexit and immigration policies.

Johnson had no interest in classical Roman scholarship. Instead, he wanted to stir-up anti-immigrant sentiment. He wanted to divide the working class. He fancies he is Lord Macaulay's Horatius at the gate of Rome protecting those inside from the barbarian hordes outside.

Johnson wants to encourage division within the world's working class, a class who have common interests in replacing capitalism with socialism. Workers living in Bangladesh and the continent of Africa are all members of our class. Instead of 'divide and rule' ('divide et impera'), workers should forge class unity.

Johnson is telling the tabloid readership that despite global warming, the mass migration of people from Africa and Bangladesh will be stopped at the borders of Australia and Europe. In the face of desertification and rising tides, the fortresses of Europe, North America and Australia will stand well defended against future migration. The world’s desperate poor can burn and drown. That is Johnson's view of the effects of global warming.

Which is not the view of socialists. Immigrants are not the problem: capitalism is. What stands in the way of solving global warming is international rivalry, political leaders like Boris Johnson, the private ownership of the means of production and distribution by the state, corporations or individuals to the exclusion of everyone else. And the primary cause is the profit motive. Under pain of competition, capitalists are forced to pursue, through class exploitation, infinite growth as an anti-social objective in its own right.

The solution? Socialism: the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society. We would not shelter under the ruins of capitalism. Instead the productive forces would be used to directly meet human need. Poverty and environmental degradation would become history.

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