“Today, humanity faces a stark choice: save the planet and ditch capitalism, or save capitalism and ditch the planet.”
– Fawzi Ibrahim
We have been duped into moving capitalism’s problems around
instead of resolving them, into the foolish notion that buying green is
an act of divergence from capitalist exploitation.
Worried about car emissions? Buy Tesla’s Model S. Want to fight water
misuse? Take shorter showers. Concerned for underserved children around
the world? Use a credit card that supports a NGO. Interested in
bettering working conditions for exploited laborers? Look for the “fair
trade” stamp at corporate outlet malls.
But by all means, NEVER stop buying.
Identifying the central issue with this behavior, Derrick Jensen
explained, “Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign
of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset
have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or
enlightenment) for organized political resistance.”
As individuals we should do what we can, but we have to realize that
letting corporations frame/limit global issues like environmental
responsibility to consumer choice is self-defeating. We need bigger
tools than our individual selves. Imagine trying to fill a dump truck
using a spoon. That is what we are doing when we decouple the need for
organized, community-wide political resistance from our individual
ability to partake in generating and sustaining solutions.