How Indeed?

From Michael Lebowitz:

Thus, a growing circle — a spiral of growing alienated production, growing needs and growing consumption. But how long can that continue? Everyone knows that the high levels of consumption achieved in certain parts of the world cannot be copied in the parts of the world which capital has newly incorporated into the world capitalist economy. Very simply, the Earth cannot sustain this — as we can already see with the clear evidence of global warming and the growing shortages which reflect rising demands for particular products in the new capitalist centers. Sooner or later, that circle will reach its limits. Its ultimate limit is given by the limits of nature, the limits of the Earth to sustain more and more consumption of commodities, more and more consumption of the Earth’s resources.

But well before we reach the ultimate limits of the vicious circle of capitalism, there inevitably will arise the question of who is entitled to command those increasingly limited resources. To whom will go the oil, the metals, the water — all those requirements of modern life? Will it be the currently rich countries of capitalism, those that have been able to develop because others have not? In other words, will they be able to maintain the vast advantages they have in terms of consumption of things and resources — and to use their power to grab the resources located in other countries? Will newly emerging capitalist countries (and, indeed, those not emerging at all) be able to capture a “fair share’’? Will the impoverished producers of the world — producers well aware of the standards of consumption elsewhere as the result of the mass media — accept that they are not entitled to the fruits of civilisation? How will this be resolved?

Read the whole article here

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