So there is this political cartoonist (a.k.a Polyp) I follow & appreciate. Strongly suggest you to visit his website. Well… Anyways. I disagree with one of his cartoons (called “steady as she goes”) and suggest an additional frame to the original one. I hope he won’t sue me (copyright section is not scary as I imagined).
The original cartoon is (briefly) about economic growth addiction & the policy makers’ inability to recognize the fact that we can’t grow infinitely on a physically finite planet.
Polyp suggests we are on the same boat and we will collapse together if we continue to go in this direction. Well, not likely. If we think about existing power relations, injustices, and inequalities it is not hard to realize most vulnerable will suffer most while most powerful (almost) get no harm from any catastrophic consequence (such as climate change, and/or economic crisis). Long story short, here is my alternative to the original cartoon, alongside with the quote of Swyngedouw:
Perhaps we should modify the now over-worked statement of the Italian Marxist Amadeo Bordiga that ‘‘if the ship goes down, the first-class passengers drown too.’’ Amadeo was plainly wrong. Remember the movie Titanic (as well as the real catastrophe). A large number of the first-class passengers found a lifeboat; the others were trapped in the belly of the beast. Indeed the social and ecological catastrophe we are already in is not shared equally. While the elites fear both economic and ecological collapse, the consequences and implications are highly uneven. The elite’s fears are indeed only matched by the actually existing socio-ecological and economic catastrophes many already live in. The apocalypse is combined and uneven. And it is within this reality that political choices have to be made and sides taken. (Erik Swyngedouw (2013): Apocalypse Now! Fear and Doomsday Pleasures, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 24:1, p.17)