The “Natural” Crisis of Capitalism
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(Translator's Note: The scientific datas used n this article are dated back at the end of 2017 when the article was written. Yet, it has only got worse since then.)


"Apocalypse Day" scenes which can happen only in a science-fiction movie a few decades ago, have become the topic of ecology documentaries and scientific researches today. It is crystal clear that an ecological crisis extending to the whole earth and threatening the humane life conditions of an ever-growing number of people has become a bitter reality.
Tsunamis, earthquakes, climate change, ozone holes, food scandals1, extinction of species, air pollution, poisoning of oceans, drinkable water shortages, trash mountains and nuclear disasters like in Fukushima and millions of death due to environmental pollution have now become a daily issue of capitalist reality. Scientists state that 90 percent of the cancer cases today are resulted from environmental effects. However this situation, of course, does not stop the international monopolies keep destroying the very basic foundations of our lives and looting our world. Cruel greed of imperialist capitalism for more profit is no surprise for anyone, but there comes up a little problem: the capital is now cutting the branch it is sitting on!

 

Global Feature of the Ecological Crisis
Even 150 years ago, Marx and Engels pointed out the environmental devastation of the capitalist mode of production. The intervention to nature through large industrial production had reached to a new stage with the factors like enormous increase in production of steel and iron, extraction of coal and urbanization.
The first modern environmental movements of 1950's were born out as a reaction to the more crystallized environmental devastations. Still, natural problems coming to the question at that time were more of local ones: a poisoned river here, a smoke flumping on a metropolis there. But today, the environmental crisis has reached an international level. Like the climate disaster, it is not only affecting regions on its own, but affecting the nature as a whole.
All the life on earth takes place between 60 km above and 5 km under the earth surface at the biosphere2 that can be sorted as three layers; soil and rocks (lithosphere), water sources (hydrosphere) and gases (atmosphere). The very origin of life started here 3.5 billion year ago, as Engels described as "the emergence of the white of an egg" or "albuminous" and summarized with the words "Life is the mode of existence of albuminous bodies, and this mode of existence essentially consists in the constant self-renewal of the chemical constituents of these bodies."3.
Today, throughout the biosphere system, dramatic changes are in motion that will cause the extinction of human unless it is stopped.
Let's look at some of the examples that show the extent of devastation in nature:
Since from people started to record the weather temperature, top 10 hottest years occurred in the last 20 years. 2016 was recorded as the hottest year of all time. The sea level has risen 17 cm in the last century. The average temperature of the world has risen 0,89 Celsius degree since 1880, when the weather temperature was recorded for the first time, due to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted primarily by burning fossil fuels, especially coal and petroleum, methane (CH4), laughing gas (N2O) and PFC which is produced to replace the finally-banned CFC. In 2013, for the first time in 25 million years, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has exceeded 400 ppm (particle per million). Even though climate changes occurred many times during the 4,5 billion years of the evolution of the world, each of them were lasting over tens of thousands of years, that is, none of them was so sudden and with such leaps.
Climatic warming causes heavy rain, flood and famine, extreme temperatures and cold snaps. If the rise of sea level goes like this, countries like Bangladesh, cities like New York and Shanghai will be underwater. On one side, floods occur more frequently due to melting glaciers, and on the other, new greenhouse gases laying under these glaciers are released into air and as a result causes more warming. Again, with the glacier melting, less sunbeams are reflected back to the space, hence warming goes up even more. Due to this warming, global air flows change, some regions are trapped in cold while right next to them, subtropical moist and hot air flows head towards north.
More than half of the rain forests, which were once covering areas in 70 countries, has gone between 1900 and 1980. One more mechanism ensuring the natural balance is being destroyed with the cutting down of forests which take CO2 from the atmosphere and transform it into carbohydrate and oxygen via photosynthesis and so is functioning as the reducer of CO2 rate in the atmosphere.
Ozone layer blocks 95 percent of the ultraviolet solar radiation and reflect back to the space. When the ozone layer gets thinner than 220 Dodson in unit, it is called an ozone hole. In 2000, the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere grew up to 28 million km2, which is almost equal to the size of Africa. The ultraviolet radiation damages the land and water species, affects their immunization system adversely, causes skin cancer and disrupts eyes.
The reason of the thinning of ozone layer is the increase in the gases like CFC (chlorofluorocarbon). CFC is now banned after the protests going on since the '80's, but HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) and PFC (perfluorocarbon), both of which damage the ozone layer although not as the same level and are produced millions of tonnes, take its place4.
One research of the Swiss scientists showed that the thinned ozone layer affects even the tropical regions which are thousands of kilometers away. Due to the ozone hole above Antarctica and Arctic, rainfall in French Polynesia increased 50 percent during the period 1960-90. This example, above all, proves how closely related are the processes and elements in the biosphere with each other and how deeply affect each other. Same interrelatedness also exists in the extinction of the species. Most of the time, a living organism form plays a central role for the whole ecosystem and balances can be shaken disastrously with its disappearance. Unfortunately when the awareness about the situation raises, it is usually very late to recover. Today, there are 1,9 million animal species known; 1,88 million of them is spineless as most of them comprise bugs. And according to estimations, 35 thousands species go extinct each year. According to Greenpeace, as much as 8 times of the species that were extinct in the last 500 years face with the risk of extinction today.
The amount of small moss called phytoplankton, which is the basis of food chain in the seas and carries out the 70-80 percent of the global oxygen generation, has reduced 40 percent since 1950. This is not only wrecking the sea ecosystem, it also affects the climate and weather conditions. Seas are becoming sour6, coral reefs are dying, plastic is polluting... Now there are more than 500 "dead regions" in the seas close the coasts, some of which cover couple of tens of thousands of km2. Polluting, poisoning, warming and souring of seas are about to reach an irreversible level.
In 2012, in only one year of time, 1,9 billion tonnes of waste were produced worldwide. 70 percent of this was collected, but only 19 percent of it was recycled. It is not difficult to guess where the rest of it is. Incinerating waste is even more harmful. This process generates extremely poisonous remedies and greenhouse gases. Poisonous and nuclear waste pollutes water, weather and soil at an incredible level. Producing only for the sake of production without considering anything other than maximizing its profit, the capital, does not care about a complete economic cycle in which natural resources are recycled and reintegrated into production process. However, in order to realize recycling at a meaningful level, it is needed to be planned in the production stage. For example, only 1 percent of the electronic waste, some of which includes plenty of amount of valuable metals, is recycled. It even costs from 2 to 10 times more to extract the same materials from the mines compared to recycling.
Countless chemical, biological and nuclear weapons also pose as one of the main threats against the life on earth. Being 2000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that is, enough to wipe out a land as big as France from the map, the "Satan 2" thermonuclear missiles, which the Russian imperialism has started its testing stage, is just an example of those.
In the 21st century, more than 1,2 billion people have no access to clean water. Almost 11 thousands children die every day due to insufficient or dirty water. These deaths are not results of lack of water, since 380 thousands liters of water is consumed in the production of one single car and 15 thousands 500 liters of fresh water is consumed for producing only one kilogram meat7.
Limitless exploitation and atrocity of capitalist mode of production obviously involves the environmental issues. Atrocities which imperialists persecute on dependent countries in terms of natural issues are on giant topic which we cannot go into detail in the context of this article. However, we cannot go over without underlining this: those who create the environmental problems are actually a bunch of world monopoly and imperialist country, yet those who suffer most from its ruthless results are especially people living in financial-economic colonies. For instance, according to the data released in 2017, 75,26 percent of share in the CO2 emissions belongs to G-20 countries, which the total share of China and USA in this is 37 percent.
Another result of natural devastation which does not draw too much attention is migration. More than 2-3 times of the amount of those who were forced to migrate due to wars, had to migrate due to natural disasters between 2008-2017, Perhaps, in many cases, climate refugees couldn't cross the borders and that's why they couldn't take up space in the agenda. According to one research of Greenpeace, 25,4 million people are forced to migrate every year due to climate disasters. Between 2008-2015, 110 million people had to leave their homes only due to floods8.
Even the bourgeois sources cannot deny anymore the fact that natural disasters are the results of the existent system. Looking at the results of 7 different researches published in 2016, more than 90 percent of the experts related to the topic states that the perpetrator of global warming is human. Of course, we need to correct the answer "human" here with "capitalism".

