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Beware of State Environmentalism

The authentic ecologists are anti-developmentalists.

by Miquel Amorós - Translated by: Building Bridges - Humans Rights Vancouver -- Original source in Spanish:

Beware of State Environmentalism

Also posted by Guadillen1:

We live in a dysfunctional world, in clear decline and sinking, as the symptoms of directly verifiable degradation seem to indicate, from climatic disorder to famines and emerging pathologies, from widespread contamination and galloping deforestation to the growing social inequality, from the spread of religious and nationalist emotional plague to the wars for the control of increasingly scarce resources. This is not a mere crisis, but an ecological and social catastrophe that, as it has been in the works for years, it has taken on a semblance of normalcy. Indeed, the global economy, the last stage of capitalist civilization, has shown itself to be a major destructive force, capable of irreversibly altering the vital cycles of nature, of ruining society and of destroying itself with both. An unprecedented historical fact, the economic and technological impact has overflowed the social sphere, taking this devastation geological dimensions. The survival conditions of the human species are being profoundly deteriorated. The novelty is that there is no turning back. In short, capitalism is the catastrophe itself, and the problem is not that it collapses, a good thing by any measure, but that in its demential race towards the abyss it drags us all. The candid souls who won't stop praying for the salvation of the planet Earth, for the preservation of the habitat, against the extinction of the species, would do well to specify that it is of capitalism in all its facets from which it is necessary to save this planet, and that this entails its abolition, which is the abolition of inequalities, of hierarchies, of political apparatus, of the division of labor, of patriarchy, of armies and of states.

Nature has become fully part of the economy; it has ceased to be an immutable environment that supports a society evolving historically. It has been "civilized". Earth, sea, air and living beings are mere market objects. Society, capitalist of course, appropriates Nature, or as they say, the environment, just as it had seized society before. Nature is no longer outside of history, it is not alien to the linear time of mass society, since the catastrophes that affect it have a social origin. They are a consequence of a historical process linked to the rise and consolidation of a class that bases its power on the control of the economy: the bourgeoisie. And that same class, historically transformed, has become aware that the new push of the economy - of a greater advance in the looting of the territory - depends on the administration of the catastrophes that its deployment has provoked. The war against nature continues but disguised under an apparent ecological peace. Catastrophism is now an important part of the dominant ideology - that of the ruling class, until recently optimistic and progressive - since pessimism is more than welcome in a world that is treading water. Disaster can not be denied or redirected. You must admit it. Garbage is at its highest, industrialized leisure is raging, biodiversity is lost, and oppression is multiplied. The current message of power is clear: the catastrophe is real, the threat of collapse is very plausible, but the responsibility belongs to an abstract humanity, eager for riches, very prolific and genetically self-destructive. It turns out that we are all guilty of the catastrophe for being as they say we are, animals that pursue exclusively the private benefit. Only the leaders can free us from it, because only they have the capacity, the knowledge and the necessary means to do it without stopping economic growth or substantially modifying the financial model. In short, faithfully preserving the status quo, not fundamentally affecting political and social structures.

The solution of the leaders lies in a new industrial system of production and services controlling migratory flows and walking hand in hand with "green" technologies, the true protagonists of the "transition" from the old ecocidal world with its "fossil" energy sources to the new sustainable world with its "deposits" of "renewable" energy. The new "low carbon" economy comes to the aid of the old petroleum economy, not to displace it, but to complement it. Both are extractivists and developers. The multinationals direct the whole operation: capitalism is the one who greenens. Thus, the consumption of fossil fuel will not be affected by the production of agrofuels and energy from sources that of "renewable" have only the name. The global consumption of energy that leaders call "green" will never surpass the "fossil": currently it does not reach 14% of the total. Therefore, nuclear power plants, thermal power plants, incinerators, methanizers, hydraulic fractures and reservoirs will increase their presence, this time in the company of wind, photovoltaic, solar thermal and biomass industrial plants. New technologies sustain the exploitative society, depend on it as much or more than the opposite. Growth, development, capital accumulation or whatever you want to call it, is now based on the "green" economy, on "sustainability", on "green" jobs, on eco-technical innovations that concentrate power and reinforce the verticality of decisions. State environmentalism is its new defender, the professional auxiliary vanguard of the political class enlightened by parliamentarism, the voracious consumer of public and private funds destined to finance projects of systemic underpinning and profitability of marginalization.

