Sunday, November 8, 2015
Grow or Die
The "third-way" corporate democrats that designed policy for Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are nervous about the rhetoric they are hearing in the campaigns: “There is no question that the prevailing temper of the Democratic party is populist: strongly sceptical of what we like to call capitalism and angry about the perceived power of the monied elite in politics,” said PPI president and founder Will Marshall. “But inequality is not the biggest problem we face: it is symptomatic of the biggest problem we face, which is slow growth.” Growth is an imperative of "what we like to call capitalism" but unfortunately for the New Democrats of the Progressive Policy Institute, growth is also causing eco-cide. As far back as the Club of Rome's report from 1972, many ecologists and thinkers have recognized the incommensurable relation between the ever-growing profit system and sustainability. More recently we have seen no-growth and low-growth systems developed and promoted. With awareness around climate change beginning to build, many centrist Democrats with corporate sponsors are finding their backs against the wall, forcing them to "greenwash" their way out with platitudes about "transitioning" incrementally. A perfect example is the Democrat Senator and Governor from Montana, both of whom expressed dismay at the recent decision to not approve Keystone. Lacking vision and cajones, they both pander with rhetoric about lost jobs (growth) and fail to acknowledge the 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere (and climbing). There are no jobs on a dead planet is a slightly overheated slogan, the planet will live in some form, but it makes an important point about growth. As for inequality, it is a necessary feature of capitalism at all levels, and Picketty, as well as many others, have shown it to be independent, not "symptomatic", of growth. Corporate dems refuse to hear it.