Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another View from the Left


Two important papers on capitalism by Richard Smith were published in the last few years explaining how capitalism, due to its structural mechanisms, cannot be reformed in any way to make it “sustainable”. In Smith’s papers, Green Capitalism: the God that Failed and Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism, four primary dictates of capitalism illustrate that no matter how herculean the effort to “green the economy”, whether through energy or other areas, the end result of inexorable environmental destruction as well as incredible social inequality are inevitable.

1.) “Grow or die” is a law of survival in the marketplace:
In capitalism most producers… have no choice but to live by the capitalist maxim “grow or die.” First, as Adam Smith noted, the ever-increasing division of labor raises productivity and output, compelling producers to find more markets for this growing output. Secondly, competition compels producers to seek to expand their market share, to better defend their position against competitors. Bigger is safer because, ceteris paribus, bigger producers can take advantage of economies of scale and can use their greater resources to invest in technological development, so can more effectively dominate markets. Marginal competitors tend to be crushed or bought out by larger firms. Thirdly, the modern corporate form of ownership, which separates ownership from operation, adds further irresistible and unrelenting pressures to grow from owner-shareholders. And shareholders are not looking for “stasis”; they are looking to maximize portfolio gains, so they drive their CEOs forward.

“…relentless and irresistible pressures for growth are functions of the day-to-day requirements of capitalist reproduction in a competitive market, incumbent upon all but a few businesses, and that such pressures would prevail in any conceivable capitalism. Further, I contend that, given capitalism, the first result of any serious reduction in economic output (GDP) to get production back down to some reasonably sustainable level, would be to provoke mass unemployment. So here again, there will never be mass public support for de-growth unless it’s coupled with explicit guarantees of employment for redundant workers, which are unacceptable to capital and would require a socialist economy…”

2.) Maximizing profit and saving the environment are inherently in conflict:
“…Corporations can embrace pro-environmental policies but only so long as these boost profits. Saving the world, however, would require that profit-making be systematically subordinated to ecological concerns…”
“Most of the economy is comprised of large corporations owned by investor-shareholders. And shareholders, even those who are environmentally-minded professors investing via their TIAA-CREF accounts, are constantly seeking to maximize returns on investment. So they sensibly look to invest where they can make the highest return. This means that corporate CEOs do not have the freedom to choose to produce as much or little as they like, to make the same profits this year as last year. Instead, they face relentless pressure to maximize profits, to make more profits this year than last year (or even last quarter), therefore to maximize sales, therefore to grow quantitatively…
In the real world, therefore, few corporations can resist the relentless pressure to “grow sales,” “grow the company,” “expand market share”– to grow quantitatively. The corporation that fails to outdo its past performance risks falling share value, stockholder flight, or worse… And if economic pressures weren’t sufficient to shape CEO behavior, CEOs are, moreover, legally obligated to maximize profits — and nothing else…”

3.) Consumerism and overconsumption are built into capitalism:
“…consumerism and overconsumption are not “dispensable” and cannot be exorcised because they’re not just “cultural” or “habitual.” They are built into capitalism and indispensable for the day-to-day reproduction of corporate producers in a competitive market system in which capitalists, workers, consumers and governments alike are all locked into an endless cycle of perpetually increasing consumption to maintain profits, jobs, and tax revenues. We can’t shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. The global ecological crisis we face cannot be solved by even the largest individual companies. Problems like global warming, deforestation, overfishing, species extinction, the changing ocean chemistry are even beyond the scope of nation states. They require national and international cooperation and global economic planning. This requires collective bottom-up democratic control over the entire world economy. And since a global economic democracy could only thrive in the context of a rough economic equality, this presupposes a global redistribution of wealth as well.”

4.) The masses are dependent on the market:
“Capitalism is a mode of production in which specialized producers (corporations, companies, manufacturers, individual producers) produce some commodity for market but do not possess their own means of subsistence. So in a capitalisteconomy, everyone is first and foremost, dependent upon the market, compelled to sell in order to buy, to buy in order to sell, to re-enter production and carry on.”

To illustrate a case study in how impossible it is for even an “environmentally conscious” corporation to be sustainable, Smith discusses Ray Anderson and his company Interface, Inc.

