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By Anandi Sharan
What Greta Thunberg did is to mobilise the children who live in the Empire, the most powerful, the only, international Empire. The leaders of the Empire sit in Washington, in control of the most powerful military in the world, that controls its area of influence through its capital and post-truth politics.
It is inevitable that their campaign, Greta Thunberg’s campaign, is supported by money. Nothing can be achieved in the Empire without money. That is what politics is. Thanks to the wealth in her society and thanks to the internet she could spread her message across the Empire within seconds.
In this Empire 1.5 billion people speak english as their first or second language. The chaos being spread by this english-speaking Empire, to which the children are subject, is in their face through the internet every day, and it is obviously upsetting, being so clearly an attack on the values and the scientific truth on the basis of which most other countries are acting. For example the EU, of which Sweden where Greta Thunberg comes from, is a part, is committed to reducing 40% of emissions of greenhouse gases against 1990 levels by 2030, and Sweden is committed to 100% reduction by 2050. This obviously will involve dramatic change in the production base of that society, so children need to get behind it, to believe that this is the dream of their society.
And when the party in power at the heart of the largest Empire in the world is trying to destroy that dream, which is based on science, that is seriously upsetting. Thus schools strikes were an excellent idea to strike back with effective propaganda against the enemy. And at the same time there are ever more worrying reports from all over the world about what is going on, and news ever other day of thousands drowning or dying of heat during peak seasons for hurricanes and increasingly hotter weather. So even Europe and Sweden are not acting fast enough. And though the USA says it is withdrawing from the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, it has not yet withdrawn. The USA did actually submit its nationally determined action programme in 2015, under which it promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 13.8% against 1990 levels by 2025 (when recalculated against the accepted baseline), and by “80% or more” by 2050.
So the children are protesting not necessarily only to say that nothing or not enough is being done, but that they are totally behind their own national efforts to cut emissions, and are determined to counter the post-truth message and the actions out of the USA. And because the Democrats in the USA are also committed to staying in the UNFCCC and meeting their declared targets, and possibly improving on them, the children are mobilising to ensure a government gets elected in the USA that is also representative of the children of the Empire, who don’t have a vote, but have the means to protest.
Obviously this protest and this effort is more than welcome, in fact it is highly necessary because the change in production base would be impossible to implement without the support and mobilisation of the entire society. In some ways it is a kind of communist mobilisation. Maybe it is finally THE communist mobilisation of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie in the Empire. The more the needed changes to the production base are discussed, the more the overthrow of private property is seen as the sine qua non of the success of the movement. And the adults who share the mission, and the children themselves who are being attacked, are bound to be attacked by those whom we are accusing of not doing enough, fast enough. That is inevitable. But the attacks are very feeble compared to what they have been for the last 27 years. There is now, thanks to the children, an overwhelming consensus in favour of the overthrow of the machines, and, if I am right, in favour of the abolition of private property. The bourgeoisie is the enemy, be they bourgeois greens or otherwise.
It is the responsibility of the adults who support the children, the trade unions, the professionals, the politicians, the unemployed, and so on, to raise the level of the debate to a point where we are demanding and fighting for the concrete, substantive changes needed, as the science dictates.
In my view that means no commercial energy at all, all land to be publicly owned, abolition of private property, and new monetary authorities and capital controls to ensure there are sovereign agencies that can ensure that associations of independent producers are free to grow what we need to grow to feed ourselves and to grow forests.
The children contributed in no small measure to mobilising the adults who had been temporarily confused by the chaos of the Empire in which they live. Thanks to the children the age of the post-truth Empire is over. The struggle now is to make the children’s vision a reality, to mobilise all children, so that children in developing countries have the same quality of life, and better, as the children in the territories under the direct control of the Empire.
Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland, lives in Bangalore and last year worked in Araria District Bihar, India. She works on trying to find the best money system to help people adapt to climate change especially in India.