Utah Phillips: Who is responsible?

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[Quotes and Insights #7]

“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.”

Utah Phillips

Please share your favorite (brief) ecosocialist quotation in the Comments section ….


  • “I am not sure whether John Ruskin shoud be counted as an eco-socialist but the following quote from Ad Valorem seems higly relevant:”

    Well Lydon Johnson probably doesn’t count as a eco-socialist either, so I think you are safe:)

  • I am not sure whether John Ruskin shoud be counted as an eco-socialist but the following quote from Ad Valorem seems higly relevant:

    The real science of political economy, which has yet to be distinguished from the bastard science, as medicine from witchcraft, and astronomy from astrology, is that which teaches nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life: and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the things that lead to destruction. And if, in a state of infancy, they supposed indifferent things, such as excrescences of shell-fish, and pieces of blue and red stone, to be valuable, and spent large measures of the labour which ought to be employed for the extension and ennobling of life, in diving or digging for them, and cutting them into various shapes,or if, in the same state of infancy, they imagine precious and beneficent things, such as air, light, and cleanliness, to be valueless,-or if, finally, they imagine the conditions of their own existence, by which alone they can truly possess or use anything, such, for instance, as peace, trust, and love, to be prudently exchangeable, when the markets offer, for gold, iron, or excresrences of shells — the great and only science of Political Economy teaches them, in all these cases, what is vanity, and what substance; and how the service of Death, the lord of Waste, and of eternal emptiness, differs from the service of Wisdom, the lady of Saving, and of eternal fulness; she who has said, “I will cause those that love me to inherit SUBSTANCE; and I will FILL their treasures.”

  • “This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson, February 1965

    “To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment….would result in the demolition of society.” – Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944)

  • “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” (Thoreau, Walden)

    “Technology is said to have ravished nature, yet under transformed relations of production it would just as easily be able to assist nature and on this sad earth help it attain what perhaps it wants.” (Adorno, Aesthetic Theory).

  • Sorry. Just one more
    “The only solution to pollution is a people’s humane revolution!” – Black Panther Bobby Seale

  • “First, if we want to save the planet earth to save life and humanity, we are obliged to end the capitalist system. The grave effects of climate change, of the energy, food and financial crises, are not a product of human beings in general, but rather of the capitalist system as it is, inhuman, with its idea of unlimited industrial development.” – Evo Morales

    “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled by / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” – Rachel Carson

    “You’re living in a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. The people in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change, and a better world has to be built.” – Malcolm X

  • A few of my faves:
    “From the standpoint of a higher economic form of society, private ownership of the globe by single individuals will appear quite absurd as private ownership of one man by another. Even a whole society, a nation, or even all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not the owners of the globe. They are only its possessors, its usufructuries, and like boni patres familias, they must hand it down to succeeding generations in an improved condition” – Karl Marx

    “My country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world” – Eugene V. Debs

    “It’s the commons, our right of birth
    And you who’d own the water all around the Earth
    Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
    You who’d sacrifice the public good for your private gain” – from the David Rovics song “The Commons”