Saint Ray Anderson and the limits of the possible:

“…CEO Ray Anderson has probably pushed the limits of industrial environmentalism as far as it’s humanly possible to go in an actual factory operating within the framework of capitalism. Ray Anderson is everybody’s favorite eco-capitalist and he and his company Interface Inc. have been applauded by virtually every eco-futurist book written since the 1990s as the eco-capitalist example to emulate. But what Ray Anderson’s case really shows us is the limits of the possible, especially under capitalism. For after almost two decades of sustained effort, the goal of “zero pollutants” is still as unreachable as ever at Interface Inc. It is not in the least to diminish Ray Anderson’s sincerity, his passionate dedication, his efforts or his impressive achievements. But the fact is, according to The Interface Sustainability Report of 2009, Interface has “cut waste sent to landfills by more than half while continuing to increase production,” “reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30%,” “reduced energy intensity by 45%,” while “over 25% of raw materials used in interface carpet are recycled and biobased materials in 2007,” and non-sustainable materials consumed per unit of product have declined from 10.2 lbs/yd2 in 1996 to 8.6 lb/yd2 in 2008. Read that last sentence again. Make no mistake: These are impressive, even heroic industrial-environmental achievements. But if after more than fifteen years of sustained effort, the most environmentally dedicated large company in the United States, if not the entire world, can only manage to cut non-sustainable inputs from 10.2 to 8.6 pounds per square yard of finished product, to inject a mere 25% recycled and biobased feedstock into its production process, so still requiring 75% of new, mostly petroleum-based nonsustainable feedstock in every unit of production, then the inescapable conclusion must be that even the greenest businesses are also on course to “destroy the world.” So if the reality is that, when all is said and done, there is “only so much you can do” in most industries, then the only way to bend the economy in an ecological direction is to sharply limit production, especially of toxic products, which means completely redesigning production and consumption – all of which is certainly doable, but impossible under capitalism.”
Source: Collapse of Industrial Civilization ~ Finding the Truth behind the American Hologram"

32 comments:

Gert said...

O/T:

Sex Wars! Now we know why they call it the Exceptional Nation(TM)! ;-)

At this rate the Deplorable Leader will lose by 25%/75%! Damning email leaks for the Plutocrat's Queen notwithstanding!

Joe Conservative said...

25% awake beats 3%. I can't help it if the masses still believe what they read/hear on the evening news.

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreeThinke said...


Bill Clinton FUCKED a woman young enough to be his DAUGHTER in her MOUTH in the OVAL OFFICE for CHRIT' SAKE!. He FUCKED her PUSSY with his stinking cigar, hopefully not the lighted end, but who knows? God only knows what other parts of her he FUCKED. That the fat little bitch was, herself, a sexual predator who'd been coached by her disgusting, equally immoral Jewish mother to sleep with men in high places to gain advantage, does nothing to diminish the enormity of Bill Clinton's reckless, irresponsible, utterly depraved behavior.

His so-called WIFE was AWARE and COMPLICIT in all of this. That makes her as guilty as her Consort in Constant Crime and Corruption.

If that isn't enough to convince a nation that a man like that –– and all those who try to defend him and cover up for him –– are DESPICABLE, LYING, totally UNWORTHY HYPOCRITES, there is NO HOPE at all that our country all ever be saved from it's determined plunge into the Abyss.


It seems, Alas! that we are destined to share the wretched fate of Europe and Mother England, which are soon to become dhimmis to the Islamic Hordes and unassimilable blacks they've stupidly welcomed into their midst.

GOD has not forsaken US, it is WE who have forsaken HIM. Our Disintegration and imminent Demise are the inevitable result of such reckless, foolish behavior.

"Whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap."

Joe Conservative said...

Mrs. Grundy is in charge of the Narrative.

Mrs. Grundy said...

...and don't you forget it!

FreeThinke said...

I never would have believed Mrs. Grundy's real name was Emma Goldman –– or is it Rosa Luxembourg?

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

I don't think Bill Clinton would ever brag about sexually assaulting ugly people.

-FJ said...

Mrs Grundy IS Socialism, in a nutshell.

FreeThinke said...

REALLY? And here I've always thought she was an out-of-control, self-righteous, narrow-minded, censorious, Evangelical Christian busybody and town gossip.

Ah well, Mrs. G. is certainly a would-be tyrant, and so, of course, are ALL Utopians at root, so in that regard I see your point..

Thersites said...

No, money is what buys people "social distance". It's the "solution" to Mrs. Grundy style socialism.

Gert said...

I can't help it if the masses still believe what they read/hear on the evening news.

