When the word imperialism is evoked, it seems strange to equivocate the term with a contemporary form of food production and this is what makes modern imperialism so effective. That is its ability to remain invisible or to go undetected. For the modern superpowers, and in the era of Pax Americana, this is largely how they operate, by using less direct methods in order to advance their nation’s particular geopolitical interests and to disguise these actions by using modern political or economic jargon such as “development”, “liberalisation” or “investment”.
‘A gift to Big Oil’, claims Vox’s Leah C. Stokes. Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox had the film temporarily removed from sites with the help of a twitter mob. The creators “have done a grave disservice to us and the planet” cried Penn State climatologist, Michael E. Mann, who soon after compared Michael Moore to Donald Trump and Putin.
Eamon Ryan has been leaking internal information to apply pressure to his fellow party members to go into coalition. Green Party councillors have supported Fianna Fáil candidates in local areas. Green Party councillors voted to privatise O’Devaney Gardens social housing.
Some are calling the crisis a ‘cleanse’ of the planet, that because it disproportionately affects older people, it’s the Earth’s revenge against ‘boomers’ and that humanity really needed to ‘check itself’ or let the planet breathe.
Basic functions of a state, such as public investment, have been restricted to an unprecedented degree. Karl Marx saw that national debt is the means by which the modern state is sold to the capitalist class, determining which section of that class will be in control.
The state intervention required to avoid a complete climate catastrophe, such as enforcing reduced energy consumption, the rejection of the fossil fuel industry and better management of natural resources, are all fundamentally incompatible with laissez faire, free market principles.
If we oppose the destruction of the Amazon, how can we support an institution like the EU, that is able to encourage it’s destruction whilst giving the impression that it is eco-friendly. This will only continue the narrative that China, India or the global south are massive polluters and need to become more green like Europe. We are simply exporting the climate guilt of European people and placing it upon post-colonial nations.
Does our environmental salvation come in the form of one child policies, the end of famine relief or our own coerced sterilisation?
Only by rejecting liberalism and basing our understanding on historical materialism and the experience of the masses (and manifesting this in concrete organisational forms) can Varadkar’s ludicrous carbon tax give way to the democratic ownership of the economy.
We need a change of system. A system not based on the pursuit of profit but an economy organised on the basis of sustainability and the needs of the population.