Cat Boyd, Naomi Klein, Bill Gates and You

New polls show Scots want renewable energy prioritised (“a new poll published today will show that renewables are the top energy choice for Scottish people, with a large majority of Scots hoping the next Holyrood government will make renewable energy development a priority“). Here @kittycatboyd points out the world’s biggest billionaire is now to the Left of Scottish politics on climate change. Cat shows why capitalism can’t solve the challenges of the 21st century and how this is snow about Naomi Klein, Bill gates and you …

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  1. corporatisthell says:

    There is no evidence that Socialism is the solution to anything.

    The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

    Socialism has no answers to the challenges of the 21st century

    Meanwhile, capitalism continues to lift millions out of absolute and relative poverty around the world.

    1. Mark Crawford says:

      If you’re going to come out with the same point every time socialism is mentioned in one of these articles, then I’m going to add the same reply, just so nobody is hoodwinked into thinking your point has any value whatsoever.

      First of all saying that the past is the BEST guide to the future is simply wrong. Imagine a group of primitive people who have never boiled water beyond any point other than 99 degrees. One of their group suggests trying to increase the heat to see if anything else happens, but the others tell her: “Nothing will change. The best predictor or future behaviour is past behaviour.”

      Obviously, the past can be ONE guide to the future, but it is not always the best. And the more complex a system one is dealing with, the less likely it is that the past is going to be the best guide. On this point, you should consider reading up dynamic systems theory.

      Are large economic systems pretty complex? Yes. That’s why economists like Steve Keen are using dynamic systems to study the behaviour of capitalism. His results tell us that capitalism is in dire straights (I mean, as if we didn’t already know that, but I guess some people like to pretend that they don’t) and if there aren’t radical changes (such as widespread debt writeoffs), we face decades of stagnation.

      I consider socialism to be the name for the theatre in which those radical changes take place. In that sense, I don’t agree with Cat’s presentation of socialism as a utopian solution. In fact, if anything, I emphasise how difficult life will be under socialism and that it will be a very traumatic period in which class antagonisms are fought out.

      Anyway, expect this stuff to be posted in reply to this point you keep making, because I don’t want people to be misled by you.

  2. Alan says:

    The framing of capitalism versus socialism fails to address the real issue: factionalism and state capture. The so called capitalist economy is a the crony economy. You are dreaming if you think socialism would somehow be different unless you can explain how the socialist utopia wouldn’t turn out to be just a different crony economy i.e. the state captured to serve the interests of a different set of schemers. Read Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, which, despite what economists claim, is an account of the problems of factionalism, state capture, and the impoverishment of the many by the few. The problem with both capitalism and socialism as they are both practiced is that they feature the state writ large. One of the central features of Smith’s critique is that large institutions whether government, corporations, religious institutions, workers’ guilds, etc. all tend to act to leverage their influence against the public interest.

    Also, let’s not get carried away with Bill Gates:

    Unsurprisingly, Bill Gates also looks less than credible when he pleads with students for an ‘energy miracle’ to tackle climate change. This is shameless: first, guilt-tripping minors in high school, second for the blatant hypocrisy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation continues to hold investments in ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell because of their yields. Not exactly a commitment to alternative energy there. How’s that investment strategy working for you now, Gates?

    1. douglas clark says:

      Alan,

      We are all entitled to dream a bit?

      I see it as more of a moneyed issue, those that have it wish to retain their wealth, those that don’t accept it as the ‘way of the world’.

      That suits a conventional mind set perfectly.

  3. John Page says:

    1. Trying to view this on a train…….anyone know why Cat has been blocked by ScotRail?
    2. Bella seems to have moved up a gear with recent excellent and thought provoking content……..well done all round
    3. Is Corporatisthell paid to monitor Bella?

    John Page

  4. Peter Clive says:

    I see no future without renewable energy, and in fact renewable energy will transform society in ways at least as profound as the ways Marx discusses in his “fragment on machines”. I discuss this in greater depth here:

    http://moflomojo.blogspot.com/2015/12/towards-kardashev-type-i-civilisation.html

  5. Campbell says:

    What I don’t get about the tone of these kinds of videos and the comments that follow is why people want to talk about fighting and struggling against “the other”.

    Socialism is defined by the forced theft of another persons property – how could this ever lead to a fairer and better world? Violence creates violence.

    Our current system of crony capitalism is built around the controlled theft of people’s property in the name of fairness. Violence creates violence.

    Why not start from first principles – let’s not be violent to each other please? Or treat other as you would like to be treated yourself…

  6. Mitchie says:

    Right so now Socialism is such nebulous term it covers anything that isn’t the private sector and capitalism now means anything that is non state?

    What Bill Gates is proposing is not State Socialism (the central command of the economy and the collective ownership of the means of production) he is actually talking about state capitalism or corporatism, where the state uses capital to finance autonomous projects and using the profit motive in a negative way (taking profit out of carbon) thus re-balancing the market for other energy sources. It is actually an argument for proper functioning liberal economics.

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