I heard a story on the Beeb about a little cat stuck up in a tree, the other day. Apparently it was a true story! They had video footage! ;-)

Highly amusing is to see the #Hillsuberalles crowd fall over each other to ascribe the unflattering Clinton emails to The Evil Putin (in a predictable show of Russophobia) and his capability to forge said emails.

Politely suggesting Clinton might not be as as pure as the driven snow has got me seriously hissed at on a few 'liberal' sites.

Thersites said...

Social media is all about the virtue signalling... I'm purer than thou art! :p

Thersites said...

We can't stomach a "groper" for President... unless of course, he's "our" groper!

FreeThinke said...

NOTHING could POSSIBLY Top THIS:

Bill Clinton took Advantage of the Advances Made By A Woman Young Enough To Be His DAUGHTER

and

FUCKED
Her
in the
MOUTH
in the
Oval Office


That is a FACT. How HILLACUNT could summon the gall to mount a campaign accusing DONALD TRUMP of "sexual misconduct" in light of her life partner's revolting.boorish, immoral, ILLEGAL career as a Sexual Predator beggars belief.

WORSE than that, however, is the way the American public reveals its own essential degeneracy by giving this vile bitch their support.

AS A PEOPLE, WE HAVE SUNK to ALL-TIME LOWS in the past FIFTY-ODD YEARS. We do not DESERVE to WIN anymore, nor do will we be able to maintain our ASCENDANCY. Along with Europe and Great Britain we are Circling the Drain at ever increasing rates of speed, and will soon go GLUG! GLUG! GLUG! –– and rightfully so.

Thersites said...

Mrs Grundy has us by the gonads, FT.

Gert said...

We can't stomach a "groper" for President... unless of course, he's "our" groper!

The same ones who were once up in arms about Billo's oval sex antics are the ones who see no problems with the orange faker's predatory sexual attitudes towards women.

Far more interesting: more tax breaks for corporations in the pipeline...

Gert said...

Re. the various sex allegations from either side, it's all academic now. Drumpf is toast.

Time to start worrying about the post-08/11 hordes of angry losers, methinks!

Thersites said...

One day the people will wise up to the antics of the Struldbruggs!

FreeThinke said...

He FUCKED her un the MOUTH.

He FUCKED her in the MOUTH

He FUCKED her in the MOUTH

Gert said...

Stinker:

I'd start preparing for the day Drumpfie will be the yooooooge loser, if I were you (perish the thought!). The suspense is over in any case and that day is now nigh. Xmas is coming early in ;16, it seems...

It's rather telling that Agent Orange couldn't even beat a dead horse like Clinton but then having the political finesse of a boiled potato was never going to help much in that department.

Of course you can always blame da Joooos, in time honoured fashion. Considering you've called for the heinous murder of Megyn Kelly (of all people!) you'd have made a good Nazi anyway, back in them days of yore.

FreeThinke said...

Have you ever noticed that Leftists never produce sound arguments in promotion or defense of their ideas? ALL they EVER do, instead, is INSULT, BELITTLE, TAUNT, DEFAME and REVILE those who hold views not in harmony with the DICTA of Cultural Marxists and their Progressive-Socialist-Statist-Tyrannist spawn.

Of course most Conservative-Libertarians know this, but it must be reiterated constantly to remind those of us who actually THINK about the implications and ramifications of ALL political initiatives, and generally look upon politicians of ALL stripes with a weather eye that POWER, itself, is mankind's greatest ENEMY. If we didn't constantly remind ourselves, we might lose perspective, and let ourselves get swept away in the tides of filth, degeneracy and fabricated confusion that swirl around us stinking up the air we must breathe.

Gert said...

Stinker:

From your personal cesspit:

Prunella Rogers-Todgers October 10, 2016 at 11:22 AM
President Trump should deport Martha KrapShits

Reply
Replies

Anonymous October 10, 2016 at 9:12 PM
Salvador Savonarola said

Strap the Reditch bitch on the Judas Cradle. We'll teach her a lesson she'll never survive.


This is what the US would be like if Drumpf and supporters got hold of the WH: end of journalism. Replaced presumably by Trump TV.

Is it getting a bit smelly in da Bunker yet, Stinker? You know, with the putrefaction of Drumpf's campaign in full swing, mingling with your own uncontrollable, projectile bowel movements?

FreeThinke said...

