18 March 2020

Jeff Sparrow: “Capitalism must expand or lapse into crisis. But an economy dependent on perpetual growth must, at some stage, come into conflict with the limits of the natural world. The characteristic ineptitude of today’s politicians — the deep rottenness pervading our societies — reflects, in part, the impossibility of squaring that circle. In developing nations, for instance, the relentless expansion of capital means that cities now encroach more and more on wilderness and peasant holdings. With factory farming replacing traditional agriculture, viral outbreaks become more likely. … The emissions pumped into the atmosphere represent another facet of the same problem: an increasingly obvious incompatibility between economic and natural cycles. Scientists tell us that, if we continue on this path, extreme weather events and other disasters will become more and more common. The experience of the past weeks shows precisely what that means. Capitalism pits humanity against nature. It will destroy both, if we let it.”