Let's have a comfy thread about how capitalism might end civilisation should socialism not prevail (or rise out of the collapse, who knows?). So far I've identified three major threats I don't think capitalism will be able to deal with: Kind of a no brainer. Everybody knows we need to get off this moving train. Causes massive migration movements that may give rise to Orwellian scenarios on the side of the West, eventually collapsing into a war or genocide. And all-out exchange between USA, EU, Russia, China or India. May involve nukes or not, I doubt they're gonna use nukes, but the ensuring collapse will be terminal nonetheless. One or two nukes might be used.
So, let's talk about how capitalism causes all of this (or other things), how it may be slowed down or prevented within the scope of capitalism, or how it won't.
40-50 years is actually optimistic. Cockshott in one of his recent videos argued that the amount of agriculture will be reduced by 50% in 2015, how old are you gonna be? 50 to 70? I'd say "young" to not to get stabbed by death in a Mad Max scenario.
Meant 2050 of course.
If we're talking about 40-50 years I think the industrialized world will be 100% confederated by then.
What do you mean by this? One global bourgeoisie and not competing monopolists?
Hydroponics. If there's a will there's a way. They'll make the calories no doubt. Probably worse calories but they'll make them I'm sure. To think not so long ago all food was organic and now we have to pay a premium for it.
When was that though? Hasn't the population doubled or tripled by then?
It's practically that way already with the wto and tpp, and all that other bullshit.
Hmm i just learned something according to wikipedia euros were using arsenic pesticides from the 1400s to the 1950s. So I'll amend that to say all non euro food wasn't covered in poisons.
To add on to that: - Russia's attempt or approach the West in 2001 has been completely rebuffed, now tensions are higher than ever - China's reapproachment came to an end with a trade war now ongoing - The EU decided to stratify its constitution and become it's own imperialist bloc - Brexit - Trump gets elected and seeks confrontation with the EU This isn't a tendency of confederalisation, quite the opposite. Why would there be? Monopolists have no competitors in the Global South, they compete amongst another, and there is no better tool than the state or the super-state (like the EU).
I was just giving one example of an aspect of it. International copyright and patent laws and so on. Amazon competes with Netflix or apple for example but they dont engage in literal warfare and in the same way I dont see any of the industrialized nations literally warring with each other.
Became Amazon and Netflix are both American monopolists. That's like saying Thyssen and Krupp tried to incite a civil war in Germany in 1914 because they were competing. They were both German haute bourgeoisie, Amazon and Netflix are both American haute bourgeoisie.
They compete with China. China pirates all of their shit, and sets up competitors to them. They can't quite literally outcompete them now but they are catching up. Why do you think is there no FB in China? Imperialists always seek to expand outwards. Again I don't see the qualitative difference between today and imperialism 100 years ago, sure technology has changed, but the social relations are the same, so a World War doesn't seem impossible.
They only fight in areas it will hurt neither party like in syria. I dont think this trade war shit with china will pan out. Russia needs to get there money up. That's why the press is going so HAM on them. If they had china level wealth ans business they would be treated as such. It's all a game now user. True war between any major industrialized nations is completely improbable as I see it.
Also: Jeff Bezos controls the WaPo, one of the biggest pushers of Russiagate. That doesn't ring a bell? What about all the protectionist dynasties like the Kochs, the Rockefellers or the Waltons?
And china has already backtracked this far from chairman mao so who is to say they wont go further?
Syria was a massive proxy-conflict in an industrialised nation (yes, Syria is industrialised), and so it Ukraine, another industrialised nation. What happens if they run out of proxies? Right now Russian GDP per capita is higher than the one of China. I agree it might to be a war against Russia because Russia doesn't have the economic breath for it, but it is very likely that the next proxy conflict will be in a nation like Pakistan.
Also, since Brexit happened Spain has literally threatened the UK to march into Gibraltar.
The situation for China isn't the same as it was in the 80s or 90s. They are confident now, they don't want to back down. It's not that this would change anything at all, their trade policies seem to upset a specific part of the American bourgeoisie, they can't "backtrack" from that. The national television today in China has announced it's "war".
The Chinese still want their Louis Gucci Fendi Fendi Prada. They'll be basically a South Korea or Japan in a few years but with their own army I guess. I dont think they'll use it for shit though judging by their history.
I've actually been to China and they aren't as consumerist as people make them out to be. You are only presented the excesses of the rich kids but they are a tiny minority. It's like if I'd show you pictures of the Jersey Shore and tell this is the average American worker. What? This isn't representative for Chinese history.
Yeah but the rich call the shots as in all capitalist societies.
I guess going back to the cold war when they were broke as hell. They ain't going to shit as long as there is money to be made doing business.
