28 Sep 2008

Capitalism = waste, proclaims journalist

Nevertheless, waste is integral to what Robert Reich, in his most recent book, calls "supercapitalism". Unchecked supercapitalism produces waste as inevitably as it produces inequality, job insecurity, loss of community and so on. We are rapidly reaching the point, long promised by futurologists, where we throw away clothes after wearing them once, and we already dispose of many electrical goods as soon as they go wrong.

The average British household currently spends a mere 60p a week on repairs. The economic logic is impeccable: the goods are made in countries where labour costs are low, while repairs have to be carried out here, where costs are high. But even when goods don't need repairing, we still throw them away. Supercapitalism's brilliant answer to increasing durability is to elaborate and refine so that goods feel obsolete almost as soon as you buy them. Even environmentalism has been turned to supercapitalism's advantage: always buy a new machine, you are told, because it will be more energy-efficient than the old one.

Nice to see this from Peter Wilby
...contrast to the normal spiked-on line/Nick Cohen trajectory of the former green radicals (?) who proclaim nuclear power...

things are just so desperate we need free public transport, a post-capitalist economy and renewable energy along with a permaculture revolution...fast breeders can feck off...


fpteditors said...

Derek, more and more people are realizing that free public transport [transit in U.S] is the key place to get the green camel's nose under the tent. You have to think about it for a while... please do.

fpteditors said...

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