Global Climate Strike or Socialism
Global Climate Strike or Socialism
Strong scientific evidence shows that global warming is increasing certain types of extreme weather events, including heat waves, coastal flooding, extreme precipitation events, and more severe droughts. Global warming also creates conditions that can lead to more powerful hurricanes.
This September a global strike has been called asking for millions of workers to walk out of workplaces and homes to join school children on the streets. The demand is to end the age of fossil fuels and for there to be â€œjustice for everyoneâ€.
However, the strike by itself will change nothing. There are several barriers which first need to be overcome.
The need for an understanding about capitalism
Workers need to understand that they live and are exploited in a world-wide capitalist social system. Capitalism is all about making profit, accumulating capital; making more and more money from investments.
The capitalist class who are a minority, own the means of production and distribution like oil, gas, transport and communication, factories and retail outlets to the exclusion of everybody else. This private property ownership is protected by the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the state.
The working class form a majority in society. Having nothing else to sell but our ability to work or labour power we are employed to produce commodities in exchange for a salary or wage. In the production process we are exploited producing more social wealth than we receive in their income.
Workers have no democratic control over the means of production or what they are used for. This severely limits what and cannot be done. And it prevents comprehensive solutions to environmental problems like global warming.
The Role of Politicians
The role of governments and politicians, Labour, Tory, Liberal Democrat or Green is to look after and further the interest of the capitalist class and their need to make profit and accumulate capital.
Where the interests of workers and capitalists clash, governments and politicians are forced to support the interests of the employers to the detriment of everybody and everything else.
Politicians might want to solve global warming but are severely restricted by what they can and cannot do. Capitalism has to operate at a profit. Capitalists have to make more money than their initial investments. And politicians accept this system. Private property is sacrosanct.
The Fossil Fuel industry and its Interests
The fossil fuel industry is owned by capitalists with a view to profit. They do not like their industry constrained, taxed, regulated or impeded. They pay tame politicians and journalists to deny the reality of climate warming. They fund free market institutes to publish unscientific papers which are then uncritically republished in the media.
These capitalists wine and dine Prime Ministers, Presidents, Ministers and other influential politicians to push their interests and their interests alone.
Nation States and World Competition
The principal problem facing those who argue for a solution to global warming and other pressing environmental problems is that the world is divided into competing nation states each pursuing their own interests.
To get governments to agree to a joint position on climate change is almost impossible, even if this is a problem which many realize harms their own interests.
Even if "solutions" were agreed they would be limited by the capitalists' need to continue to make profits and would not be in the interest of all society. Poorer peoples would be left to fend for themselves in areas of the world where there was increased flooding, draught, war and mass flows of immigration.
Most of the World's Population do not own the Means of Production and Distribution
The real issue, as socialists have long told the environmentalists, is that the working class majority do not own the means of production. As a class we are locked-out of having any democratic say in how these are used and for what purpose.
In capitalism, production is for profit. And all these profits can only come from the surplus value created by workers. This system cannot be made to work in the interests of the exploited majority. There is always a conflict between those who employ and those who are employed, between those who buy and those who sell labour power.
And the capitalist system of production takes no concern for the global environmental consequences of its profit-motivated activities. Hence the looting of natural resources, the destruction of the rain-forests, the pollution of water, land and air, the extravagant consumerism and heedless waste of natural resources.
As capitalist interests will always prioritize competitive profits, it is most unlikely that capitalist governments will support genuine solutions to huge problems of climate change and global warming. It will be a case of some sticking-plaster, not a real or realistic solution to these serious problems caused by capitalism. Politicians will talk â€“ lot! But when it comes to performance, that is sadly lacking.
The solution to global environmental problems begins first with the establishment of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society.
World capitalism has to be replaced by world socialism. And only a world socialist majority can do this.
Otherwise the environmental problems and their economic and social consequences will continue to blight the lives of millions of people, continue to destroy other species, and pollute the environment.
The political naivety and ignorance of environmentalists and climate scientists has to stop. They have to recognise the capitalist cause of global warming and environmental degradation. They have to recognise their political responsibility in becoming socialists. And then take the necessary conscious, political and democratic action to replace capitalism with socialism.
Object and Declaration of Principles
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:
1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.
5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.