Such an environmentalism is almost essential as a stabilizing instrument for the labor force that has been definitively expelled from the market, but it is even more important as a weapon for the relocation of polluting activities to poor countries, whose greatest opportunity to be part of the global economy consists of become landfills. State environmentalism is represented first by a range of eco-Stalinist parties, the result of the recycling of residual, classical Stalinism, under the parameters of populist citizenship, such as Podemos, Comunes, IU or Equo. Then come a lot of collectives and reformist associations that do not go beyond the "solidary" market economy, "responsible" consumption, the exploitation of "renewable" energies and "sustainable" development. Greater degree of complicity with the order have the patented environmentalists of the big NGOs such as Green Peace, WWF, Extinction-Rebellion or Green New Deal, which aspire to become lobbies, and above all the "transitional" tertulians, the "collapsologists" and the celebrity vedettes moved by the planetary devastation. However, the hard core of this kind of environmentalism is composed of a considerable fauna of cretinists careerists, upstart climbers and opportunist adventurers distributed throughout the institutions, media, social networks and the leadership of organizations as experts, advisors, directors and managers. You can make an extensive list with their names. The common denominator of all of them is not to constitute a threat to anything or anyone. They do not question the foundational topics of bourgeois rule - "democracy", "progress", "rule of law" - but rather the opposite. They do not really want to end capitalism or deindustrialize the world. Their goals are much less ambitious: most will be satisfied with seeing some of their proposals included in the agendas of the main parties and governments. After all, their vocational work is limited to put pressure on politicians, not to expunge politics. They try to act as intermediaries in the territorial market through conservationist regulations, just as unions do in the labor market.

The State bolsters or hinders society to suit powerful private interests, the interests of industrial domination, and not for the benefit of the administered masses. It is something immovable. The looting of the territory that the economic elites’ practice is being facilitated by the state instances, which feed from it reinforcing its hierarchical structure in passing, consolidating the politico-civil service class and extending the control mechanisms on the population. There is no possible "green" State, because no self-respecting State will act against its interests, which are served by the intensive exploitation of natural resources rather than by it's decrease. Stopping the catastrophe would involve halting development, with fearsome derivations such as the eradication of consumerism, the dismantling of industries, highways and large distribution, the de-urbanization of space, the dissolution of bureaucracy, the total decentralization of energy production and food, the end of the division of labor, etc., all contrary to the character of the State product of industrial civilization. That is why the environmentalism of the State will prefer to distract its public with small superficial gestures of citizen responsibility. It will not go beyond taxes, decrees and follow-up commissions; it will not go beyond the selective collection of garbage, the limitation of the speed to 80 Km/h, the promotion of the bicycle and of organic foods, of low consumption lighting or the prohibition of certain plastic containers, none of which will visibly contribute to ecological change or the democratization of society. The State rests on an infantile population, excluded from the decisions and depoliticized, focused on their private life; The State is nourished by an artificial, stratified, classist, society, in strong imbalance with the environment and therefore unsustainable. If a society like this will never be ecologically viable, neither will a State forged in its midst, no matter how much will one may have. False ecologists worship the State above all causes.

The true environmentalists are elsewhere. The authentic ecologists are anti-developmentalists. Their program rejects the preponderant role of technology in the evolutionary orientation of society, that is, it condemns the idea of "progress" as a pernicious fallacy. Likewise, it criticizes and combats the concentration of the population in conurbations and the proletarization of the lives of its inhabitants, both in its material and moral dimension. It fights against alienation, a necessary consequence of massification. For them the industrial civilization and the State that represents it are irreformable and must be fought by all means, of course, means that do not contradict the ends. Boycotts, marches, occupation, mobilizations, etc. The defense of the territory is anti-statist and anti-capitalist in both form and content. It seeks an exit from capitalism, the demercantilization of territory and human relations, and public management through the agora, that is, the assemblies. The ecological catastrophe can not be conjured except with a drastic change in the way of life, a "de-alienation", which refers us to the restitution of the normal metabolism between the city and the countryside, to the unification of intellectual and physical work, to the suppression of industrial production, the abolition of wage labor, the extinction of statist forms ... The theoretical and practical question that arises is how to develop a realistic mass strategy to carry out the objectives described. The salvation of the planet and of suffering humanity will depend on the ability of the oppressed population to get out of their lethargy and undertake the long road of resistance in order to end an aberrant world and build a truly human society in its place.

Miquel Amorós, February 26, 2019. Arguments for non-participation in collapsist confernces


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