Deceptive actions that are ostensibly good

One of the most dangerous aspects of an evolutionary system like capitalism with hardly no restrictions is that every implementation of a good idea likely serves the capitalistc-industrial system as well, even if the good idea purports to go against part of the system. This is because ideas typically go through iterations, and if one works entirely within the capitalistic system, the iterations move in the direction that work best within capitalism.

Thus, within every good effort to reduce our endless consumption, there will likely be some secondary effects which reinforce the system.

It is an excellent exercise to take a few examples yourself of seemingly helpful human activities and figure out its secondary effects that actually help the capitalistic-industrial system. Here are some examples to start off the discussion:


Science seems to be benign and today almost everyone looks upon science as a universal good. However, we must remember that one of the prime reasons why science continues to function as an institution or set of institutions is that it is funded through capitalism and corporations.

For example, science has convinced some that solar panels and green energy are some sort of solution to fossil fuel use. While in vacuo this might be true if we were willing to significantly reduce our energy usage, we can see that after decades of solar and wind farms, virtually nothing has happened to the increase in CO2 graph.

In reality, solar and wind energy is just another way to postpone a true move towards sustainability and make our unsustainable way of living seem more sustainable to the masses.

This does not mean we should give up on solar and wind: like I said, they may be useful in conjunction with the right strategy, but within the capitalistic system, they are just put in the growth machine like everything else.

Science does other things, too. Science is given so much money and allowed to build its reputation because then whenever the techno-capitalist machine is starting to seem too destructive for even regular ol’ folk, people can say, “science is doing something!” Because of science’s reputation, people will believe.

There are plenty of other ways in which science helps our destructive civilization move forward, and very few ways in which it truly helps. Of course, this is not to say science is worthless. In fact, a scientific mindset is helpful in many cases. What I am saying is that science is more destructive than helpful when it is plugged into the capitalistic framework.


In the last section, I used the word civilization. It seems to indicate a enlightened state where humanity is functioning at its best. To be rational and calm is to be “civilized”. In movies, we often see depicted “barbarians” who lack “civilization”.

Thus, when I talk about the downfall of civilization, it sounds scary. This underscores the danger of language: the very violent and destructive nature of our industrial complex is hidden under the term civilization, which encapsulates all the comforts and none of the problems of our current global society.

In reality, civilization isn’t good. All of its good attributes such as morality are actually just proxies for the true concept of morality. Our proxy-morality in truth is no morality at all: we operate morally selectively, and the selection process is only within the confines of making civilization even more grand and destructive.

The very nature of the word “civilization” tends to create a dichotomy between what we have now and barbarism. In reality, we can move to a new type of society which is peaceful and sustainable, similar to some native tribes.


Environmentalism is another movement that has been slowly transformed into an activity that only benefits the capitalistic system. That is because the vast majority of actions that have functioned within the movement are those which are feasible within the capitalistic system. Fundraising (and paying taxes), building new green technologies, and other similar activities.

In reality, most environmental activities, while making small gains here and there, don’t really hurt the entire industrial system. Like I said, have you seen a significant slowing in the output of CO2? I haven’t.

Thus, although environmentalism purports to help save nature, it’s much more effective functions are as follows:

  1. To make it look like something is being done
  2. To provide an organization where people who are worried about nature can feel like they are doing something


If some action to save the biosphere is within the system and within the law, expect its strongest effect to actually strengthen the capitalistic-technological infrastructure, even if it does some temporary good here and there.

Thus, if we restrict ourselves to actions within the system, we will never move past the barrier from unsustainability to sustainability.

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