Capitalism, Socialism, and Climate Change

Much of the hesitation among many folk who essentially agree with Bernie’s politics is driven by fear of the word “socialism,” not for the policies the word represents but for the attacks against the word that will come from Trump. I think we can overcome this reluctance if we explain ourselves more fully.

As Bernie has emphasized, climate change is the most important issue facing the world today. What’s causing this catastrophic climate change? It’s not you failing to bring your own bags to the supermarket. It’s capitalism. Unbridled capitalism with it’s relentless drive for profits and economic growth is responsible for pollution, for the continued destructive dependence on fossil fuels, for the rising levels of CO2 that’s causing the warming, the melting of the ice caps, and the rise in sea levels.

Like most genuine socialists, Bernie is most likely in the long run in favor of the working class controlling the means of production, the archetypal definition of socialism. But we understand that this goal will be a long time coming. What can happen quickly is the spread of the essential socialist ideology, that people are more important than profits. The role of Bernie and other socialists as we take power will be to tame the most egregious excesses of capitalism. How? By taxing and regulating the fossil fuel industry and other polluters. By fostering the development at the federal level of alternative energy sources – the green new deal. In this way will we begin to reverse the drift toward climate collapse. Only socialists have the capacity to do this because we are the only ones willing to stand up to the capitalists. This is particularly true of Bernie because he doesn’t take money from them.

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