With all of the latest articles about how climate change is likely worse than we thought, and how our fragile biosphere that we all depend on is in increasingly grave danger, it is becoming increasingly clear just how unsustainable our current system really is. We are bumping up against the limits to growth, and only a fool or an economist (same difference) could believe that infinite growth on a finite world is possible. And make no mistake, capitalism cannot exist without growth, so capitalism must die--or the whole planet dies including us. Either the virus kills the host or the host kills the virus, but either way, the virus dies. That's right--there can logically be no such thing as "green capitalism", for the same reason that rain is not dry.
So which choice will we make? The TSAP has already outlined several means of solving the world's vast and interconnected problems in our party platform as well as in our annual State of the Planet Address. Most notably, we need to phase out the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible before we irreversibly burn up our precious planet, and we need to end our addiction to growth for the sake of growth, the ideology of the cancer cell which eventually kills its host. But the prospects are looking increasingly bleak that our recommendations will actually be put into practice given the current leadership in Washington who continue to blithely fiddle while the Earth burns. In fact, with climate-denier Donald Trump as POTUS, and thus the Trump-Putin-Exxon Axis of Evil effectively ruling the world now, it is even worse than we initially thought.
We know that any serious attempt at sufficiently rapid degrowth measures (read: ecological austerity) is 1) political suicide for anyone who proposes it, and 2) even if implemented is likely to backfire since such measures simply cannot kill the hungry beast of capitalism, which will only rebound after being weakened a bit and the costs will inevitably fall on those least able to bear them. And if the root of the crisis (capitalism) cannot be struck in like fashion, hacking away at the branches in a piecemeal fashion would be inherently fruitless. So what can be done instead?
Enter this seemingly crazy idea. While it may seem like a sop to the fossil fool industry at first glance, it will actually be giving them the rope for them to hang themselves with. And not only will it kill Big Oil and Dirty Coal, but it will also humanely euthanize capitalism in general via the one thing that capitalism simply cannot survive--ABUNDANCE. That's right, capitalism needs scarcity to function, and it has done a marvelous job of creating artificial scarcity for the past 500 years or so. But uncontrolled abundance, whether of resources, energy, or capital, is basically a fatal overdose for the system of capitalism. And thanks to the current exponential growth of renewable energy and related technologies, such abundance is very possible in the near future. And it will be decentralized, so the system can't readily control or stop it once it gets going. All of this dovetails rather nicely with Buckminster Fuller's vision of a pragmatic utopian future.
If we go that route, it actually would be possible to simultaneously implement the carbon tax-and-dividend idea in Steve Stoft's Carbonomics, provided that 100% of the revenue is refunded to We the People, and that the tax rate starts out low so as not to front-load it too quickly. The timing is very important. But any other type of carbon tax scheme would be out of the question, as would most other future restrictions on fossil fuels (especially oil) until the cost of solar and wind energy drops below that of such fossil fuels. Not like the Trump-Putin-Exxon Axis of Evil would allow that anyway.
Another idea that the TSAP had once laughed at can also be given a chance as well: the Capital Homestead Act. While it may seem like a pro-capitalist sop to Big Business on the surface, it will actually kill capitalism in the long run as well due to an overabundance of capital and the fact that the workers and owners would essentially become one and the same. Combine it with the Universal Exchange Tax and a Universal Basic Income Guarantee, and the overall impact will be maximized and accelerated.
Additionally, in our transition towards a steady-state economy, we would also need to abolish usury and debt-based currency (without growth there can be no interest payments) and have debt jubilees every so often as well. And once capitalism is relegated to the dustbin of history, it will in fact be a piece of cake to do so. Though there is no reason not to pass the NEED Act in the meantime to get the ball rolling.
Of course, capitalism is not the only problem. The 7000 year old War on Women, often known by its euphemistic name "patriarchy", is every bit as much a cause of our world's problems, and the two are basically joined at the hip. While patriarchy can exist without capitalism, capitalism cannot exist without patriarchy. And both evil systems are killing this planet and need to end, yesterday. Let's face it, it ain't gonna be us fellas who will save the world, that's for sure. Fortunately, women have been making huge strides (while men are becoming increasingly redundant), and if current trends continue it seems likely that women will become the new leaders of the free world in the not-too-distant future, as Buckminster Fuller himself once predicted. In fact, that is one of the few things about which the futurists are virtually unanimous.
At least we hope that will be the case. But timing is everything, and we have a very narrow window of opportunity to act. So what are we waiting for?