Thursday, September 13, 2018

Enjoy this. It won't last Forever as Things Stand.

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Whenever I watch a beautiful sight like this, and I had a great whale watching experience out of Monterrey Bay,  I can't help thinking about that area in the Pacific Ocean that has a swirling mass of plastic twice the size of France. Scenes like this will become rarer and eventually will cease to exist if the working class is not successful in the task history has laid before us; the overthrow of the present system of production and the building of a new democratic socialist world in which human existence works in harmony with nature to ensure our survival on this planet. Capitalism cannot destroy nature but it can and will destroy life on this planet as we know it.

That swirling mass of plastic is just one example of the destructive nature of an economic system that is irrational, unplanned, wasteful and hostile to human and all life. I am just a worker who achieved the dizzy height of backhoe operator when I retired. And I was not the all-round skilled heavy equipment operator like those in the Operating Engineers who, when they get to a jobsite, are expected to be able to operate whatever machine is put in front of them. I was good at my job I think although became very specified, good at urban work digging around high voltage cables, other facilities etc. I was not subtle and delicate by any means and forgive Mark W for nicknaming me Bam Bam.

But I am not optimistic that a few dedicated environmentalists or a budding entrepreneur and the NGO's can solve this problem or remove that plastic; in fact, I know they can't. It would be easy to do I'm sure if the nations of the world launched a collective effort to scoop it up. But nation states are not friendly entities. They are in competition with each other even when they are allies.  The modern nation state is a creation of capitalism, its special product. The older established formations that have grown wealthy (relatively) through the plunder and colonization of the weaker late arrivals after savaging their own working class, can never drag the latter out of poverty, their wealth depends on it. The US alone could clean up this particular environmental mess but is forced to go in to debt by the trillions in order to maintain it's global superiority that is being undermined by the rise of China and to a lesser extent Russia. Capitalism is a dying system and it will take us all down with it.

I am optimistic that the working class can solve this problem and that we are not yet at a tipping point, the point of no return. But nothing's guaranteed. Enjoy these sights while you can but more importantly take steps forward, the first being the recognition that you belong to a class of people whose existence is based on the selling of labor power, of working for wages and it has an economic base in the production of the necessities of life and it is an international class. There is another class, that class that the politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties represent, the class that lives of the profit of capital; we have referred to them as the 1% here in the US where we are told there exists only rich people, poor people, and the middle class. No one works apparently. This class is a parasitic class that sees in every living thing and nature itself the possibility of making money. Everything is a commodity for them, something to be exploited.

The right wing, racists, Nazi's and other anti-social elements are not our friends. Influenced by them are backward thinking workers-----and in the US class consciousness is low----- many who love to fish and boat and explore the wild and beautiful nature,  will not have that forever, their children certainly won't. People sometimes contribute to their own demise unfortunately and while we have to try to explain the dangers, we have to protect even the stupid if we can't help them see what the future holds if things don't change.

Society needs new managers.

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