In the final chapter on the radical critics, we will take a look at the ideas of the greens. Often strange, but rarely dull, the greens question the core foundations of the industrial capitalist system. Unlike the ideologies covered in Chapters 2–6, the greens do not want to tinker with the distribution of the national product or promise to reward their supporters with tax cuts or increments to social provision. The greens, like the Marxists and some sections of the feminist movement, believe that society needs to be completely transformed and organised according to a different set of values. Having more in common with the political left than with the political right, the greens are often critical of capitalism and argue that the profit motive can and does have a disastrous effect upon the environment and that some form of public regulation is necessary to limit the damage caused by private companies. The greens also ask us to reconsider how we view ourselves and our relations with each other and with the planet. It is clear that they want us to transform the way we think and abandon the common preoccupation with material gratification. Like the other radical critics, they argue that there are definite limits to what the welfare state can achieve and that we should look elsewhere for our salvation. This chapter on the greens will draw upon the ideas of a range of theorists including Murray Bookchin, Andre Gorz, Fritjof Capra, Jonathan Porritt and will also include something on the policies of the Green Parties in Britain, the United States and in Australia.
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