 

Obvious Perpetrator of the Crisis
In the Dialectic of Nature, Engels manifests with multiple examples, that human intervenes the nature with a specific purpose unlike animal, it transforms nature in the service of its own purpose, but in most cases, it does not foresee the aftermath of these transformations at all and causes huge devastations. While defining the relation between human and nature, Engels states that "Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conquerer over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature, but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other beings of being able to know and correctly apply its laws."9 And continues; "with every day that passes we are learning to understand these laws more correctly, and getting to know both the more immediate and the more remote consequences of our interference with the traditional course of nature. In particular, after the mighty advances of natural science in the present century, we are more and more getting to know, and hence to control, even the more remote natural consequences at least of our more ordinary productive activities. But the more this happens, the more will men not only feel, but also know, their unity with nature, and thus the more impossible will become the senseless and anti-natural idea of a contradiction between mind and matter, man and nature, soul and body..."
Thus, we can approach the issue neither from the perspective of taking the nature under yoke nor the perspective of protecting from "the evil human" as some "biocentrist" currents do. The issue is that human should live in harmony with the nature as a part of it and provide the needs of human development in short and long term by taking the laws of nature into account. However, as Engels states, understanding the laws of nature is not enough for this; it is necessary to overthrow both the existent mode of production and the whole social order. Because, capitalist mode of production is in conflict with this in its essence. Recognizing any purpose but maximizing their profits, each capitalist and the capital as a whole see the nature as a "self-service" shop without a cash desk and try to exploit labor and nature with a great ambition which are the sources of all wealth.. It doesn't care about harmony with the nature or results of intervening the nature. Only thing to care is selling products and realizing profit! In the capitalist society, it is inevitable that human gets alienated to the nature just as it is alienated to its own labor.
Everything turns into commodity in capitalism, today even genetic materials (seeds for example) and drinking water have already become private properties. It wouldn't be surprising if they soon try to sell us the air we breath. The capital disintegrates the nature as into commodities. All the production in capitalism, which means the intervention of human to the nature, is gradually tied up to the profit purpose. Since the situation of nature, of which human is also a component, is played down by the ruling class in terms of the entirety of social relations, fossil fuels which endanger the life on earth continue to be used for the sake of a handful of powerful oil monopoly to multiply their profit, even though everyone knows about the danger. The climate change issue is not a matter of a lack of knowledge about its material reasons, nor it is the absence of a scientific cure today. On contrary, it is entirely rooted in the fact that social and political relations, which are determined by the competition and interests of the ranks of capital block, obstruct the adequate precautions to protect the nature.
Eating organic food has nothing to do with protecting the nature. Solution methods degraded into individual approaches, meaning single reforms such as separating trash at home, using biofuel for car or charging cell phones with solar energy have already become pointless. "Behaving responsibly" or imposing single reforms unfortunately can no longer solve the natural crisis which has grown into a worldwide level and composed of agglomeration of a series of factor conditioning each other10. This crisis can only be overcome through extermination of capitalist system wrecking humanity and nature, subjecting everything to its greed for profit.

Greenwashing and Crocodile Tears

Devastation of nature cannot be hidden anymore, so even the representatives of the capital are forced to react. Sacred oaths at the environment summits are glaringly broadcast in the bourgeois media. Reforestation or moderately clean air and rivers started to appear in imperialist countries after applying some of the decisions, most of which only stay on the paper and are actually gained by the widespread democratic protests. But we must emphasize that the situation proceeds contrarily in the financial-economic colonies. Small patches can't cover the decaying scars. Bourgeois "solutions" cause the issue to shift away and also new problems to come up. London is a good example; smoke over the city had been reduced as the heavy industry was moved, but even worse case is happening in the metropolises of China today. Or, marketed as "clean energy" for replacement of coal, yet no way to ensure the full safety, shifting to nuclear energy means nothing but jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
Not being able to follow the path of a total denial in the face of obvious ecological facts, bourgeoisie passes millions of dollars to the "climate skeptics" in order to create confusion. The only duty of them is to keep the urgent climate issue contentious with fake data and methods full of lies and to smooth the way for capital monopolies to get a green light for new investments. Similar entrepreneurship is on hype nowadays: "greenwashing", meaning acquitting in terms of ecological sense. According to that, commercial projects are presented as "contribution to environmental protection" and even supply additional funds for monopolies. One example of painting the capital with green in this way is wrapping up the waste incinerating facilities, which are extremely harmful to environment, as "environmental friendly". One of the most famous "greenwashing" representatives is the American bourgeois politician Al Gore. Because, he created a new market bringing immense benefit to speculative capital through carbon trade. And surely, this had not much of an effect in reducing the carbon emissions. Certificate trade agreed in the Kyoto Protocol is also a similar example. HCFC-22 (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) production in China and India increased 25 percent in the first place, just to earn money from its annihilation, since reward of annihilating one ton of this gas was 140 thousand Euro.11

 

