The massive forest fires sweeping across Canada this summer continue to wreak havoc, and have now forced the evacuation of a first (territorial) capital, Yellowknife. It seems that one plague after another is befalling humankind. Except that, unlike the ten plagues of Egypt, this destruction is not the work of God, but of mere mortals: the capitalists.
They’ve created a hell
Years ago, when the climate catastrophe was still only a distant prospect on the horizon, some naively imagined that when the effects of climate change began to be felt, those in power would wake up and take action.
But the contrast between the urgency of the climate situation and the inaction of politicians is breathtaking.
At best, reformist politicians like Jagmeet Singh are proposing changes at a snail’s pace, so as not to incur the wrath of capitalists.
Other politicians, like Justin Trudeau, feed us futile “market-based” climate policies like the carbon tax, while they shove more and more pipelines down our throats.
At worst, politicians are actively working to further destroy the planet, as is the case with the Conservative government in Alberta, which has just adopted a moratorium on … renewable energy projects!
Conservative MP Tracy Gray even tweeted, “It’s time to scrap the [carbon] tax” just days before the riding she represents, Kelowna in British Columbia, was evacuated due to forest fires.
In fact, the capitalist ruling class couldn’t care less about the misery and destruction wrought by its economic system. It would rather reign over a hell on earth than allow itself to be dictated to over the conditions of its exploitation of nature and human beings.
For capitalists, misery and destruction are nothing but new business opportunities. We saw this clearly with the evacuation of Yellowknife, where Air Canada and flight aggregator sites tried to take advantage of the panic to inflate their prices.
A Forbes editorial last year even asserted that “solving for climate change presents perhaps the biggest opportunity for businesses and investors over this decade.”
For example, as a result of climate change, disaster cleanup is now a $200-billion industry. Even financial giants like Blackstone are now investing in this industry, which is only set to grow.
Capitalists feed like vultures on the corpses left in the wake of their destruction. It cannot be otherwise in an economic system based on the never-ending drive for profit and exploitation.
Socialism or barbarism
“Business thrives in the ruins. Cities become piles of ruins; villages become cemeteries; countries, deserts; populations are beggared,” wrote Rosa Luxemburg in 1915, during the First World War. These lines could have been written yesterday, when once again humanity is faced with the choice between “socialism or barbarism”.
For those of us in North America, this kind of barbarism used to be seen only on the news, in reports about so-called “Third World” countries.
Now we can smell it in the acrid, suffocating air, and see it in the hellish orange of the horizon. It’s spreading, literally, like wildfire, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, from the Northwest Territories to Hawaii.
This is bound to profoundly transform people’s consciousness.
As masses of trees go up in flames, so masses of workers and young people also ignite in flames of a different red—the red of communism. In the blaze, their illusions in the possibility of reforming a system that encourages such disaster also go up in smoke.
For growing masses of people, the pathetic whining of so-called “socialist” reformists like Bernie Sanders seems completely out of step with the situation—not to mention that of quasi-liberal reformists like Jagmeet Singh.
As we head straight for the precipice, the ruling class is seriously debating whether to slow down slightly or step on the gas even more. It has long since lost all legitimacy to govern, and more and more people are beginning to understand this.
There’s no time to lose: to put an end to the destruction of the planet, the great levers of the economy must be taken out of the hands of the monstrous capitalist parasites who control them. There can be no half-measures: a communist revolution is required.