A New Era of Capitalist Central Planning?

by Larry Lohmann

first published 1 February 2022

The new, “green” state/corporate system being heralded by today's capitalist visionaries (including Larry Fink of BlackRock, Mark Carney of the United Nations, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Elon Musk of Tesla) constitutes both an intensification and an extensification of ecological plunder and degradation. The types of centralization involved, argues this discussion paper, amount to a great deal more than just “greenwashing,” extending to worldwide re-regulation of labour and land.

For ecological resistance movements, this re-regulation is a crucial challenge. The original New Deal of the 20th century, and certain subsequent efforts at social and environmental regulation, were able to hold off anticapitalism in very particular places in the global North for very limited times. The Green New Deal of the 21st century, together with the global schemes of forward-looking firms such as BlackRock, aspires to do something similar, but is confronting a different kind of crisis that has already shown itself to be much less responsive to temporizing measures from which ordinary people in any part of the world might expect to glean much benefit.