I am an admirer of Dahr Jamail’s reporting. In this article, Oceans In Crisis, Jamail tells us that we are losing the oceans. He reports on the human destruction of the oceans. It is a real destruction with far-reaching consequences.
That fact is indisputable.
From my perspective the human destruction of the oceans is yet more evidence of the ruinous nature of private capitalism. In capitalism there is no thought for the future of the planet and humanity, only for short-term profits and bonuses. Consequently, social costs are ignored.
Capitalism can work if social or external costs can be included in the costs of production. However, the powerful corporations are able to block a socially functioning capitalism with their political campaign contributions.
Consequently, capitalists themselves make the capitalist system dysfunctional. We may have reached the point where the external costs of production are larger than the value of capitalist output. Economist Herman Daly makes a convincing case that this is the fact.
While the powerful capitalists use the environment for themselves as a cost-free dumping ground, the accumulating costs threaten everyone’s life. It appears that nothing can be done, because the oceans are “common property.” No one owns them, so no one can protect them and their contents.
What we are faced with is the most destructive force in history: the short-sightedness of humans. Humans are willing to destroy the environment that sustains them, the law that sustains them, the truth that sustains them. Indeed, humans will destroy everything that sustains life if they can raise their incomes for another quarter or another year.
I have a friend who regales me with stories that humans are aliens on planet earth, exiled here by an intergalactic government that unwittingly disposed of its criminal wastes on a planet teeming with life. The inhumans, not humans, have been busy at work ever since their arrival exterminating one another, other species, and the life of the planet itself.
In the Western World truth is dying. Corporate and government money has purchased many scientists along with the media and politicians. The independent scientists who remain have great difficulty obtaining funds for their research, but the corporate scientists have unlimited funds with which to lie.
Scientists, like journalists, advance their careers by lying for the Establishment.
Truth-tellers and whistleblowers are defined as “domestic extremists,” “terrorists,” and are on watch lists. Some have been arrested on suspicion that they might commit a crime in the future. Here in the US we have Jeremy Bentham’s policy of arresting “suspects” before they commit a crime on the basis that they might in the future commit a crime.
All the while the US and UK, Australian and Canadian, governments are committing heinous crimes against other countries in the world whose peoples, like those of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine don’t count. These peoples are disposable, unexceptional, like the Vietnamese, Laotians, Cherokees, Sioux, Apaches . . .
These peoples don’t matter. It is we Americans who matter. We are “exceptional.” We are “indispensable.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.