Umair Haque weaves a poetic shivering story of fascism, capitalism’s biological and social externalities, and catastrophic climate change -- which my title totally butchered.
Subtitle:How Capitalism Torched the Planet by Imploding Into Fascism
I recommend reading the article in full. These excerpts hardly do justice to the whole which he weaves.
... the foundational fascist belief that only the strong should survive, and the weak — the dirty, the impure, the foul — should perish. That is why neo-fascists do not lift a finger to stop climate change — but do everything they can to in fact accelerate it, and prevent every effort to reverse or mitigate it. ..., catastrophic climate change is not a problem for fascists — it is a solution.
Let me connect the dots of capitalism’s unpaid social and environmental costs, and how they are linked, not additively, …, but with the mathematics of catastrophe.
... the social costs of capitalism meant that democracy collapsed into neo-fascism — and neo-fascism made it unlikely, if not outright impossible, that the world could do anything at all about climate change, in the short window it had left, at the precise juncture it needed to act most.
The social costs of capitalism weren’t just additive to the environmental costs … The social costs exponentiated the environmental, …
… the neofascist wave which we are now in also means drastically less global cooperation — but less global cooperation means incalculably worse climate change.
It wasn’t just the environmental costs of capitalism which melted down the planet — it was the social costs, too, which, by wrecking global democracy, international law, cooperation, the idea that nations should work together, made a fractured, broken world which no longer had the capability to act jointly to prevent the rising floodwaters and the burning summers.
To the fascists, ...The problem is you — if you are not one of the chosen, predatory few. And the solution to the problem of you is climate change. They are quite overjoyed to have found the most spectacular and efficient and lethal engine of genocide and devastation known to humankind, which is endless, free natural catastrophe. Nothing sorts the strong from the weak more ruthlessly... [order changed, emphasis mine]
Umair Haque's perspective raises the hairs on the back of my neck. He's so perceptive of the
malevolent glee of Dominator Culture's extreme right, just like Chris Hedges when he covered war atrocities. Knowing that even the "triumphant" fascist elite 0.001% will finally suffocate, bake, starve, and drown comforts no one.
Do you agree with Haque's indictment? He kind of implies that fascists are ultimately collectively psychopathic, don't you think?
Every time I try to explain to myself how fascists might not really intend to turn the planet into a giant oven, my brain throws up German history images and Charlottesville tiki torch marchers shouting "blood and soil". Not only does anger roil my thoughts, but hatred of fascism. Where are the constructive visionaries, opening a window to a new cooperative lifestyle? <sigh> It's so much easier to see our nastiness than to envision our improvement. I especially disliked his hint of us not deserving a future at the end. An affirmation that we can be better than fascism when things get tough would have been more helpful.
Ruth, I agree with the piece by Umair Haque because he describes the events happening have a cause, and that cause is the greed and corruption of those who exploit and dominate those who work hard, take care of their families, and contribute to the betterment of their communities.
We don't have to have hunger; there are those who create the conditions that do not distribute food to those in need.
We don't need depleted soils; there are those who take from the land and contribute nothing to its regeneration.
We don't need poverty; there are those who find ways to take from those who produce and contribute nothing to production.
We don't need ignorance; there are those who deny education to others by putting a price on getting an education. Privatizing education hold back that resource for those who can pay.
We don't need a lack of health care; there are those who deny access by putting a price on the knowledge and resources that can end suffering and offer hope of a cure.
We don't need a wealthy class and a poor class; people create these policies and practices imposed by one level on another.
When owners of capital (money or the ability to borrow money, machinery, skills, access to information, access to cheap labor) take the goods and services produced by owners of labor, owners of capital gain wealth as owners of labor become poor. The gap between rich and poor widens; that is the proof that owners of capital exploit owners of labor. If a person owns the resources needed to produce a product and lacks the ability or desire to do the work, and that person hires another to deliver the goods and services and does not share a portion of the profit with the worker, a wealth gap occurs. It widens as policies and practices enable the spread to occur. Workers do not demand more pay; capitalists do not share equitably.
I don't know if capitalists are psychopathic. They may be fascists, but I find it difficult to believe all those who care so little for the plight of others can be "healthy." Being "normal" can mean being sick, I mean mentally and emotionally sick. That might be called psychopathic
Hare's 20-item Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. This checklist identifies the following as the symptoms and signs of psychopathy:
WOW ! that reads as a tRump evaluation on job performance.
define Revocation of conditional release
"Release of an accused or convict from custody or imprisonment, under conditions which bar him or her from certain activities or associations. Breach of any condition will revoke the release order."
Thank you, Joan, for posting Robert Hare’s Checklist.
I first saw it in the 1980s while researching sociopathy in politics and was soon persuaded that American plutocratic and kleptocratic oligarchy—as well as American capitalism—select for psycho/sociopathy.
Mark Twain, in his last years and with his considerable talent, attacked America’s overseas empire-building but his efforts are known to few.
In his essay titled To the Person Sitting in Darkness he might have used the term “pvsychopathy” but it had too recently appeared.
The current US administration and GOP voting behavior, in my view, demonstrates # 6,8,9,13,15, and 16.
And definitely 5 (conning, manipulation) and 20 (criminal versatility) as well!
Checklist items I found useful during a three-month-long primary election
1 - charm and glibness can win votes
2 - inflated self worth protects against the inevitable verbal attacks
3 - need for stimulation energizes vote-seeking activity
4 - lying pathologically (skilfully) can win votes
7 - shallow emotions, while pretending affect, can win votes
11 - as Henry Kissinger said, I found power To be an aphrodisiac
13 - have long-term goals but use care in advertising them
20 - winning elections attracts bribe-givers
IMO, politicians who need attention and voters who need problem solvers may exploit each other.
Trump’s supporters are enablers and let him use 5, 6, 8, 9, 15 and 16
We had a rough voting session here in Newport with so many critical issues coming to light as we contemplate the construction of a silicon smelter. We continued to fight that and completed the Scoping process. In the meantime, we have to prepare for the worst. We need a different kind of sheriff than the one we now have. We lost that battle. We need to get the city council members replaced with better-skilled people; we lost that one. We need a State House Representative that responds and works for the needs of our part of the state; we lost that race as well.
My family and friends in this area already discuss the next election. Sadly, this County voted Trump in and prefers Republican candidates. My circle of influence does not spread very widely.
I think we have a psychopath as POTUS who has no management skills; he has the ability and the power to improve his economic wellbeing at the expense of the USA, and the planet. We may not survive his lunacy.
America survived the Civil War, Joan, though in a form slaveowners Did not choose.
If today’s noisy fringes were to UNITE AND VOTE, America would be in trouble.
Do you think they will?
If an informed public united and voted, we would see a transformation that would knock our socks off.
Sadly, propaganda has been so powerful and persuasive, too many people believe false information and put their trust into unscrupulous leaders.
Getting accurate information to the public is our job. Challenging a politician when they make false claims, being able and willing to stand up to lies, distortions, and bullying, takes a lot of courage, especially when the opposition believes the propaganda.
I don't THINK we have a psychopath as president; I KNOW WE DO, and the sooner we can show Donnie Dumb-ass and his Jesus-freak sidekick the door, the better I'll feel.