I think the solution to this reduction of agriculture is to decrease the volume of factory animal farming. Some nombers so you get the idea: -Raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops) uses about 30 % of the Earths land mass (source: fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm ) - The total water needed to produce one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons of water; one pound of pork takes 576 gallons of water. As a comparison, the water footprint of soybeans is 216 gallons; corn is 108 gallons. (very good interactive tool to see how much water food products need to be made: waterfootprint.org/en/resources/interactive-tools/product-gallery/ )
because the child that zuck offered to name after xi (this actually happened!) was ugly better luck next time
You dont have to be a vegan to see the enviromental footprint livestock farming is producing. And you dont even have to go vegan to minimize it.
But you have to be a vegan not te realize that modern agriculture is heavily dependent on fertilizer. You either use natural fertilizer (evil animal poop) or artificial ones that destroy the soil. You literally can't have a sustainable agriculture without animal farming.
Not to mention that artificial fertilizers produce N2O which is a much more dangerous greenhouse gas compared to the methane farted out by cows.
Shit. Vegan. Science.
Whatever we do with industrial farming, we will reach peak phosphorus in ~2035 and when phosphorus become scarce say goodbye to billions of people because without it we cannot have farming on such a level.
Civilization isn't going anywhere. The current regimes that govern the world may be unstable, but urbanization and technology has been reinforced so much that it is unlikely that industrialism and its technologies would be lost. Basically, whenever someone (almost universally a ruling-class believer or a supplicant for the ruling class) says "nuclear war is the end of civilization", what they're really doing is bemoaning the existence of the unwashed masses, and telling us that we're too stupid to survive without their national security state, and that if we were free or the state were somehow wiped out, we'd screech like autists and do stupid shit just because. The reality is that the current states of the world have planned around a nuclear war and have already decided who gets to live and who gets to die, and know full well that once a nuclear exchange begins, enough of those chosen to survive will be secure in bunkers. Those who were not chosen who survive both the nuclear war and starvation will be rapidly subjugated and either exterminated or put into chattel slavery for perpetuity, as will their children and their childrens' children. If for some reason there is no major, general war, then we already are seeing what will happen in slow motion; I don't know how anyone believes we can keep going the way we have since the 1990s and not be in full Nazi mode by 2050 at the latest, and judging by the prevailing attitudes in America they're trying to push full Nazification by 2030. As for global warming and crop failure… that isn't even going to kill 10-20% of the population most likely, and all of the burden for climate change will be pushed onto the poorest and the unwanted in society. The starvation could be averted with sound management and planned economy, but no one in power wants that, so the effects of climate change on the underclasses of society will be deliberately exacerbated. Far from "destroying civilization", climate change will strengthen the strongest regimes of the world by reinforcing their ideology of ultraviolence and competition for competitions' sake, especially the United States whose populace is so beaten down and brainwashed that they can't even consider protest let alone revolt.
the real problem is that everything that we need to survive are centralised in these satanic temples called shopping malls - and if the apocalypse were to occur, 99% of people have no idea how to create these resources we use so abundantly in the west. We have no real relationship with the global modes of production. We rely on the bourgeoisie to keep everything running.
The only fantastical aspect of the post-apocalypse is that you can kill and rape and steal without the cops showing up. The only escape from the brutality of this reality is in the cultural imagination of the post-apocalypse, and even in stylised cartoons like adventure time, which adds the element of magic into it, to make it fun, because otherwise, it would be deathly.
First of all, you do realize that there is a big variety of natural fertilizers that come from plant sources? Ever heard of compost? Now, the most used fertilizer is ammonia which is indeed artificial. Should farmers opt for natural fertilizers such as composted plant matter or composted fecal matter? Yes. Most local farms i've been too have a big compost bin for plant matter but they will still use artificial fertilizers more because they are cheaper. Now animal manure is not as popular as you may think, factory farming involves dosing them animals with a lot of antibiotics which then for the most part stay in the manure even after composting it. Another drawback is that shit doesnt smell very nice, and this is not only bad for the farmer but for the people living (and driving) nearby. So basically animal farmers are left with too much manure to handle it so most of it goes to pollute water supplies. If you really cared about more sustainable farming you would know that most of the land used for agriculture is used to grow crops for animals (soy and wheat). So if we really want to minimize the use of fertilizers the most logical approach seems to decrease the volume of animal farming.
After the Roman empire fell, people did not loose the knowledge or skills of the Romans they lost the ability to organize the amount of people necessary for using it.
Science and technology won out because it enabled better quality of life, without that it'll likely be seen as whip and fade. Chances of retaining organized civilisation beyond a nuclear war are very low, while there might be a chance that the planet remains habitable, however most industrial capacity will get wiped out. And your James-bond villan fantasy of cleansing the hordes and then reseeding the planet with the chosen ones, is a unrealistic phoenix from the ashes mental masturbation.
Well Nazism with American characteristics is going to reduce it to medium regional power, and Europe will be reduced to a appendage of Eurasia.