Is It Possible to Overcome the Ecological Crisis in the Stage of Imperialist Globalization?
Capitalist system constantly undermines the physical life conditions with its rapacious ambition for maximum profit and the situation is getting out of control. It is not new for the capital being in an approach of "after me the deluge!", but what is new today is that the part "after us" is no longer available, which means the feet of the capital have already started to get warm.
In the book "Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism", David Harvey12 analyzes the nature-capital contradiction. He asks whether the environmental crisis is a deadly crisis for the capital or not and presents four reasons to bring suspicion over this widespread opinion: 1) Capitalism has a long history with ecological problems, but so far it has managed to work it around and none of "the world is about to end" claims have turned out to be true. 2) The nature is a component of the capital accumulation process; for instance, a plant's ability to grow is a component of profit and reinvestment. 3) The capital has turned the environmental issues into a great source of income; environmental technologies have become a significant factor at the international finance market and thus, the metabolic relation with the nature is transformed into an accumulation strategy. 4) Even in the middle of a natural disaster, the capital can continue to circulate and accumulate; natural disasters offer the capital new possibilities for profit and by keeping the relative surplus population in mind, the capital doesn't worry about the mass destruction due to natural devastation.13
Let's check these arguments. As Harvey also accepted, the fact that the whole life has not been destroyed yet, does not ensure that it wouldn't in the future. Because, these types of processes occur once. Besides, here the question is more than simply about "the end of the world", it must be about whether the capital is capable of overcoming this crisis which increasingly affects the nature more intensely and in more complex ways or whether the capital-nature contradiction in the stage of imperialist globalization is another expression of the capital reaching to its own limits also in terms of ecological boundaries.
The fact that the nature is a component of circulation and accumulation process of the capital, as Harvey stated in the second reason, does not exclude that the same process possess an antagonist contradiction. Baring the antithesis between the social production and the private property in its bosom, capitalism already has an incurable contradiction as it brings its own "grave digger", the working class into existence. The nature is the subjected one in the capital-nature relation, however when the plants cannot grow as expected due to genetic manipulation, excessive rain or drought, even when it gets impossible to estimate how they react to incredibly unsettled conditions, the possibilities to rip off profit from them also melt away.
It is true, capitalists dare to sell us three-headed chicken or directly the poison itself by presenting it as "the gourmet's notch for taste", but do we buy it? What we mean, it seems very hard for our digestive system to change as quick as the climate when looking at the speed of the evolution, therefore it seems impossible for capitalism to digest such a nature which is that much "out of control" and will be more turbulent. The environmental crisis is no longer a controllable or predictable situation and it doesn't seem like a war convertible into profit, because we are not talking about someone taking bribes or buying weapons, but the objective laws of nature. There can only be short-termed profits dug out of natural disasters developing through reciprocally affecting each other, but still the ecological devastation conditions melt down the capital investment opportunities under extreme temperatures or leave them under the flood of water.
Already, "devaluation" for the capital is serious; there is no fish left in the seas, fertile lands are turning into deserts. Disintegrating the nature and its commodification don't allow the capital to be the sovereign over the nature.
The capital always chase the most profitable investment branches and the environmental technologies, of course, are no exception. However, due to low profitability, there lays this fact: it detaches from the productive investment and concentrates on speculation. And its profit-oriented investment character means that it considers today's profit definitely more preferable than everything from tomorrow. Thus, there will never be a tendency to prioritize the investment branches capable of preventing the environmental crisis. In other words, as long as petroleum brings more profit than wind as an energy source, it will be burnt until its last drop. As long as the capitalist mentality directs the scientific researches and the application of science to the production, the environment-friendly technologies will never be dominant in production just as how robots cannot take the place of the living labor completely.

 

Limits of the Capital
Scientific-technical revolutions have become catalysts in reviving the economy in the history of capitalism. When the petroleum came into scene as the main energy source, automobile14 conquered the world market and was felt like a remedy for the economical crisis. Afterwards, it set the basis for a general automation leap. Today, can a similar development, meaning a real revival in the capitalist economy suffering from long-lasting stagnation be provided through a total shift to electric cars or to solar energy? Let's suppose, electric cars discard the combustion motors, overcome the last obstacles and become dominant in the world market. Without a doubt, this becomes a development that cannot be looked down on for the capital which desperately seek for new markets and profitable investment sectors. Appeasing the resistance of the quite powerful big automobile and oil monopolies and the realization of such a move which would bring a certain regeneration in the productive forces are not at all impossible today. Yet, in today's world of imperialist globalization, two main factors reciprocally conditioning each other and limiting the breathing effects of this kind of refreshment moves have already been in the scene: on one side, the share of real production is not that much big in the entire economy as in the period of automobile invasion. On the other side, excess capital has reached such a colossal amount that any kind of new productive investment sector cannot be sufficient to absorb this chronic excessiveness. That's why, today, new investment branches and market layers created by new technologies can influence the congestion of capital relations only in qualitative terms, not qualitative. And the impulse to invest in "green technology", of the capital whose flame of technological motion is mostly quenched can no longer appear so strongly.
The capital needs to have features dissident to its own nature in order to overcome the ecological problems, according how David Harvey thinks. Every element of the global environmental crisis is directly bound to one another and it requires a worldwide coordinated, planned and long-termed intervention. In fact, when one single company produces according to a plan, whereas the anarchy in production on a social scale and the competition keep ruling over as definite laws of the capitalist economy, there is no objective basis for the capital to intervene in the ecological crisis in a planned and coordinated manner.
Extremely intensified competition and the tendency of declining in profit rates in the stage of imperialist globalization push the capital to mercilessly exploit not only human, but also the whole nature. There developed a reform capacity which can compromise with the environmental movement on their demands in the period of "welfare state", but today, there is no margin left for "additional expenditures" like ecological precautions in the viewpoint of capital.16 In a time when the capital has been retreating from production due to low profit rates, trying to find ways to slip off the tax burden it carries and in a time when even the most basic public services are put into market, it seems not possible anymore that the capital can be convinced to make new constant capital investments for environmental measures or tied up with new taxes on a social scale. Even when strong environmental movements force the single monopolies to take environmental protection measures or the bourgeois states to intervene in a specific environmental issue, such measures or interventions don't open a path for a generalization of these steps on a social scale.
Plundering the natural resources is not a new property of the capital. The capital used to move away somewhere else when a source at one place dries out, like it did when the land became infertile for coffee planting in Brazil. However, there is no such pure untouched land left today. New natural resources laying under the poles or at the bottom of oceans could only be extracted via methods which are extremely harmful in ecological regard, which in return sharpening the ecological crisis. In this sense, expansion of the capital starts to hit the physical boundaries of the world.
Harvey, in a totally rightful way, states that the capital will never give up on commodification of the nature and dividing it into private property rights. And from this, he concluded that the environmental movement, if it wants to pass beyond the sole make-up changes, has to embrace an anti-capitalist character today. Yet, conflicting with this conclusion which we also agree on, Harvey is in the view that it cannot be claimed the capital has lost its capacity to manage its inner contradiction in the relation with the nature. And since he approaches the issue like this, he cannot see beyond the dependence of the ecological crisis on the subjective, therefore changeable decisions, he cannot see that the ecological crisis is an objective impasse for the capital. The issue here is not related with this policy or that institutional regulation or ideological argument; it is related with the tendency rooted from directly the nature of the capital and the possibility for the capital not being able to stop the ecological crisis which accumulates risks even capable of destroying the capital itself. Saying that "If there is a serious question in the capital-nature relation, this is a contradiction rising from inside the capital, not from outside" and comparing the ecosystem of the capital to a total of simmering cancerous cells, Harvey couldn't make the theoretical deduction that he could draw from here and gets nowhere there: "We cannot just claim that the capital is capable of destroying its own ecosystem and at same time easily deny its potential to get itself out of the mess and solve its internal conflicts or at least to reach a balance in them."15 But why?!
No one claims that the capital will collapse on its own tomorrow due to ecological crisis, but the facts become more distinctive, that we reach a separation point stated in the expression "either socialism or barbarism" also for the environment topic, the production for the maximum profit is getting closer to the worldwide physical devastation limits in full throttle. Now, the ecological crisis has gained an existential feature for capitalism.
Although he doesn't accept the existential feature of the ecological crisis, Harvey introduces two reasons that could threaten the future of the capital, in the contradicting metabolism between the capital and nature from his point of view. Firstly, he points out the growing force of the rentier class, meaning those who own the land and natural resources but have no intention for production. Because, says Harvey, through this way, monopolist rents are earned at the cost of loss of the productive capital. In the end, the rates of profit decline towards zero and together with that, of course, so does the reason for reinvestment. Thus, according to his thesis, by appropriating the natural resources and occupying crucial ranks within the capitalist ecosystem which is the contradicting unity of the capital and nature, the rentiers strangle the productive capital.17
As a second reason, Harvey mentions about the extremely alienating relation between the capital and the nature of human and the nature as a whole, and a possible uprising caused by this. In his opinion, the devastation created by the coercion to form the natural world as a commodity, carries a deeper meaning than natural forces not providing any benefits for the capital anymore; therefore what has been devastated is the human nature, the ability to be a different kind of person rather than what the capital dictates. In Harvey's words, "The seeds of a humanist uprising is being inseminated against the inhumanity laying beneath the degradation of nature and the human nature into solely a commodity."18
Both points Harvey underscores are on the mark, however regarding the capital, the ecological crisis is deeper and more unsolvable than he thinks.

