“Before I get to the question of whether capitalism is biologically sustainable or not, let’s get straight to the biggest issue of all: incipient genocide. During the high Cold War, there was not a person on earth that wasn’t important to the struggle between the two superpowers, and both superpowers advanced visions of progress for all humanity. The U.S. free market or Soviet five year plans battled for the allegiance of every person on the planet. With the ending of the Col War, any kind of vision or consciousness of universal progress disappeared. ‘The Central African Republic—do we really care what goes on there? Haiti—does it really matter anymore?’ So that started a whole process of retreat into national fortresses. What has happened today, and arguable for more than a decade, is a large minority of humanity have been triaged, written off. They’re economically surplus to the labor requirements of the world economy. They are the ones facing the most drastic effects of climate change, which their countries played little role in creating. We build walls against them. We demonize them. And that basically is a death sentence over the next generation. And this is something that we are all culpable about, including the left.
I could not be happier in my remaining years to see the progressive turn of the new generation and the emergence of socialism as part of the political discourse. But I don’t think, apart from groups working with migrants and the border, I don’t think that the American Left has ever been less internationalist. I have not heard global policy addressed in a single presidential debate. I haven’t heard it addressed by the Sanders campaign. There’s a very great danger that the American left has slipped into its own version of America-Firstism. The only nation of people that has addressed the impending catastrophe in poor nations has been China. China has been ramping up emergency medical aid to the other countries. That hasn’t even been discussed in the U.S.”
—Mike Davis, speaking to Daniel Denvir