26 Jun 2007

Talking about how to save the world

having escaped the mud, I got up at 12 yesterday morning, tracked into Goldsmiths college library to pick up some dvds and books from their library...including 'celebration/working with Pinter' as you know I am a big fan of his Nobel speech, Hegel's 'philosophy of history' (i like his line about 'human history not being a theatre of happiness') Marx on the Paris Commune.

This was followed by an evening meeting for Croydon Green Party where I introduced the topic of 'how to save the world'...lots of good intelligent participation from the members on how to change structures, how to make green culture popular, how to recruit activists, pitfalls of coalitions, etc....so thank you Croydon Greens.

Here is Ed's account of an earlier talk I gave on 'real alternatives to capitalism' I am trying to be ambitious in my talks!

Derek first briefly outlined some of the problems with capitalism:

- There is a built-in growth imperative to capitalism. Capitalism depends on peoples consumption and production expanding exponentially. This is obviously unsustainable. You can't have an economy that grows forever in a world of finite resources.
- Enclosure - Capitalism encloses or enfences products/land/etc that was once free for all and then tries to makes us buy it back. e.g. enclosure of the land in the UK. Another example would be the selling of mineral water in plastic bottles even though we have one of the cleanest water systems in the world.
- The exploitation of labour in many countries that capitalism depends upon e.g. Chinese sweatshops
- How capitalism absorbs everything - it takes over every area of our lives e.g. what we eat for breakfast, public spaces are covered with advertisements, etc

Read more here


Cardozo said...

"Capitalism" is a pretty loose term, is it not? Must there really be a "growth imperative"? Can't you just own your bakery or dry cleaners shop until the day you die (and pass it on to your child) without ever amassing a fortune or becoming a franchise?

Derek Wall said...

infair point have a look at my babylon blog, I define and examine capitalism in the intro...the reasons why it has to keep growing including falling rates of profit that drive need to get us shopping more, need to pay back borrowing, etc.

i don't use capitalism loosely!

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