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U.S. and World Politics

Capitalism’s War on the World

By Bonnie Weinstein

People all over the world are dying before their time—whether it be from heat, floods, or contamination of our environment—yet business goes on as usual while corporations rake in more profits than ever before.

Heat

You wouldn’t think you would read about environmental collapse in the Sports section of the New York Times, not only are heat waves killing people all over the world, but, of all things, the game of cricket has been affected by the extreme heat brought on by world capitalism’s massive carbon-producing, industry. In an August 4, 2022, article titled “Is Cricket Sustainable Amid Climate Change?” authors Jeré Longman and Karan Deep Singh detail how:

“The warming of the earth, combined with the exhausting nature of the game, is raising questions about the future of the second most popular sport in the world. …This year, the sport has faced the hottest spring on the Indian subcontinent in more than a century of record keeping and the hottest day ever in Britain. In June, when the West Indies—a combined team from mainly English-speaking countries in the Caribbean—arrived to play three matches in Multan, Pakistan, the temperature reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit, above average even for one of the hottest places on earth.”

Floods

In an article titled, “The Coming California Megastorm,” a graphic online article in the New York Times dated August 12, 2022, by Raymond Zhong (with graphics by Mira Rojanasakul and photos by Eroin Shaff.) The article warns:

“California, where earthquakes, droughts and wildfires have shaped life for generations, also faces the growing threat of another kind of calamity, one whose fury would be felt across the entire state. This one will come from the sky. According to new research, it will very likely take shape one winter in the Pacific, near Hawaii. No one knows exactly when, but from the vast expanse of tropical air around the Equator, atmospheric currents will pluck out a long tendril of water vapor and funnel it toward the West Coast. This vapor plume will be enormous, hundreds of miles wide and more than 1,200 miles long, and seething with ferocious winds. It will be carrying so much water that if you converted it all to liquid, its flow would be about 26 times what the Mississippi River discharges into the Gulf of Mexico at any given moment. …In the coming decades, if global average temperatures climb by another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius—and current trends suggest they might—then the likelihood of such storms will go up further, to nearly 1 in 30. At the same time, the risk of megastorms that are rarer but even stronger, with much fiercer downpours, will rise as well. This was the peak rainfall rate in downtown Los Angeles during a notably wet winter, 0.4 inches per hour. This is how much rain might fall there if greenhouse-gas emissions remain high, 1.9 inches per hour.”

Environmental contamination

In an article in the current issue of Science for the People, by Edward Millar and Cliff Conner, titled, “Heading for the Last Roundup: The Saga of Glyphosate and What It Means for the GMO Science Wars:”

“Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists tens-of-thousands of industrial chemicals that fall under the jurisdiction of the Toxic Substances Control Act, fewer than one percent of which have been independently tested for safety (much less in combinations.) Unfortunately, the EPA’s de facto guiding principle is that a substance is safe until proven unsafe, so the untested remainder are designated GRAS—’Generally Regarded As Safe.’ … Farmworkers and landscapers are not the only people who claim a link between their worsening health conditions and Monsanto’s pesticides. As the daughter of migrant farmworkers, Joselin Barrera believes that growing up in an environment where Roundup was used regularly is the reason she developed NHL [non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma] at age 24.”1

Workers of the world
are the ones who suffer

Of course, workers are suffering and dying from heatwaves, firestorms, floods, and toxic poisoning of our land, water, and air on a daily basis.

Not only are capitalist production methods responsible for poisoning the world, but corporations like Amazon are air-conditioning their robots, while workers are suffering triple-digit temperatures—even dying—on the job with no relief and little access to water. And UPS is installing security cameras in their vans to spy on workers, but not installing air-conditioning, during a massive heatwave. And non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from glyphosates has become an epidemic.

Those suffering from these catastrophes are left to fend for themselves with only TV News programs and advertisements promoting charities to help those who have lost their homes, lives, and livelihoods—and class-action lawsuits on behalf of people poisoned by glyphosates enrich law firms while people still die.

All the while, the bosses enjoy huge tax breaks and continue to count their profits in luxurious, air-conditioned offices. They couldn’t care less about the environment or their workers.

Only the working class can save the world

Capitalism is an economic system that puts private profits above all else. It is designed to keep the masses of humanity toiling for minimum wage while the bosses rake in billions more than they can spend in a lifetime. They continue to plunder the world and wage police violence and war to guarantee that the wealth workers create remains in their hands.

Ultimately, workers of the world must unite in our own defense to end capitalism. We must, by any means necessary, defend our right to health and safety, to a life-sustaining environment, to liberty, justice, equality, and peace.

We must defend our right to form a socialist world ruled peacefully and democratically for the benefit of all life on the planet.

We, the overwhelming majority, do the work to produce the wealth—we, alone, have the right to control it.



1 https://magazine.scienceforthepeople.org/vol25-1-the-soil-and-worker/heading-for-the-last-roundup/