Finally the left has found their revolutionary subject
Nonsense the most reasonable societies that engage in long term planning are going to be the ones with the best chances of survival, for example the more renewable energy you build the less you will be subject to coercion, via stuff like oil dependency, you will not need to engage in pipeline wars… If you transformed agriculture to become sustainable, you will have reliable harvests, and will not have to deal with enormous buffer stocks, to avoid crippling famines… Hyper competitive systems cannot do long term investment, and will look really old in few decades compared to long term oriented societies reaping the rewards.
Yeah man, not like data has been piling up and models got better and better in those intervening years. But ultimately who cares, I mean I would have blown my brains out long before it happens anyway right?
If it does come to pass I'll just move somewhere colder til I naturally kick the bucket. Seen how much uninhabitabbly cold land there is in canada? Probably can scoop up acres on the cheap right now.
But yeah I dont trust people's predictions or evaluations nor do I really care to see them go.
Best part, if global warming is real, is the desert people will be the first to go. That'd be some divine justice.
The difference between now and the Roman Empire is that we have all these products of light industry that we could start rebuilding with very little infrastructure or labor. Also the deathtoll of nuclear war isn't going be as high as the doomers believe. It will be high because of forced starvation and deliberate exterminations of unwanted populations after the initial nuclear strike, but you're probably seeing at least 10% of the current population surviving, and that is a lot of people - more than enough to form the labor base to rebuild civilization quickly. The only possible issue is that the states which exist today would be essentially defunct. But the states that exist today can decide who will get to be the successor states, and give them a huge inherited position, while the people who just happen to survive won't have any sort of organization or really any reason to be a seperate thing. They'll fall in line.
Most Russian oligarchs store their money in western banks
China still depends on the US for food imports and on US technology. The US is still dependent on Chinese manufactured goods.
This is towards global unification, not against it.
A minor setback
Another minor setback
Something really fatalistic about this can remember being like this all the time, and probably still have some of it in me on really bad days.
You won't be able to reproduce your light industry products as they all contain heavy industry inputs. Without extensive infrastructure you will not get energy or key resources either. And you can at best bootstrap an incredibly primitive economy until your left-over tech is worn out.
I tend to agree that most casualties of a nuclear war will be from secondary causes. There isn't going to be any controlled extermination of "unwanted populations" there's going to be very chaotic warlord-ism, and not much else for quite a while.
This is utterly delusional, after a nuclear war, it's going to be a multi century long dark-age, nobody will have any capacity to prevent the return of all the superstitious nonsense, Your ambition to rebuild a technological society will be derailed by religions that will conclude that technology caused the apocalypse. The master-minds that emerge from the bunker complex to establish a new order will be hopelessly overrun, within a very short time after their stockpiles of goods they can use for bribing people runs out.
What about chicken, worms/insects, some species of tiny fishies I forgot the name of?
The most ethical and efficient food source would be synthetic.
Unless a nuclear war involves every single industrial or post-industrial nation (It won’t) the unaffected advanced nations will just colonize the wasteland.
limited nuclear war ? you can't possibly be that stupid. Every scenario where somebody "wins the earth" after a nuclear war is going to be turned into a cause for retaliation.
I don’t think a nuclear war would involve all Industrialized/Semindustralized nations. Some would be neutral.
I really don't think a single nuclear missile going off would set off a world wide nuclear war. If for whatever reason NK lobbed one at Japan or Israel lobbed one at Syria, do you really think China or Russia or the US or whatever would just send them out willy nilly and wait for retaliation? Does anyone give a shit enough about those countries to risk having their own glassed?
Ok what you are describing here relates to what is usually called the nuclear threshold. Basically what actions and circumstances will lead to nuclear annihilation.
If somebody uses a nuke in a conflict and gets away with it, then this will make nukes usable, which means that nukes will be used not only in that particular instance but also other instances and other actors, which will start a chain of events where eventually you get a retaliatory escalation, that results if full scale nuclear war.
Keep in mid that every nation on earth capable of producing nukes will do so, also keep in mind that not every nation will be able to miniaturise and create tactical nukes, leading to situation where tiny nukes will be reciprocated with giant ones.
In addition there is the possibility for creating shaped charge micro nukes that could be fired from a tank, which means that conventional ground forces are now potentially as dangerous as a nuclear bomber/submarine, being capable of levelling cities. The likelihood of conflict escalation will dramatically increase. Consider that usually parking a conventional force next to someone's else's border gets you sabre-rattling military exercises, which could result in a border skirmish, which can usually be de-escalated as long as no side suffers significant losses. The error tolerance for such situation will go to zero.
For your examples, you are proposing war scenarios where it is likely that larger nuclear power will be dragged into. While the nuclear strikes you mention will not directly trigger thousands of nukes being launched it will probably create a series of conflicts that do will culminate in this down the line.
I know militaries think about nuclear warheads as just very energy dense explosives, and from a rational point of view this is true. However the capitalist economic system creates this retarded overlay for reality where everybody, has to play that game of leverage and domination. So the nuclear threshold is likely zero nukes.