Imagining a “Half-Earth” Sustainable Economy

Must Collapse be Inevitable?

It seems vastly easier to imagine the future as a dystopian nightmare than as a time when today’s problems are mostly behind humanity. For every work of optimism, such as Star Trek, there are dozens of works imagining a nightmare world of deprivation, environmental destruction and severe repression amidst a world of people scrambling to survive anyway they can in a war of all against all.

Even if a cultural byproduct rather than an intentional construction, this depressing ratio of future scenarios is the inevitable result of capitalism. From cradle to grave, we are endlessly bombarded with propaganda incessantly telling us that humans are competitive, not cooperative, and that individualism is the highest expression of “freedom.” Cut-throat competition is the natural way of the world, as natural as the tides of the ocean, and that participation in struggles against other human beings is the only possible method of organization in a world in which countries and nations also compete fiercely because the world must be organized into “winners” and “losers” through competition. Greed is not only good, it is the primary characteristic driving human behavior because markets sort who those “winners” and “losers” are.

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Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog and has been an activist with several groups. His first book, It’s Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment, is available from Zero Books and his second book, What Do We Need Bosses For?, is forthcoming from Autonomedia.

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