Capitalism and the Threat to the Environment

At all of my workshops over the past few years, I have raised the issue of capitalism and the threat to the environment. Because of what is happening with the economic system and the desperate attempts to patch it up by squeezing more and more from those less well-off,1 and because of the ongoing destruction of the environment, the depletion of natural resources, and the threat of climate change, it is difficult to see how this economic system and our current wasteful lifestyles can continue much longer.

I have been challenging people to counsel on all of their feelings about these issues and the possibility of the collapse of the system. I have emphasised the need to resist the pull to settle for other people’s formulas or answers, and the need to be completely honest with ourselves about our feelings about the ending of capitalism and class oppression. It’s important not to get pulled into pretending that we have no difficulties with these things.

Our goal as counsellors is not to counsel people into any particular position or point of view but to assist them to reclaim their ability to think about the issues. As part of this, I have raised with people various questions: If this system is facing collapse, what shall we do with the rest of our lives? What would it mean to settle for having enough? What is enough locally, and what is enough globally? What would it mean to give up organising our lives around comfort and security? What would it mean to go for2 having a big life in the face of these challenges? 

At this stage, it seems that work on class and on care of the environment go hand in hand. We have to do both pieces.  

Seán Ruth
International Liberation Reference 

Person for Middle-Class People
Stillorgan, County Dublin, Ireland
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion
list for International Liberation and Commonality Reference Persons 


1 “Well-off” means affluent.
2 “Go for” means pursue.

 

 


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07