2 Responses

  1. Phil Ward June 27, 2014 at 11:28 am |

    I think this article gets to the centre of the issue: that economic “growth” is not necessary for improving the conditions of life of the 99%, social change is. Already enough is material is produced/used (including crops) to satisfy the needs of more than the current population. However, the wrong things are produced, production methods are destructive of health and the environment, the products are used in a profligate manner and the ruling class consumes far more than their entitlement.

    I do think, however, that this issue has not been completely ignored, which the author seems to suggest. Barry Commoner made similar points in the 1960’s and 70’s and I tried to relate the issue of over-production/growth to climate change in 1989 (http://climateandcapitalism.com/2008/06/14/the-ecological-crisis-and-its-consequences-for-socialists/). I’m sure other socialists have said similar things occasionally over the last 40 years.

  2. Peter Gose June 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

    Good article. Progressive governments would face a huge capitalist backlash for putting systematic wealth redistribution or alternatives to extractivism on the agenda. They get by politically by leaving received productive relations in place but expropriating some actors and changing some beneficiary relations. One political question is whether they can maintain this strategy over time in what is essentially a situation of dual power. Another is whether social movements will be strong enough to push them further than this, and actually transform productive relations and objectives. If the history of social democracy in the North is anything to go by, a progressive reallocation of surpluses is going to have a hard time standing on its own in the absence of other fundamental changes. Recognizing this point might help to get us beyond where the debate seems to be now.

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