COP27: Greenwashing the road to disaster

https://www.communistvoice.org/DSWV-221123.html

COP27: Greenwashing the road to disaster

by Joseph Green, Detroit Workers’ Voice

The UN climate conference, COP27, has come to an end. It has taken place during a year which has seen climate disasters that have affected entire regions, such as  the Pakistan floods that affected over 30 million people. It is taking place when many climate scientists are saying that considerable permanent damage is almost certainly inevitable, no matter what we do. The goal of the Paris Agreement of 2015 (COP21) of restricting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (almost 3 degrees Fahrenheit) is not going to be met.

Yet COP27 took it for granted that the world will proceed along the same path of market-oriented measures, a path that has gotten us to the present disastrous position. This path has proved incapable of making changes sufficiently fast. The path of voluntary national pledges, public-private partnerships, and market incentives has  failed. The pledges are insufficient, and they weren’t met anyway. But COP27 closed its eyes to this.

Instead, to accomplish anything serious in curbing global warming, it is essential to see why carbon emissions have kept going up despite 27 years of UN conferences. It is necessary to see what was wrong with the old measures, and what needs to be done now. Serious damage is now inevitable, but the world needs to limit how much damage is done.

But the world bourgeoisie is complacent; it is still doing business as usual. Indeed establishment news accounts even echo the UN saying that it was a “historic achievement” that COP27 established a fund for the richer countries to pay for some of the environmental “loss and damage” suffered by the poorer countries of the Global South.  But in fact there was only an agreement to negotiate further on how to set up the fund and who would pay for it. Meanwhile the damages are going to get worse and worse, and eventually affect rich and industrialized countries too, as the climate deteriorates.

Thus COP27 was a conference of greenwashers, who spout environmental words while continuing to let the situation decay, thus creating a “green” facade to hide the criminal failures of the world bourgeoisie while disasters mount. COP27 even claimed to maintain the goal of restricting global warming to 1.5 degrees C, although it wouldn’t even commit to dealing with all fossil fuels.

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The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures… //version: ED3_11_25_22

The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist Futures_ ED3_11_25_22

At a time of escalating climate crisis, the American system is frozen in capitalist capture of the bourgeois state. This has created a genuinely baffling situation evoking revolutionary speculation even in those ill-disposed to such perspectives. Slogans of ‘Revolution’ are proclaimed by groups who would dare little in that direction. The confusion springs from sloganeering unconsciously speaking beyond itself, notably the phrase ‘Our Revolution’ from the activism of Bernie Sanders. We have tried a reminder of what the term ‘revolution’ must finally mean, with a focus on the US but with a putative invocation of a new International. Consider ‘Our’ Last Revolution.
Without revolutionary intervention to a form of ecological socialism, the world system will collapse under its capitalist regime. Time is short.
We are done. We have proceeded at high speed to a reconstruction of a new framework for a ‘neo-communist’ project inside a liberal system, to show that in principle a socialist project is far simpler than one might think from the complexities of the Marxist corpus. This model can throttle back and forth between a remorphed liberalism, and an eco-socialist commune, and a lifeboat vehicle in the calamity of system collapse. It is much more practical to do what computer programmers often do: remorph a given code set instead of projecting a new complex from scratch. Despite many echoes our formulation is distinct from the legacy, mostly botched, readings of ‘socialism’ and ‘socialist economies’.


Marxists seem oblivious to the problems of their legacy: they live in an imaginary world referencing ‘communism’ where the public thinks of North Korea. Unbelievably the same terminology stretches between grossly contradictory entities. This is especially the case with the Chinese non-exemplar, whose global influence remains despite its Stalinist core. No challenge to the abuse of terminology is possible. Thus our ‘neo-communism’ starts from scratch and never uses the robotized terms that generate cognitive dissonance and sheer revulsion. That the social public (by our definition also the ‘working class: they are passive with respect to capitalist domination) and not just the industrial proletariat could find in socialism a real bargain that could enrich their lives has become a lost cause in persuasion. Our challenge may be insufficient itself. but we can avoid terms in isolation. We don’t speak of socialism or communism as terms by themselves, but as predicates in multiterm systems: ‘democratic market neo-communism’ as ecosocialism, a complex specification that failsafes terms used in isolation. Chinese Stalinism is NOT socialism, over and out. But a mess of that size is beyond redemption, and we must move on with a new terminology. The core problem is ‘historical materialism’: it puts an immense obstacle in the way of grasping the meaning of socialism and it is an entirely egregious distraction. Who needs it? As a theory it doesn’t work, and in addition precipitates an entirely useless conflict between idealism and materialism, imposes a reductionist scientism on the complexities of history and culture and claims the status of science when in fact it is a pseudoscience and oversimplification.

Continue reading “The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures… //version: ED3_11_25_22”