 

To Stop the End, We Must Say the Last Word
For a long time, environmental issues have been perceived as a political playground for petty bourgeois reformism. Even, the working class itself, for instance in the mining sector, has been pushed into conflicts face to face with the environment movements by using the unemployment stick with the discourse "they want to destroy your workplaces". Nevertheless, the ecological crisis gradually turned into a matter of life or death for millions of people directly.
At the point we have reached now, there is no objective basis left for inner-system solutions. Only, a socialist system which is based on the harmonic unity of nature and human; places its footing on the needs of people, not the profits of bourgeoisie; is built upon the plan and proportionality, not the chaos and competition; saves the creativity from the gyves of capitalist mentality; opens the channels for the usage of new ecological technologies completely, could find real solutions to the ecological crisis.
We cannot say that revolutionary movement has been interested in the topic as much as it deserves for long time. This, leaving the reasons aside, is definitely a situation that we must put an end immediately.
Today, the contradiction between the capital and nature has turned into one of the most important and quite concrete topics of the class struggle which bitterly affects the lives of all oppressed and even gives birth to new anti-capitalist dynamics. This is a development that can easily be seen when looking at the resistance against the cutting down of trees which became the detonator of the Gezi uprising or at the militant peoples movement against the hydroelectric energy dams in the Black Sea Region or at the increasing interest of women and youth in the ecologic agenda. That is to say, around the environment issue which most plainly put forth how much the existential interest of human contradicts with the grim profit mentality of the capital, a storm of struggle against the capitalist system and fascist dictatorship can be blown.
In recent years, increasing number of "Marxist ecologists" or "ecologist Marxists" is a reflection of the fact that the crisis can only be overcome through an anti-capitalist solution, which shows itself in these consciousness forms.
Ecosocialism, among its representatives are sociologist Ted Benton, philosopher André Gorz and economist James O'Connor, stood out as a new current in the 1980's. In that period, the criticism against Marxism about its insufficient attention to the topic was prevalent, but in the 1990's, "ecologist Marxists" like Paul Burkett and John Bellamy Foster,19 who got more effective on the subject, pointed out the ecological context introduced by Marx in his political economy critique and the valuable contributions of Engels in the field of ecology. They concentrated on developing views of ecological struggle against capitalism with the perspective of Marxist theory. And those who are influenced by ecofeminists like Vandana Shiva, such as Judi Bari, stated a clear tendency to the revolution and socialism: "Ecologists with serious aims must be revolutionary". "One of the primary goals of socialism is production for use not for profit. For this reason, one cannot talk about a unbalance in socialist system like in capitalism and therefore I believe that a socialist structure which will not harm the earth can be established."20
Today, ecology is getting to be an indispensable agenda in the revolutionary movements of the working class and the oppressed. And more importantly, the consciousness stating that this issue can only be solved through an anti-capitalist revolution strengthens day by day. Let's embrace our world with our struggle of overthrowing capitalism before capitalism ends humanity.

-----------------------------------

1 According to an official report released by BBC in October 2017, made-in-Turkey paprikas ranked 4th in the list of the most dangerous products due to "high level of pesticide remedies". Enjoy your food!
2 Bios means life and sphere means globe in Greek.
3 Friedrich Engels, Anti-Duhring, translated by Emile Burns, Progress Publishers, p. 50
4 In 1987, Montreal Protocol was signed, however many countries stayed out of this protocol and monopolies have never stopped profiting from these hazardous gases. In the end, in 2010, remaining countries agreed the banning decision too, but new gases produced instead of the banned ones have already released to the market.
6 The reduction of pH value of the seas due to increasing CO2 is called "souring".
7 Akt. Katastrophenalarm! Was tun gegen die mutwillige Zerstörung der Einheit von Mensch und Natur?, Stefan Engel, Verlag Neuer Weg, Juni 2014, s. 211
8 Akt. Klimawandel, Migration und Vertreibung, Greenpeace, Mai 2017
9 Friedrich Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Progressive Publishers
10 This, of course, does not make struggle for reforms subsumed by the aim of revolution, on contrary, formulating ecological daily political demands and waging struggle for them stand as an important task ahead of us.
11 Akt. Katastrophenalarm, s. 96-97
12 David Harvey: English geography and anthropology professor, critical politic economist.
13 David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and The End of Capitalism, Profile Books, 2014, p. 246-250
14 By the way, in the development of automobile, a woman (Berta Benz) had a big contribution.
15 For more information about the existential crisis, check the previous issues of the Red Dawn.
16 David Harvey, p. 259
17 Ibid, p. 260-261
18 Ibid., p. 262-263
19 John Bellamy Foster: editor of the Monthly Review and sociology professor. In Turkish, his book " Marx's Ecology" (translated by Ercüment Özkaya, Epos Publications, 2001) is an the important piece for ecologist Marxists.
20 Revolutionary Ecology Biocentrism and Deep Ecology, Judi Bari

 

 

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The “Natural” Crisis of Capitalism
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(Translator's Note: The scientific datas used n this article are dated back at the end of 2017 when the article was written. Yet, it has only got worse since then.)


