Friday, 17 August 2012

Eco-nomics: Are the Planet-Unfriendly Features of Capitalism Barriers to Sustainability? - Merrill Singer

Abstract: This paper argues that there are essential features of capitalist modes of production, consumption, and waste dispersal in interaction with the environment and its built-in systemic features that contradict long-term sustainable development. These features include: (a) contradictions in the origin and meaning of sustainability; (b) the central role of the productivity ethic in capitalism and its reproduction in emergent green capitalism; (c) the commodification of nature and the continued promotion of expanding consumption; (d) globalism and the contradictions of continued Western-style development; and (e) the emergence of anthropogenic ecocrises and crises interaction. In light of these barriers to capitalist sustainability, an alternative social narrative is needed, one that embraces values, understandings, and relationships that promote ecological stability and justice.