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Between the economy and the environment, the world of Capital is collapsing everywhere

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Let us ask ourselves a few innocent little questions:  is it at all possible that this society (the society of Capital to put it clearly), with all its amazing technology, with its advanced socio-environmental answers, with its stunning scientific development, with its admirable community organization, with its staggering network of highly sophisticated communications, and so on, should then find itself at the complete mercy of an overflowing river which submerges a substantial part of an ultra-modern city like Brisbane in that super-advanced nation called Australia, causing endless victims and damage, or of the torrential rains pouring down on the region around Rio de Janeiro, in a Brazil that is one of the “BRIC” nations (in other words the high point of contemporary aggressive capitalism), destroying entire cities and claiming something like 4-5000 victims?  Is it conceivable that in this sort of situation (as had already happened at the time of the tsunami that devastated vast areas of South East Asia in December 2004, or hurricane Katrina in summer 2005, or the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, and in hundreds and hundreds of similar episodes of “non natural catastrophes”) it should then be discovered that it is all the fault of unauthorized building work, neglect of the territory, concrete gone wild, the arbitrary use of waterways, insane erosion of the soil, geometrical progression in the accumulation of misery at one end of society, inexistent or inefficient civil defence services?  Is it conceivable in all these cases (hundreds, thousands, throughout at least two centuries of history) for the populations affected to invariably be the poorest, the most hard suffering, unlucky and exploited and – thanks to the grasping interest of “rebuilders” thirsting after quick and immense profits – for them to remain in this state (if not worse) over the following years and decades, thus (without variation) swelling the growing mass of those devoid of reserves who flee from everything in search of a means of survival, even the most wretched?

Yes, it is possible and we communists are well aware of it.  It is possible because the world of Capital is crumbling everywhere – both at an economic and at a social level.  Let’s throw it into the rubbish once and for all!


And then came the earthquake-tsunami in Japan.  Rivers of ink have always been spent in praising Japan’s foresight in anti-seismic building (the fruit of tragic experience).  But on this occasion, we find out that in this narrow and confined territory with such a high concentration of population, as many as 18 nuclear power stations are situated, with a total of 55 reactors.  Briefly, not only is Japan sitting on top of a seismic volcano but also – a far more tragic paradox – on an enormous atomic bomb!  “But the problem of power supply…,” we hear people say.  Exactly:  either we reason in terms of a world plan for the species (and thus an economy that is not based on profit and excludes what is harmful to the human species even by means of spreading the population differently across the earth’s surface) or we are at the mercy of catastrophes, natural or not … Tertium non datur, there is no alternative.

We shall be obliged to return to this issue.  But in the meantime another aspect: under the jerks of “natural” disasters too, the collapse of the world economy is becoming more catastrophic day by day.  Of course there will be the “business opportunities” of reconstruction:  but they will not be coming so soon and they will involve disaster areas that are contaminated and depopulated.  In the meantime, the stock exchange of a country already withering economically is collapsing, more enormous masses will be migrating, deprived of all their possessions,  across the oceans of the world and the tsnunami of water will meet and mix with its economic counterpart.  Everything hangs together and thus any pathetic attempt to patch things up here and there appears even more of an illusion.  It is the whole mode of production that has to be overthrown, so that it can finally be replaced by another that is truly global and attentive to the needs of the species and not those of the shopkeepers, of the nation, of that omnivorous and destructive monster that capitalism has become.


International Communist Party

(Il programma comunista – Cahiers internationalistes – Internationalist Papers)