Forbidden Planet

– George Monbiot is brilliant,  He’s one of my favorites.   He has a way of taking things apart so clearly and laying all the pieces out.

– His theme here, that preventing global ecological and climatic disaster is in direct opposition to Capitalism, is not new.  

– Numerous others, like James Gustav Speth in The Bridge at the Edge of the World, have said precisely the same thing.

– The really scary bit is when you contrast the truth of their observations against the fact that the world’s impending ecological and climatic disasters have largely gone off the radar with the rise of the world’s financial crisis and that the main thing most folks are concerned with fixing is getting Capitalism back up on its feet, then you can see why many of us are thinking we’re doomed.

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Forbidden Planet

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 4th December 2012

Humankind’s greatest crisis coincides with the rise of an ideology that makes it impossible to address. By the late 1980s, when it became clear that manmade climate change endangered the living planet and its people, the world was in the grip of an extreme political doctrine, whose tenets forbid the kind of intervention required to arrest it.

Neoliberalism, also known as market fundamentalism or laissez-faire economics, purports to liberate the market from political interference. The state, it asserts, should do little but defend the realm, protect private property and remove barriers to business. In practice it looks nothing like this. What neoliberal theorists call shrinking the state looks more like shrinking democracy: reducing the means by which citizens can restrain the power of the elite. What they call “the market” looks more like the interests of corporations and the ultra-rich(1). Neoliberalism appears to be little more than a justification for plutocracy.

The doctrine was first applied in Chile in 1973, as former students of the University of Chicago, schooled in Milton Friedman’s extreme prescriptions and funded by the CIA, worked alongside General Pinochet to impose a programme that would have been impossible in a democratic state. The result was an economic catastrophe, but one in which the rich – who took over Chile’s privatised industries and unprotected natural resources – prospered exceedingly(2).

– More…


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