|George Monbiot and Naomi Klein (right).|
Yes, capitalism is bad when it brings poverty, inequality and ill-heath. And capitalism is still bad when it does the opposite of these things.
2) Of course want and poverty has never been entirely eradicated in the West. So in one breath the revolutionaries can moan about consumerism and the sins of affluence; and in the next breath talk about poverty and want. It doesn't matter, as long as the moans lead to their much-desired obliteration of capitalism – which is the real subject of their hatred.
3) Then there's the journalist Lowell Ponte.
He wrote a book called The Cooling. Humans were blamed for the cooling. In that book he wrote:
“The cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people in the poor nations... If it continues, and no strong measures are taken to deal with it, the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this will all come by the year 2000.” (38)
Umm! Except that by the year 2000, Lowell Ponte had already embraced global warming instead of global cooling. However, that didn't stop him from saying pretty similar things about that!
Stephen Schneider is another example.
In 1976 Schneider wrote The Genesis Strategy bestseller which put forward the coming ice age thesis. That too was the responsibility on human beings. However, by the late 1980s Schneider claimed that a mere doubling of CO2 (something he had downplayed previously) would raise temperature by 1.5 to 4 degrees. That would lead to a global-warming catastrophe.
It wasn't just global cooling that the catastrophists believed in.
Take the case of the well-known American professor Paul Ehrlich.
Roundabout 1968, Ehrlich was saying that the the world's population was rising so fast billions would die. To use his own words, Ehrlich wrote:
“The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...” (28)
Thus, predictably, anthropocentric global warming was right up Ehrlich's street.
He even wrote a book called Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environment Rhetoric Threatens Our Future in 1998 (co-authored with his wife Anne). Again, his particular take on this was again very political and very extreme: serious steps had to be taken – including legal action against the 'deniers' and monumental taxes!
4) Most revolutionaries and other catastrophists aren't really blind to the triumphs of capitalism and the West at all. It's capitalism they're against – not the fact that more people are dying of hunger, etc. today than ever before – they aren't!