Prof. Chomsky points to the disconnet between our Corporate Overlords’ insatiable appetite for quick profits, and the desire of most rational humans to preserve enough clean air and water to sustain human life on our planet:
Now control of government is narrowly concentrated at the peak of the income scale, while the large majority “down below” has been virtually disenfranchised. The current political-economic system is a form of plutocracy, diverging sharply from democracy, if by that concept we mean political arrangements in which policy is significantly influenced by the public will. [emphasis mine]
There have been serious debates over the years about whether capitalism is compatible with democracy. If we keep to really existing capitalist democracy – RECD for short – the question is effectively answered: They are radically incompatible.
It seems to me unlikely that civilization can survive RECD and the sharply attenuated democracy that goes along with it. But could functioning democracy make a difference?
Let’s keep to the most critical immediate problem that civilization faces: environmental catastrophe. Policies and public attitudes diverge sharply, as is often the case under RECD Environmental catastrophe is far more serious: The externality that is being ignored is the fate of the species. And there is nowhere to run, cap in hand, for a bailout. .
In future, historians (if there are any) will look back on this curious spectacle taking shape in the early 21st century. For the first time in human history, humans are facing the significant prospect of severe calamity as a result of their actions – actions that are battering our prospects of decent survival.
Those historians will observe that the richest and most powerful country in history, which enjoys incomparable advantages, is leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster. Leading the effort to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendants might have a decent life are the so-called “primitive” societies: First Nations, tribal, indigenous, aboriginal.”
I encourage folks to read this insightful piece [ http://www.alternet.org/noam-chomsky-can-civilization-survive-capitalism ] published at alternet. While Prof Chomsky himself doesn’t show much optimism, there are some grounds for hope in his analysis.
People will tolearate an incredible amount of eonomic oppression, in the hopes that their oppresors will at least allow enough crumbs to fall from their over-stuffed mouths to allow for their own survival. Yet today I see many apolitical Americans responding to the appeals of IdleNoMore and others to save our species from extinction. The real prospect of their children and grandchildren not surviving ecological disaster emboldens people– to demand that the so-called “job-creators” stop being such lethal planet- destroyers.
Let us dance to a new song of revolution, sung by the wise elders of the First Nations!
Conversations with hundreds of fracking opponents here in NYS, who would bristle at any suggestion that they held socialist beliefs, reveals that many, for the first time in their lives, are willing to resist our Corporate Overlords to help in the global struggle to save Mother Earth.