A New Era of Capitalist Central Planning?

by Larry Lohmann

first published 1 February 2022

The new, “green” state/corporate system that was heralded by capitalist visionaries in the early 2020s (including Larry Fink of BlackRock, Mark Carney of the United Nations, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Elon Musk of Tesla) envisioned both an intensification and an extensification of ecological plunder and degradation. The types of centralization involved, argues this discussion paper, amounted to a great deal more than just “greenwashing,” extending to worldwide re-regulation of labour and land.

Although the initiative of BlackRock and others of a few years ago has run out of steam in the face of resistance from other corporate sectors, this prospective re-regulation is still a crucial challenge in the shape of various Green New Deals and lavish subsidies for the likes of Musk.

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 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.