"Apocalypse Day" scenes which can happen only in a science-fiction movie a few decades ago, have become the topic of ecology documentaries and scientific researches today. It is crystal clear that an ecological crisis extending to the whole earth and threatening the humane life conditions of an ever-growing number of people has become a bitter reality.
Tsunamis, earthquakes, climate change, ozone holes, food scandals1, extinction of species, air pollution, poisoning of oceans, drinkable water shortages, trash mountains and nuclear disasters like in Fukushima and millions of death due to environmental pollution have now become a daily issue of capitalist reality. Scientists state that 90 percent of the cancer cases today are resulted from environmental effects. However this situation, of course, does not stop the international monopolies keep destroying the very basic foundations of our lives and looting our world. Cruel greed of imperialist capitalism for more profit is no surprise for anyone, but there comes up a little problem: the capital is now cutting the branch it is sitting on!

 

Global Feature of the Ecological Crisis
Even 150 years ago, Marx and Engels pointed out the environmental devastation of the capitalist mode of production. The intervention to nature through large industrial production had reached to a new stage with the factors like enormous increase in production of steel and iron, extraction of coal and urbanization.
The first modern environmental movements of 1950's were born out as a reaction to the more crystallized environmental devastations. Still, natural problems coming to the question at that time were more of local ones: a poisoned river here, a smoke flumping on a metropolis there. But today, the environmental crisis has reached an international level. Like the climate disaster, it is not only affecting regions on its own, but affecting the nature as a whole.
All the life on earth takes place between 60 km above and 5 km under the earth surface at the biosphere2 that can be sorted as three layers; soil and rocks (lithosphere), water sources (hydrosphere) and gases (atmosphere). The very origin of life started here 3.5 billion year ago, as Engels described as "the emergence of the white of an egg" or "albuminous" and summarized with the words "Life is the mode of existence of albuminous bodies, and this mode of existence essentially consists in the constant self-renewal of the chemical constituents of these bodies."3.
Today, throughout the biosphere system, dramatic changes are in motion that will cause the extinction of human unless it is stopped.
Let's look at some of the examples that show the extent of devastation in nature:
Since from people started to record the weather temperature, top 10 hottest years occurred in the last 20 years. 2016 was recorded as the hottest year of all time. The sea level has risen 17 cm in the last century. The average temperature of the world has risen 0,89 Celsius degree since 1880, when the weather temperature was recorded for the first time, due to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted primarily by burning fossil fuels, especially coal and petroleum, methane (CH4), laughing gas (N2O) and PFC which is produced to replace the finally-banned CFC. In 2013, for the first time in 25 million years, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has exceeded 400 ppm (particle per million). Even though climate changes occurred many times during the 4,5 billion years of the evolution of the world, each of them were lasting over tens of thousands of years, that is, none of them was so sudden and with such leaps.
Climatic warming causes heavy rain, flood and famine, extreme temperatures and cold snaps. If the rise of sea level goes like this, countries like Bangladesh, cities like New York and Shanghai will be underwater. On one side, floods occur more frequently due to melting glaciers, and on the other, new greenhouse gases laying under these glaciers are released into air and as a result causes more warming. Again, with the glacier melting, less sunbeams are reflected back to the space, hence warming goes up even more. Due to this warming, global air flows change, some regions are trapped in cold while right next to them, subtropical moist and hot air flows head towards north.
More than half of the rain forests, which were once covering areas in 70 countries, has gone between 1900 and 1980. One more mechanism ensuring the natural balance is being destroyed with the cutting down of forests which take CO2 from the atmosphere and transform it into carbohydrate and oxygen via photosynthesis and so is functioning as the reducer of CO2 rate in the atmosphere.
Ozone layer blocks 95 percent of the ultraviolet solar radiation and reflect back to the space. When the ozone layer gets thinner than 220 Dodson in unit, it is called an ozone hole. In 2000, the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere grew up to 28 million km2, which is almost equal to the size of Africa. The ultraviolet radiation damages the land and water species, affects their immunization system adversely, causes skin cancer and disrupts eyes.
The reason of the thinning of ozone layer is the increase in the gases like CFC (chlorofluorocarbon). CFC is now banned after the protests going on since the '80's, but HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) and PFC (perfluorocarbon), both of which damage the ozone layer although not as the same level and are produced millions of tonnes, take its place4.
One research of the Swiss scientists showed that the thinned ozone layer affects even the tropical regions which are thousands of kilometers away. Due to the ozone hole above Antarctica and Arctic, rainfall in French Polynesia increased 50 percent during the period 1960-90. This example, above all, proves how closely related are the processes and elements in the biosphere with each other and how deeply affect each other. Same interrelatedness also exists in the extinction of the species. Most of the time, a living organism form plays a central role for the whole ecosystem and balances can be shaken disastrously with its disappearance. Unfortunately when the awareness about the situation raises, it is usually very late to recover. Today, there are 1,9 million animal species known; 1,88 million of them is spineless as most of them comprise bugs. And according to estimations, 35 thousands species go extinct each year. According to Greenpeace, as much as 8 times of the species that were extinct in the last 500 years face with the risk of extinction today.
The amount of small moss called phytoplankton, which is the basis of food chain in the seas and carries out the 70-80 percent of the global oxygen generation, has reduced 40 percent since 1950. This is not only wrecking the sea ecosystem, it also affects the climate and weather conditions. Seas are becoming sour6, coral reefs are dying, plastic is polluting... Now there are more than 500 "dead regions" in the seas close the coasts, some of which cover couple of tens of thousands of km2. Polluting, poisoning, warming and souring of seas are about to reach an irreversible level.
In 2012, in only one year of time, 1,9 billion tonnes of waste were produced worldwide. 70 percent of this was collected, but only 19 percent of it was recycled. It is not difficult to guess where the rest of it is. Incinerating waste is even more harmful. This process generates extremely poisonous remedies and greenhouse gases. Poisonous and nuclear waste pollutes water, weather and soil at an incredible level. Producing only for the sake of production without considering anything other than maximizing its profit, the capital, does not care about a complete economic cycle in which natural resources are recycled and reintegrated into production process. However, in order to realize recycling at a meaningful level, it is needed to be planned in the production stage. For example, only 1 percent of the electronic waste, some of which includes plenty of amount of valuable metals, is recycled. It even costs from 2 to 10 times more to extract the same materials from the mines compared to recycling.
Countless chemical, biological and nuclear weapons also pose as one of the main threats against the life on earth. Being 2000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that is, enough to wipe out a land as big as France from the map, the "Satan 2" thermonuclear missiles, which the Russian imperialism has started its testing stage, is just an example of those.
In the 21st century, more than 1,2 billion people have no access to clean water. Almost 11 thousands children die every day due to insufficient or dirty water. These deaths are not results of lack of water, since 380 thousands liters of water is consumed in the production of one single car and 15 thousands 500 liters of fresh water is consumed for producing only one kilogram meat7.
Limitless exploitation and atrocity of capitalist mode of production obviously involves the environmental issues. Atrocities which imperialists persecute on dependent countries in terms of natural issues are on giant topic which we cannot go into detail in the context of this article. However, we cannot go over without underlining this: those who create the environmental problems are actually a bunch of world monopoly and imperialist country, yet those who suffer most from its ruthless results are especially people living in financial-economic colonies. For instance, according to the data released in 2017, 75,26 percent of share in the CO2 emissions belongs to G-20 countries, which the total share of China and USA in this is 37 percent.
Another result of natural devastation which does not draw too much attention is migration. More than 2-3 times of the amount of those who were forced to migrate due to wars, had to migrate due to natural disasters between 2008-2017, Perhaps, in many cases, climate refugees couldn't cross the borders and that's why they couldn't take up space in the agenda. According to one research of Greenpeace, 25,4 million people are forced to migrate every year due to climate disasters. Between 2008-2015, 110 million people had to leave their homes only due to floods8.
Even the bourgeois sources cannot deny anymore the fact that natural disasters are the results of the existent system. Looking at the results of 7 different researches published in 2016, more than 90 percent of the experts related to the topic states that the perpetrator of global warming is human. Of course, we need to correct the answer "human" here with "capitalism".

