Jess Spear was at socialist candidate Kshama Sawant’s elbow when Sawant announced her plans to oust incumbent Seattle city councilman Richard Conlin in 2013. And, as volunteer coordinator for the campaign, she was there again when Sawant gave her victory speech eight months later, becoming the first socialist elected in a major US city in decades. But on May 21 of this year, the roles were reversed.
A very large and loud event is about to reshape New York City once again this September – and likely propel social change across the continent. A coalition of organizations under the banner of the "People's Climate March", has pledged to make this event in New York City an opportunity for an unprecedented climate mobilization.
But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. Feuerbach, Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity
Capitalism dominates the globe. It has become so enmeshed into the cultural narrative that it seems almost axiomatic. Private owners (of capital) control the means of production. The goal: build profits. The best part about it is that if everyone pursues self-interest, the market will grow and society will benefit. The invisible hand helps the market to self-regulate, creating socially desirable results.
In a recent speech, environmental journalist George Monbiot argues that opposition to the central drivers of climate change (neoliberal economic policies being the key) is consistently neutralized by environmentalists themselves. He says environmentalists shape their strategies to appease people who do not share their values.
We know what has to be done to stop climate change. We also know why the ruling class refuses to take decisive action. We need a total break from thirty years of neo-liberalism and the ideology of the market. And we need a vision of a world of human solidarity.
This speech by Evo Morales worth another look: Democracy Now reports on the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 20, 2010. The main speaker, Bolivia's president Evo Morales Ayma condemned the capitalist system in the opening session: "We have two paths. Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies...We are here; brothers and sisters, for the rights of Mother earth..."