________ Just Say No to Hillary _________

Voting for Trump might bring pain to your rump,
But nothing compared to the drama

Of staying the course for another four years.
Bound to be like a latter day Trail of Tears ––

The fulfillment of very bad Kharma ––
To support a third term of Obama.



~ Anne Animus

Gert said...

Farmer:

The sooner this 'silly season' is over, the better, so 'the right questions' can once be asked again (and matters regarding this crook's or that crook's use of his/hers genitalia hopefully fade into the background once again, where they belong).

Your post raises interesting (albeit far from new) questions re. modern day Capitalism and sustainability/desirability. Kudos to a 'Conservative' for at least facing them. :-)

Some hard choices will soon be upon us.

FreeThinke said...

Capitalism is certainly the best engine of prosperity and ever-expanding horizons of bundles opportunity ever devised. I believe that, –– BUT Capitalism unrestrained by fervent belief in a Higher Power of which I see sincere Christian faith as the finest example –– can be as evil as anything else. In the constant struggle to achieve DOMINATION most lose sight of the need aways to temper justice with mercy and to curb greed in order to avoid harming the innocent.

Militant atheists –– captious, sarcastic, beetle shelled, bird-eyed, cynics all, incapable of love –– want to believe an equitable, ideal society could be achieved without surrendering to the biblical dictates summed up in the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, –– and above all The Golden Rule.

Sorry. It can't be done, and every second of time we waste arguing over it and trying to deny it it takes us that much farther away from the hope of ever living in harmony with one another.

Unfortunately, our unseemly penchant for willfulness and over-fondness for dispute and doing violence keeps us where we are.

For myself, if it weren't for the blessed ability to retreat, and take time in solitude to engage in prayer, I'm sure I would have gone raving mad decades ago.

-FJ said...

The problem with modern capitalism as it stands today is that all the leverage in social equations favour the biggest capitalists. It's time to restore some leverage to the other participants in the economic equation, small businesses, the workers, AND the individual investors without the constant intervention of big government. Resetting the rules and tax laws should be all that it requires.

FreeThinke said...

Nothing we do is worth ANYTHING unless it's done with Love.

Naive?

Hardly, it's just the simple truth, the fundamental ingredient for a fulfilling life. That so many want to deny this is the primary reason why the world is the fractious, worrisome, often terrifying place it is.

HOWEVER, Christianity, rightly understood, offers us escape from these doomed cycles of action-reaction by enabling us to realize that eternal Truth exists INSIDE each of us, and all we need to do to access it is behave toward others as we wish they would behave toward us.

That won't change THEM, but it CAN –– and DOES –– change US, and that makes all the difference.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all you should ever need will be made available to you.

I believe that simply because it has worked for me. Definitely changed my life for the better. But I admit it is a consent battle to maintain that exalted level of consciousness, and sadly when confronted with a viciously incisive negative force such as our Gert, I too often make the mistake of taking his bait and lowering myself to his abysmal level, and so a feud develops, and Bob's your uncle. ;-).

But I shall get over it. He is not worth my losing my soul in a foolish attempt to combat him.

Gert said...

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all you should ever need will be made available to you.

I believe that simply because it has worked for me. Definitely changed my life for the better. But I admit it is a consent battle to maintain that exalted level of consciousness, "


If ever I needed even more evidence that religion doesn't necessarily make better people, I can always roll out The Stinker as a great example. A Manichean twit, a Jew hater who calls for the violent murder of people he disagrees with and supports an orange, losing buffoon-clown. Not to mention who has the political understanding of dried up bat.

I'd pay good money to see your face at the end of 8 Nov., when Trumpeldore will finally declare 'it was all rigged, folks. Yooooge'. You reap what you sow, Stinky.

Thersites said...

...and Brexit was going to lose, too.... oooops! The auger's at the Times have seen the chickens "peck". "Hillary".

FreeThinke said...

Gert, I must apologize to you. It is childish, cruel, barbaric and thoroughly reprehensible to bait wild beasts, cripples, dwarfs, misfits, the ill--favored, the insane and the mentally retarded.

Shame on me! I should never have permitted myself give way to sadistic impulses.

Alcoholics Anonymous has been right all along.

"ANGER is DANGER.

Worse than that it is ungodly, so it is I who have been the greater sinner in these unfortunate exchanges.

FreeThinke said...

I do hope you recognize the degree to which I am sincere in begging for your forgiveness, dear Gert?