Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Common Alternatives

Creating Futures Beyond Capital and Carbon

Ecological apocalypse: It all boils down to the inherent immorality of capital

3 min read

In our materialistic, capital-centric, and market-oriented world, morality has become a precious rarity, overlooked by the very principles that govern our socio-ecological relationships. If only morality were given its rightful place, the essence of more-than-human goodness would command an exorbitant price unattainable even to the richest of the rich. However, in its relentless pursuit of profit, capital ensures that everything of exchange value is extracted except our inherent morality – the most valuable treasure of all.

Across our planet, cascades of ecological crises unfold – droughts haunting many regions, temperatures rising, oceans swelling, glaciers succumbing to the warmth, and lakes, and rivers withering away. These intertwined phenomena composing the Earth’s climate crisis, are the undeniable consequence of human activities driven by the growth of industrial civilization, heavily reliant on fossil fuels and minerals, and the unchecked release of greenhouse gases and pollutants. These disastrous outcomes are rooted in the unethical economic and political practices embedded in the patriarchal, racist, colonialist capital.

There is no denying that the current afflictions of droughts and unnatural disasters plaguing us and the rest of living beings, trace their roots back to the dominance of unjust, oppressive, and corrupt political and economic systems worldwide. Regardless of the region or ideology, various capitalist systems converge on one shared trait: prioritizing profit over ethical responsibility.

While those responsible for transforming our planet into a living hell downplay the consequences of their unethical actions on the environment, they simultaneously invest heavily to safeguard their own interests against the perils of global warming. Exorbitant costs are incurred to distance themselves from the very fire they have stoked. Moreover, the most cunning among them embrace the reality of global warming, seizing opportunities to profit from the unfolding catastrophe, all under the deceptive guise of a “green economy.”

The (corporate) managers and business owners, who transform workplaces into hells of exploitation; the high officials, who fan the flames of uncertainty among their populaces; and the financial institutions, which drain dignifying life out of billions of debtors, are indeed the architects of a burning planet. The raging fires that consume forests and bushes are mere incarnations of the deeper flames of destruction that capital has inflicted upon humanity.

These entities, driven by insatiable greed and an insidious thirst for power, exacerbate inequality and despair. They prioritize profit over people, pushing their own agendas at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants. The infernos that engulf nature are not isolated incidents but reflections of the moral bankruptcy inherent in the pursuit of a fetish called capital.

The time has indeed long come for humanity to awaken to the irreplaceable yet belittled “value of life,” which forms the bedrock of our deeply damaged sense of human conscience and is intricately woven into the fabric of our existence. The fate of our planet and the well-being of future generations hinge on a DEEPLY transformative shift away from the relentless dominance of capital, toward a systematized embrace of life.

S A Hamed Hosseini

Global Social Challenges | Is capitalism causing climate change?

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