Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Nick Shaw – Mark Bray, a Lecturer at Dartmouth University, thinks it is wrong to caricature far left groups like Antifa as just another group of extremists, because only the far left groups can save the planet from climate change, by abolishing capitalism.
How Capitalism Stokes the Far Right and Climate Catastrophe
BY Mark Bray, Truthout
PUBLISHED October 30, 2018
We are living in ominous times. Every week something new: white supremacist murders in Kentucky and Pittsburgh; the continued rise of the far right in Europe; Trump’s attack on transgender rights; the election of aspiring tyrant Jair Bolsonaro to the Brazilian presidency; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that climate catastrophe is likely only about 20 years away. What’s next?
At a time when we should be uniting globally to reorganize our way of life to stave off climate disaster, many parts of the world are instead veering to the right, rejecting internationalism and demonizing marginalized communities. How did we get here? How can we escape annihilation?
More fundamentally, fascist and far right forces promote notions of ultra-nationalism and xenophobia that block the essential task of putting the interests of the planet and all of its inhabitants over those of any single group. Nationalism has fueled not only opposition to the European Union but also a rejection of the Paris Agreement and widespread climate denial among European far right parties like UKIP, Front National and the Sweden Democrats. The threat of the climate catastrophe is far more imminent and egregious in the global south, and white supremacy clearly discourages caring about most of the world. There are “ecofascists” who coopt the concept of bio-regionalism to advance their genocidal politics, but their views do not have significant sway in actual far-right policy and their “environmental” solution is not worthy of reasoned engagement.
Centrist discourse has abstracted white supremacy and anti-Semitism into “hate,” depoliticized fascism and antifascism by caricaturizing them as mirror images of “extremism,” and ignored what should be one of the most important news stories: the fairly imminent destruction of the planet.
Debates about reformism vs. revolutionism have waged for generations on the left. But now we are on a deadline. Lesser-evilism among capitalist politicians may have some rationale when spending five minutes casting a ballot on Election Day, but we don’t have time for it to be a guiding strategical outlook. We need to organize movements to build popular power and shut down the industries that threaten our existence.
Fascism is ascendant. The world is on fire. This is no time to be patient. If we don’t abolish capitalism, capitalism will abolish us.
One gets the impression Mark is more an advocate of urgent revolution than gentle political debate. Sadly Mark was born about a hundred years too late to be a proper communist revolutionary. At the very least Mark will have to think of something more inspiring than a bunch of tired rehashed climate disaster claims. Global warming consistently rates last on people’s lists of priorities, somewhere behind watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.