Environment and Class War
This has also been posted at the Carnival Of Anarchy http://carnival-of-anarchy.blogspot.com/
The natural environment is the key issue today. This is not to reduce all other struggles and problems to it in a reductionist way, however. But what happens to the environment will have a determining effect upon the nature and direction of social change for the next generation, if not sooner.
We are facing two interrelated natural environment based crises – global warming and peak oil. Nothing real is being done about either, and the authorities are not preparing the population for a possible dire future. The orthodox left – social democrats – mainstream Greens - trumpets band aid solutions – Kyoto, hybrid cars, wind power etc. all well and fine in their way, had they been introduced 30 years ago! Only the minority; radical Greens, socialists, anarchists, decentralists, are really telling the truth to the people – that the auto, imported food, suburban sprawl, Walmart life style has to go and has to go now, otherwise heavy times ahead.
This brings me to class struggle. Of course, it goes on all the time, the ruling class or elite warring against the populace and the people fighting back with absenteeism, other forms of sabotage, and strikes. 98% of the aggression come from the rulers, however. The people tend to respond in a reactive manner. One can hold a romantic view of the proletariat, but nonetheless the previous statement is true, If you look at history. The people seem to go on the offensive only after a serious shock like a lost war, an attempted right-wing coup, or a bone-grinding economic depression. This reactive nature is understandable. Most people are not ideological and only wish to go about their daily lives. They will put up with an incredible amount of abuse as long as they are allowed some minimal level of “normal” existence. What I am suggesting is that the combined crises of peak oil and global warming will be such a shock.
We don't know the severe the crisis will be, but some people who have studied the issue, such as James Howard Kunstler, imply it will be the most severe crisis humanity will have faced since the Late Middle Ages, when the people endured famine, war and plague as a result of climate change, over-use of the land and the cutting down of the forests.
What type of reaction occurs really depends upon us, the libertarian-decentralist minority. The better prepared areas will pull through easier than those that have not prepared. Those of us who work to build community and support for local food production, farmers markets, public transit and struggle against developer-idiocy, will have in the long term, saved lives. Masses of people will turn against the rulers, finally realizing they have been lied to. Much of the true-believer Hummer - MacMansions crowd will turn to fascism. Of course, some are 90% there already.
Whether the mass of the people turn to fascism or communitarian socialism, will in some way depend upon how we tackle this issue now. And tackle it we must. I suggest a place to begin would be a sticker with the slogan “Is Your Town Prepared for Peak Oil?”, in smaller print below, “Or Is It Still All Shopping Mall and Suburban Sprawl?” and the web address of one of the peak oil sites. (Something similar about global warming for those areas that will be effected the most.) This could be followed up with a poster listing suggested actions that could be taken to survive peak oil/global warming.