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(en) France, UCL AL #334 - Ecology, Collapse: Beware of the fantasy of the Great Green Evening (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 31 Jan 2023 09:31:52 +0200

For many environmental activists, the collapse would be this new key moment capable of defeating capitalism and giving birth to a new society. Fact or fiction ? ---- In his book Capitalist Realism, Mark Fischer sums up his idea thus: " It is easier to imagine an end of the world than that of capitalism ". Between the pandemic, fires, floods or energy difficulties, our time can take on the appearance of the end of the world, especially when we know that these problems will become not only more and more frequent but also more and more intense. It is therefore tempting to see, despite the misery and destruction caused by this end of the world, a way out of the world that engendered it. In any case, this is what brings together those who support the hypothesis of a collapse.
If there is a reactionary version which conceptualizes it as a return to the law of the strongest capable of purifying society, there is an opposite version which sees in it a moment capable of federating mutual aid and solidarity and plant the seeds of a better world. However, even the version based on progressive values is dubious.

The central thesis of the collapse is based on the overcoming of a peak in raw materials which renders capitalism incapable of fueling its infinite growth. But will that be enough to wipe the slate clean? The first victims of the economic and ecological crises to come will be the popular classes, not the bourgeoisie. There is no doubt that the latter will fight to defend her domination. To maintain its profit, it will surely even have to significantly intensify its exploitation of the proletariat, whether international or national. Faced with downgrading, the reflex of solidarity between the exploited is very far from being universal and the context could favor, on the contrary, the most reactionary and authoritarian currents. Let's not forget that capitalism is already taking great advantage of the various crises to strengthen its grip, it is largely thanks to these that neoliberalism has been able to develop as in Chile in the 1970s or in the former bloc in the Is in the 1990s. Many are already those around the world but also in Europe to see their environment destroyed and their lives reduced to the worst exploitation.

More recently, many people have spoken of the world after, at the height of the Covid crisis, but these calls have remained incantatory. Worse, it is the far right and conspiracy theorists who have taken advantage of the crisis while health issues have taken a back seat.

The times to come will be troubled but waiting for the collapse of the system under its contradictions is an illusion or even a privilege because it will not hesitate to destroy more and more in order to maintain itself. Let us therefore beware of fictions full of idealism to predict the future and fight now for the defense of our class and the strengthening of networks of mutual aid and solidarity.

Corentin (UCL Alsace)

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