As Trump and his cronies are busy rolling back environmental regulations, many are appalled and up in arms, shocked by the audacity! But I’m a socialist, so I’m one of the few Americans who are not really surprised. We’re just watching capitalism at work. And in truth, it’s always been that way, it’s just that now Trump & Co. are too brazen and/or too stupid to hide it. In a sense, I suppose, they are doing us all a favor by making it all very obvious.
One recent example of all of this is that mining companies no longer have to promise to clean up their messes. #thankscapitalism
Under capitalism, individuals and corporations can amass great wealth such that they can both control government regulations and manipulate public opinion
Here’s the skinny:
When I run into armchair apologists defending capitalism, they’ll piously proclaim that “real capitalism” would make companies pay for cleaning up their messes, which sounds nice and all, but it misses a fundamental point about how power works in a capitalist system. Under capitalism, individuals and corporations can amass great wealth such that they can both control government regulations and manipulate public opinion. Once they do that, they can deregulate or just ignore their messes and pay off the politicians.
Hence, the end result: privatizing the profits and socializing the losses. They make the money and leave the public to foot the bill.
Socialism, by contrast, is not naive about the workings of power. The best way to handle extracting coal or oil or any other major resource is to make it public, socialize it all the way down, and give the people control. The basic tenant of democratic socialism is this: people get a say in the decisions that impact them. And when it comes to our resources, this impacts us all, and as such it shouldn’t be turned over to a few profit monsters.