In Alfonso Cuarón’s seemingly prescient dystopian 2006 film Children of Men, set in 2027, a fertility crisis has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction.

Sperm counts have reportedly fallen by 60% since the 1970s as a result of the microplastics and toxic chemicals sourced from fossil fuels and mining that are used to make the everyday commodities we consume. The root cause of this existential abomination is the capitalist mode of production: since capital’s exploitation of labour is the source of profit, capital accumulation is increasingly dependent on the labour intensity of production based on the otherwise unnecessary extraction of metals and fossil fuels.

“If each of the instruments were able to perform its functions on command or by anticipation … so that the shuttles would weave themselves and picks play the lyre, master craftsmen would no longer have a need for subordinates, or masters for slaves.”[1]


USSR pin awarded to farmers for “Mastery of Cannabis Breeding”

Because The Green New Deal would massively expand fuel-intensive extraction-based production, carbon emissions would continue to increase rapidly. We need a green industrial revolution that is actually green — predominantly hemp-based. Hemp can be turned into more than 50,000 applications, including batteries that outperform lithium, but it also grows quickly, reverses desertification and rapidly draws down CO2 from the atmosphere. Safe, emissions-free, high-energy nuclear is also essential.

International Workers Day, Cuba

Socialist political programmes need to both ‘raise consciousness’ and appeal to the needs and wants of the masses. Taking power and keeping it requires: winning over the majority of a given population, including the downwardly mobile lower middle class; winning over the majority of the rank and file in the armed forces; incentivising capitulation and splitting the right, especially small farmers and large land owners (in order to limit counter-revolutionary activity and alliances). Socialist parties therefore need to prioritise mass, universalist politics if they are to succeed.

Communism has always been destined to be a system of fully automated production…

Tracing the historical development of the productive forces shows that the next logical step in realising a higher stage of production is long-term central planning of a public monopoly

The general rate of profit tends historically towards zero. Source: Estaban Maito.

Capitalism is losing its ability to create new exchange-value and is sooner or later likely to spiral into a crisis of worldwide hyperinflation. Only socialism, capitalism’s historically logical successor, can revive economic stability.


Ted Reese is a Marxist economist and author of Socialism or Extinction (self-published) and The End of Capitalism: The Thought of Henryk Grossman (Zer0 Books)

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