This is a really good Kim Stanley Robinson interview in support of his new book, Sixty Days and Counting, third in a trilogy I haven’t even started reading yet. Here’s a very telling passage from the interview:
There is a Gotterdamerung attitude abroad in the world that says, weâ€™d rather destroy reality than admit we were ever wrong about anything. Thatâ€™s rather startling and awful, but we live in a capitalist system and by and large capitalism calls the shots â€“ literally in that it controls the armies and police forces. So it will become a very serious question for us, now and in the immediate future, and really for good: how real is democracy? And, if science as a cultural force needs to stand up for the creatures of the Earth against capitalism as a cultural dominant â€“ who wins? This is a big question. I have hopes that despite the immense power of capitalism (which is not â€œcreation of capitalâ€ but rather â€œfeudal control of capitalâ€), the real productive capacities of science, and the way science has to an extent â€œscientizedâ€ the workings of society in the last century, will mean that science will prevail in the end; meaning the scientizing of capitalism into some post-capitalist order that is more just than the current one.
And this is just the lead in to the real take-away:
We use “global warming” after all as code to speak of a much larger environmental crisis, and that crisis is in part the result of too many humans on the planet using a destructive technology to live by, and so human population is a crucial issue, not always linked to the other problems, when actually it is central. And human population drops to replacement rates or below when social justice prevails, especially when women have full legal rights to their lives, along with a minimally acceptable standard of living. So social justice, impossible in capitalism because of capitalismâ€™s basic hierarchical power structure, is necessary to environmental health and human survival. So these forces, democracy and social justice, align with science in a larger project of survivability of the species. But it is an anti-capitalist project in the end.
So here’s our choice: engineer a post-capitalist permaculture society or die.
Radical and yet obvious. Go ahead and read the whole thing.