 

Obvious Perpetrator of the Crisis
In the Dialectic of Nature, Engels manifests with multiple examples, that human intervenes the nature with a specific purpose unlike animal, it transforms nature in the service of its own purpose, but in most cases, it does not foresee the aftermath of these transformations at all and causes huge devastations. While defining the relation between human and nature, Engels states that "Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conquerer over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature, but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other beings of being able to know and correctly apply its laws."9 And continues; "with every day that passes we are learning to understand these laws more correctly, and getting to know both the more immediate and the more remote consequences of our interference with the traditional course of nature. In particular, after the mighty advances of natural science in the present century, we are more and more getting to know, and hence to control, even the more remote natural consequences at least of our more ordinary productive activities. But the more this happens, the more will men not only feel, but also know, their unity with nature, and thus the more impossible will become the senseless and anti-natural idea of a contradiction between mind and matter, man and nature, soul and body..."
Thus, we can approach the issue neither from the perspective of taking the nature under yoke nor the perspective of protecting from "the evil human" as some "biocentrist" currents do. The issue is that human should live in harmony with the nature as a part of it and provide the needs of human development in short and long term by taking the laws of nature into account. However, as Engels states, understanding the laws of nature is not enough for this; it is necessary to overthrow both the existent mode of production and the whole social order. Because, capitalist mode of production is in conflict with this in its essence. Recognizing any purpose but maximizing their profits, each capitalist and the capital as a whole see the nature as a "self-service" shop without a cash desk and try to exploit labor and nature with a great ambition which are the sources of all wealth.. It doesn't care about harmony with the nature or results of intervening the nature. Only thing to care is selling products and realizing profit! In the capitalist society, it is inevitable that human gets alienated to the nature just as it is alienated to its own labor.
Everything turns into commodity in capitalism, today even genetic materials (seeds for example) and drinking water have already become private properties. It wouldn't be surprising if they soon try to sell us the air we breath. The capital disintegrates the nature as into commodities. All the production in capitalism, which means the intervention of human to the nature, is gradually tied up to the profit purpose. Since the situation of nature, of which human is also a component, is played down by the ruling class in terms of the entirety of social relations, fossil fuels which endanger the life on earth continue to be used for the sake of a handful of powerful oil monopoly to multiply their profit, even though everyone knows about the danger. The climate change issue is not a matter of a lack of knowledge about its material reasons, nor it is the absence of a scientific cure today. On contrary, it is entirely rooted in the fact that social and political relations, which are determined by the competition and interests of the ranks of capital block, obstruct the adequate precautions to protect the nature.
Eating organic food has nothing to do with protecting the nature. Solution methods degraded into individual approaches, meaning single reforms such as separating trash at home, using biofuel for car or charging cell phones with solar energy have already become pointless. "Behaving responsibly" or imposing single reforms unfortunately can no longer solve the natural crisis which has grown into a worldwide level and composed of agglomeration of a series of factor conditioning each other10. This crisis can only be overcome through extermination of capitalist system wrecking humanity and nature, subjecting everything to its greed for profit.

Greenwashing and Crocodile Tears

Devastation of nature cannot be hidden anymore, so even the representatives of the capital are forced to react. Sacred oaths at the environment summits are glaringly broadcast in the bourgeois media. Reforestation or moderately clean air and rivers started to appear in imperialist countries after applying some of the decisions, most of which only stay on the paper and are actually gained by the widespread democratic protests. But we must emphasize that the situation proceeds contrarily in the financial-economic colonies. Small patches can't cover the decaying scars. Bourgeois "solutions" cause the issue to shift away and also new problems to come up. London is a good example; smoke over the city had been reduced as the heavy industry was moved, but even worse case is happening in the metropolises of China today. Or, marketed as "clean energy" for replacement of coal, yet no way to ensure the full safety, shifting to nuclear energy means nothing but jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
Not being able to follow the path of a total denial in the face of obvious ecological facts, bourgeoisie passes millions of dollars to the "climate skeptics" in order to create confusion. The only duty of them is to keep the urgent climate issue contentious with fake data and methods full of lies and to smooth the way for capital monopolies to get a green light for new investments. Similar entrepreneurship is on hype nowadays: "greenwashing", meaning acquitting in terms of ecological sense. According to that, commercial projects are presented as "contribution to environmental protection" and even supply additional funds for monopolies. One example of painting the capital with green in this way is wrapping up the waste incinerating facilities, which are extremely harmful to environment, as "environmental friendly". One of the most famous "greenwashing" representatives is the American bourgeois politician Al Gore. Because, he created a new market bringing immense benefit to speculative capital through carbon trade. And surely, this had not much of an effect in reducing the carbon emissions. Certificate trade agreed in the Kyoto Protocol is also a similar example. HCFC-22 (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) production in China and India increased 25 percent in the first place, just to earn money from its annihilation, since reward of annihilating one ton of this gas was 140 thousand Euro.11

 

