What are we thinking? I’m thinking that capitalism and Gaia have nothing in common. It was thought in the 19th century, when imperialism justified itself with various racist faux-Darwinian scientisms, that nature fit neatly with Adam Smith’s exaltation of the free market. But now we know better. Global capitalism is destroying the planet. What thinking person can doubt it?

Of course, not everyone wants to think. We happily consuming Americans, fortunate conquerors of a temperate paradise sparsely populated by peoples with a lesser technology, have kept the faith in the notion that Adam Smith’s invisible hand will work it all out. In fact, capitalism and natural science don’t have a damn thing in common. If the enthusiasts of capitalism think otherwise, I say: Prove it by adapting the laws of the free market to, for example, the laws of geology. Show us, if you will, how quarterly returns can work with the processes of the Grand Canyon.

Until now, we’ve gotten away with pretending that capitalism and the Earth are compatible, even though capitalism has extinguished most of the Earth-based cultures along the way. The party’s over. Either capitalism adapts to the truth of natural science or capitalism is kaput. Along with the rest of us.

Merrill Collett
Tucson, Arizona

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