Tuesday, 19 February 2008

RR talking on socialism, tomorrow


I am speaking tomorrow [see 'Capitalism and the Environment', above] on the relationship between capitalism and ecology. Lots to say, but for now I think the key thing I want to say is this: that the population issue HAS to be faced, because we have (b)reached the limits to growth. If one is serious about ecology and about localisation, one has to be serious about restraining population. It is not proven that this can be done entirely by voluntary means. We may have to think, e.g., about limits to family size, or at least about fiscal incentives for smaller families.
What is not good enough is the standard old socialist mantra of open borders and procreative freedom. This mantra only works if one just doesn't care either way about ecological limits -- as old socialists, indeed, generally didn't care, preferring simply to maximise 'production'.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris Hyland said...

I think what needs to be looked at first (and what probably has been but I haven't researched the topic) is the circumstances in which people have large families, eg rich vs poor or educated vs uneducated, and the circumstances in which communities and countries have reduced their growth. I've always thought that reducing income inequality, giving people a better quality of life (in the Green sense not the capitalist sense) and improving peoples education is likely to go some way to reducing birth rates.

19 February 2008 at 12:01  
Blogger Jim Jay said...

How did it go?

20 February 2008 at 15:38  

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I am speaking tomorrow [see 'Capitalism and the Environment', above] on the relationship between capitalism and ecology. Lots to say, but for now I think the key thing I want to say is this: that the population issue HAS to be faced, because we have (b)reached the limits to growth. If one is serious about ecology and about localisation, one has to be serious about restraining population. It is not proven that this can be done entirely by voluntary means. We may have to think, e.g., about limits to family size, or at least about fiscal incentives for smaller families.
What is not good enough is the standard old socialist mantra of open borders and procreative freedom. This mantra only works if one just doesn't care either way about ecological limits -- as old socialists, indeed, generally didn't care, preferring simply to maximise 'production'.
30. 31. 32.