Is It Possible to Overcome the Ecological Crisis in the Stage of Imperialist Globalization?
Capitalist system constantly undermines the physical life conditions with its rapacious ambition for maximum profit and the situation is getting out of control. It is not new for the capital being in an approach of "after me the deluge!", but what is new today is that the part "after us" is no longer available, which means the feet of the capital have already started to get warm.
In the book "Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism", David Harvey12 analyzes the nature-capital contradiction. He asks whether the environmental crisis is a deadly crisis for the capital or not and presents four reasons to bring suspicion over this widespread opinion: 1) Capitalism has a long history with ecological problems, but so far it has managed to work it around and none of "the world is about to end" claims have turned out to be true. 2) The nature is a component of the capital accumulation process; for instance, a plant's ability to grow is a component of profit and reinvestment. 3) The capital has turned the environmental issues into a great source of income; environmental technologies have become a significant factor at the international finance market and thus, the metabolic relation with the nature is transformed into an accumulation strategy. 4) Even in the middle of a natural disaster, the capital can continue to circulate and accumulate; natural disasters offer the capital new possibilities for profit and by keeping the relative surplus population in mind, the capital doesn't worry about the mass destruction due to natural devastation.13
Let's check these arguments. As Harvey also accepted, the fact that the whole life has not been destroyed yet, does not ensure that it wouldn't in the future. Because, these types of processes occur once. Besides, here the question is more than simply about "the end of the world", it must be about whether the capital is capable of overcoming this crisis which increasingly affects the nature more intensely and in more complex ways or whether the capital-nature contradiction in the stage of imperialist globalization is another expression of the capital reaching to its own limits also in terms of ecological boundaries.
The fact that the nature is a component of circulation and accumulation process of the capital, as Harvey stated in the second reason, does not exclude that the same process possess an antagonist contradiction. Baring the antithesis between the social production and the private property in its bosom, capitalism already has an incurable contradiction as it brings its own "grave digger", the working class into existence. The nature is the subjected one in the capital-nature relation, however when the plants cannot grow as expected due to genetic manipulation, excessive rain or drought, even when it gets impossible to estimate how they react to incredibly unsettled conditions, the possibilities to rip off profit from them also melt away.
It is true, capitalists dare to sell us three-headed chicken or directly the poison itself by presenting it as "the gourmet's notch for taste", but do we buy it? What we mean, it seems very hard for our digestive system to change as quick as the climate when looking at the speed of the evolution, therefore it seems impossible for capitalism to digest such a nature which is that much "out of control" and will be more turbulent. The environmental crisis is no longer a controllable or predictable situation and it doesn't seem like a war convertible into profit, because we are not talking about someone taking bribes or buying weapons, but the objective laws of nature. There can only be short-termed profits dug out of natural disasters developing through reciprocally affecting each other, but still the ecological devastation conditions melt down the capital investment opportunities under extreme temperatures or leave them under the flood of water.
Already, "devaluation" for the capital is serious; there is no fish left in the seas, fertile lands are turning into deserts. Disintegrating the nature and its commodification don't allow the capital to be the sovereign over the nature.
The capital always chase the most profitable investment branches and the environmental technologies, of course, are no exception. However, due to low profitability, there lays this fact: it detaches from the productive investment and concentrates on speculation. And its profit-oriented investment character means that it considers today's profit definitely more preferable than everything from tomorrow. Thus, there will never be a tendency to prioritize the investment branches capable of preventing the environmental crisis. In other words, as long as petroleum brings more profit than wind as an energy source, it will be burnt until its last drop. As long as the capitalist mentality directs the scientific researches and the application of science to the production, the environment-friendly technologies will never be dominant in production just as how robots cannot take the place of the living labor completely.

 

Limits of the Capital
Scientific-technical revolutions have become catalysts in reviving the economy in the history of capitalism. When the petroleum came into scene as the main energy source, automobile14 conquered the world market and was felt like a remedy for the economical crisis. Afterwards, it set the basis for a general automation leap. Today, can a similar development, meaning a real revival in the capitalist economy suffering from long-lasting stagnation be provided through a total shift to electric cars or to solar energy? Let's suppose, electric cars discard the combustion motors, overcome the last obstacles and become dominant in the world market. Without a doubt, this becomes a development that cannot be looked down on for the capital which desperately seek for new markets and profitable investment sectors. Appeasing the resistance of the quite powerful big automobile and oil monopolies and the realization of such a move which would bring a certain regeneration in the productive forces are not at all impossible today. Yet, in today's world of imperialist globalization, two main factors reciprocally conditioning each other and limiting the breathing effects of this kind of refreshment moves have already been in the scene: on one side, the share of real production is not that much big in the entire economy as in the period of automobile invasion. On the other side, excess capital has reached such a colossal amount that any kind of new productive investment sector cannot be sufficient to absorb this chronic excessiveness. That's why, today, new investment branches and market layers created by new technologies can influence the congestion of capital relations only in qualitative terms, not qualitative. And the impulse to invest in "green technology", of the capital whose flame of technological motion is mostly quenched can no longer appear so strongly.
The capital needs to have features dissident to its own nature in order to overcome the ecological problems, according how David Harvey thinks. Every element of the global environmental crisis is directly bound to one another and it requires a worldwide coordinated, planned and long-termed intervention. In fact, when one single company produces according to a plan, whereas the anarchy in production on a social scale and the competition keep ruling over as definite laws of the capitalist economy, there is no objective basis for the capital to intervene in the ecological crisis in a planned and coordinated manner.
Extremely intensified competition and the tendency of declining in profit rates in the stage of imperialist globalization push the capital to mercilessly exploit not only human, but also the whole nature. There developed a reform capacity which can compromise with the environmental movement on their demands in the period of "welfare state", but today, there is no margin left for "additional expenditures" like ecological precautions in the viewpoint of capital.16 In a time when the capital has been retreating from production due to low profit rates, trying to find ways to slip off the tax burden it carries and in a time when even the most basic public services are put into market, it seems not possible anymore that the capital can be convinced to make new constant capital investments for environmental measures or tied up with new taxes on a social scale. Even when strong environmental movements force the single monopolies to take environmental protection measures or the bourgeois states to intervene in a specific environmental issue, such measures or interventions don't open a path for a generalization of these steps on a social scale.
Plundering the natural resources is not a new property of the capital. The capital used to move away somewhere else when a source at one place dries out, like it did when the land became infertile for coffee planting in Brazil. However, there is no such pure untouched land left today. New natural resources laying under the poles or at the bottom of oceans could only be extracted via methods which are extremely harmful in ecological regard, which in return sharpening the ecological crisis. In this sense, expansion of the capital starts to hit the physical boundaries of the world.
Harvey, in a totally rightful way, states that the capital will never give up on commodification of the nature and dividing it into private property rights. And from this, he concluded that the environmental movement, if it wants to pass beyond the sole make-up changes, has to embrace an anti-capitalist character today. Yet, conflicting with this conclusion which we also agree on, Harvey is in the view that it cannot be claimed the capital has lost its capacity to manage its inner contradiction in the relation with the nature. And since he approaches the issue like this, he cannot see beyond the dependence of the ecological crisis on the subjective, therefore changeable decisions, he cannot see that the ecological crisis is an objective impasse for the capital. The issue here is not related with this policy or that institutional regulation or ideological argument; it is related with the tendency rooted from directly the nature of the capital and the possibility for the capital not being able to stop the ecological crisis which accumulates risks even capable of destroying the capital itself. Saying that "If there is a serious question in the capital-nature relation, this is a contradiction rising from inside the capital, not from outside" and comparing the ecosystem of the capital to a total of simmering cancerous cells, Harvey couldn't make the theoretical deduction that he could draw from here and gets nowhere there: "We cannot just claim that the capital is capable of destroying its own ecosystem and at same time easily deny its potential to get itself out of the mess and solve its internal conflicts or at least to reach a balance in them."15 But why?!
No one claims that the capital will collapse on its own tomorrow due to ecological crisis, but the facts become more distinctive, that we reach a separation point stated in the expression "either socialism or barbarism" also for the environment topic, the production for the maximum profit is getting closer to the worldwide physical devastation limits in full throttle. Now, the ecological crisis has gained an existential feature for capitalism.
Although he doesn't accept the existential feature of the ecological crisis, Harvey introduces two reasons that could threaten the future of the capital, in the contradicting metabolism between the capital and nature from his point of view. Firstly, he points out the growing force of the rentier class, meaning those who own the land and natural resources but have no intention for production. Because, says Harvey, through this way, monopolist rents are earned at the cost of loss of the productive capital. In the end, the rates of profit decline towards zero and together with that, of course, so does the reason for reinvestment. Thus, according to his thesis, by appropriating the natural resources and occupying crucial ranks within the capitalist ecosystem which is the contradicting unity of the capital and nature, the rentiers strangle the productive capital.17
As a second reason, Harvey mentions about the extremely alienating relation between the capital and the nature of human and the nature as a whole, and a possible uprising caused by this. In his opinion, the devastation created by the coercion to form the natural world as a commodity, carries a deeper meaning than natural forces not providing any benefits for the capital anymore; therefore what has been devastated is the human nature, the ability to be a different kind of person rather than what the capital dictates. In Harvey's words, "The seeds of a humanist uprising is being inseminated against the inhumanity laying beneath the degradation of nature and the human nature into solely a commodity."18
Both points Harvey underscores are on the mark, however regarding the capital, the ecological crisis is deeper and more unsolvable than he thinks.

