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(en) Claaacg8 Journal No.2: The planet is getting weaker

From CLAAACG8 <claaacg8@claaacg8.org>
Date Mon, 19 May 2003 19:11:42 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

Development, Progress and respect for the Environment are ideas
which have been agreed for a long time, both by the right and
the left. However, this Progress and this Development are
perfectly incompatible with respect for the environment and seem
more and more clearly to be dead ends for humanity and for the
whole planet.
For two centuries, economic development and technical
discoveries have encouraged increased production as well as a
permanent increase in production capacity. Far from reducing the
burden of labour, the enormous profits of productivity are used
to produce more and more. Beginning in Europe, companies were
driven by capitalism into a logic of production that ends up
becoming a common value and presented as an end in itself.

This productivism is inherent to capitalism, founded on
unchained competition that forces all enterprises to produce for
the least cost, without consideration for the exploitation of
workers nor for the damage that it causes to the environment.

Any idea of progress has therefore been bound to this frenzy of
production. The social question, we were told, would find its
solution in abundance. Humanity's happiness would be achieved by
the combined effect of science and technology, without
considering who was to decide and therefore be master of the
choices. The ecological question was not broached, obviously.

At a time when capitalism has extended itself on a planet-wide
scale, it is obvious that the social and ecological accounts are
very much in the red. Although human exploitation in the old
industrialized countries may appear less savage than during the
last century, on a world-wide scale the economic exploitation of
men, women and children has considerably increased.


It is the globalization of that economic model which is
presented as the only possible way, capitalism, that is
constantly generating a greater deterioration of the planet. It
is a deterioration with no limits, and it is reaching the point
where there is no going back: water reserves, the soil,
biodiversity, people's living conditions ... all are affected.

Financiers and industrialists are carrying out their projects
with an iron fist concealed in the velvet glove of the ideology
of infinite development and economic progress. Moving across
borders, they dictate orientations (1) that answer only to their
economic interests and their preoccupation with maintaining
their domination over the world.

By their sides are the many accomplices camouflaged with tinsel
of all colours who try to give capitalism a more decorous
appearance and advise it on initiatives which favour a minor
degradation of nature. They want us not to be afraid of the
grass snake of "sweetened" capitalism, capitalism which
supposedly respects the environment, which encourages "durable
development". The sweet-voiced tenors of the reformist labour,
Trotskyist and Stalinist organizations, as well as the new
social democrats à la ATTAC, by choosing to collaborate with
capitalism (each in their own way), are driven by, and
themselves drive, the same old productivist ideology which is
inseparable from the exploitation of human labour.

What is worse, they demand the restoration of the State and
better control of the capitalist economy. Some even go as far as
extolling the institution of world super-government. In the same
way, although scratching the surface of productivist ideology,
liberal or social-democrat inspired environmentalists leave the
radical resolution to the ecological question in suspense by
trying to make us believe that future planning, guided by the
State, will encourage the right attitudes to develop, whereas it
is the people themselves who must decide the social usefulness
of their activities.


By confining themselves to proposals of technical solutions,
these environmentalist developers cannot conceive of calling
into question this system which generates the main ecological
catastrophes, past, present and future. They favour a
compartmental vision of the ecological problem. We will not be
able to seriously approach the unbridled exploitation of nature
without at the same time considering the exploitation of Man by
Man, which is part of the same process.

Catastrophes, such as exceptional floods, follow one another at
accelerated intervals, creating more and more damage and
victims. The marked climatic disorder appears to be directly
related to human activity and more particularly to the most
recent industrial, capitalist period. The influence of these
factors, whose importance is not yet clearly defined, should not
however obscure the similarly decisive role that regional
planning plays in spite of good ecological direction. The people
responsible for this are trying nowadays to hide behind this
catastrophic climatic change, promoted to the rank of new

Another example: largescale infrastructural construction opens
the way to an expansion of the world market and subjugates the
people to the imperatives of the globalized capitalist economy,
to a totally irrational international division of work which is
the cause of the destruction of small traditional productive
activity and local or regional economies. The increased
distances that goods are forced to travel is especially obvious
in the case of food products. The European Common Agricultural
Policy encourages large-scale production while at the same time
increasing food transportation distances. 70% of present traffic
is actually superfluous. The unceasing circulation of goods as
well as human beings, the obsession with "not losing time" are
the opposite of liberty, they are devices that reinforce even
further the feeling of impotence and submissiveness.

Saving the life of the planet will be impossible without freeing
ourselves of the rule of merchandise that reaches all aspects of
our existence. We must read the covered cards in this gigantic
lie of a poker game which is being played by the financiers of
all countries by undermining resources which belong to everyone,
both to the people of today and to the future generations. The
parties and unions, either in their passé versions or their
renovated versions have the same dynamics as NGOs or other

Some ignore the ecological question while continuing to feed the
dream of economic growth, others approach the planet's forced
deterioration without analyzing their social, economic and
political causes. So it is indispensable that we tie the
question of the ecology to social choices. If the capitalist
model continues to develop throughout the world, we can be
assured a future which will be none too bright in terms of
ecology, peace and social progress.

(1) By means of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund
and the World Trade Organization, and so on.

Text taken from Claaac Journal No.2
May 2003 - 1 euro - 8 pages

Convergence des luttes antiautoritaire et anticapitaliste contre
le G8
(Convergence of Anti-Authoritarian, Anti-Capitalist Struggles
Against the G8)

c/o La plume noire,
19, rue Pierre Blanc
F - 69001 Lyons

website: http://www.claaacg8.org
e-mail: claaacg8@claaacg8.org

[translation - nmcn/ainfos]

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