 

To Stop the End, We Must Say the Last Word
For a long time, environmental issues have been perceived as a political playground for petty bourgeois reformism. Even, the working class itself, for instance in the mining sector, has been pushed into conflicts face to face with the environment movements by using the unemployment stick with the discourse "they want to destroy your workplaces". Nevertheless, the ecological crisis gradually turned into a matter of life or death for millions of people directly.
At the point we have reached now, there is no objective basis left for inner-system solutions. Only, a socialist system which is based on the harmonic unity of nature and human; places its footing on the needs of people, not the profits of bourgeoisie; is built upon the plan and proportionality, not the chaos and competition; saves the creativity from the gyves of capitalist mentality; opens the channels for the usage of new ecological technologies completely, could find real solutions to the ecological crisis.
We cannot say that revolutionary movement has been interested in the topic as much as it deserves for long time. This, leaving the reasons aside, is definitely a situation that we must put an end immediately.
Today, the contradiction between the capital and nature has turned into one of the most important and quite concrete topics of the class struggle which bitterly affects the lives of all oppressed and even gives birth to new anti-capitalist dynamics. This is a development that can easily be seen when looking at the resistance against the cutting down of trees which became the detonator of the Gezi uprising or at the militant peoples movement against the hydroelectric energy dams in the Black Sea Region or at the increasing interest of women and youth in the ecologic agenda. That is to say, around the environment issue which most plainly put forth how much the existential interest of human contradicts with the grim profit mentality of the capital, a storm of struggle against the capitalist system and fascist dictatorship can be blown.
In recent years, increasing number of "Marxist ecologists" or "ecologist Marxists" is a reflection of the fact that the crisis can only be overcome through an anti-capitalist solution, which shows itself in these consciousness forms.
Ecosocialism, among its representatives are sociologist Ted Benton, philosopher André Gorz and economist James O'Connor, stood out as a new current in the 1980's. In that period, the criticism against Marxism about its insufficient attention to the topic was prevalent, but in the 1990's, "ecologist Marxists" like Paul Burkett and John Bellamy Foster,19 who got more effective on the subject, pointed out the ecological context introduced by Marx in his political economy critique and the valuable contributions of Engels in the field of ecology. They concentrated on developing views of ecological struggle against capitalism with the perspective of Marxist theory. And those who are influenced by ecofeminists like Vandana Shiva, such as Judi Bari, stated a clear tendency to the revolution and socialism: "Ecologists with serious aims must be revolutionary". "One of the primary goals of socialism is production for use not for profit. For this reason, one cannot talk about a unbalance in socialist system like in capitalism and therefore I believe that a socialist structure which will not harm the earth can be established."20
Today, ecology is getting to be an indispensable agenda in the revolutionary movements of the working class and the oppressed. And more importantly, the consciousness stating that this issue can only be solved through an anti-capitalist revolution strengthens day by day. Let's embrace our world with our struggle of overthrowing capitalism before capitalism ends humanity.

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1 According to an official report released by BBC in October 2017, made-in-Turkey paprikas ranked 4th in the list of the most dangerous products due to "high level of pesticide remedies". Enjoy your food!
2 Bios means life and sphere means globe in Greek.
3 Friedrich Engels, Anti-Duhring, translated by Emile Burns, Progress Publishers, p. 50
4 In 1987, Montreal Protocol was signed, however many countries stayed out of this protocol and monopolies have never stopped profiting from these hazardous gases. In the end, in 2010, remaining countries agreed the banning decision too, but new gases produced instead of the banned ones have already released to the market.
6 The reduction of pH value of the seas due to increasing CO2 is called "souring".
7 Akt. Katastrophenalarm! Was tun gegen die mutwillige Zerstörung der Einheit von Mensch und Natur?, Stefan Engel, Verlag Neuer Weg, Juni 2014, s. 211
8 Akt. Klimawandel, Migration und Vertreibung, Greenpeace, Mai 2017
9 Friedrich Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Progressive Publishers
10 This, of course, does not make struggle for reforms subsumed by the aim of revolution, on contrary, formulating ecological daily political demands and waging struggle for them stand as an important task ahead of us.
11 Akt. Katastrophenalarm, s. 96-97
12 David Harvey: English geography and anthropology professor, critical politic economist.
13 David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and The End of Capitalism, Profile Books, 2014, p. 246-250
14 By the way, in the development of automobile, a woman (Berta Benz) had a big contribution.
15 For more information about the existential crisis, check the previous issues of the Red Dawn.
16 David Harvey, p. 259
17 Ibid, p. 260-261
18 Ibid., p. 262-263
19 John Bellamy Foster: editor of the Monthly Review and sociology professor. In Turkish, his book " Marx's Ecology" (translated by Ercüment Özkaya, Epos Publications, 2001) is an the important piece for ecologist Marxists.
20 Revolutionary Ecology Biocentrism and Deep Ecology, Judi Bari