SocialistWolfs thesis is correct. Capitalism is bound to waste all resources, and fade away. And so will the world too.
As I first read the words, it seemed correct to me. Now I've been thinking. It is not that simple.
To blame the problem of limited resources on capitalism is a bit off-target, actually. A socialist economy has not unlimited resources. But the problems I guess SocialistWolf is trying to point out, are these:
- The ideology of capitalism does not include environmental concerns at all, unless they actively disrupt business (e.g. fishing industry need fish)
- The (capitalistic) value of recycleable resources is no larger than the value of non-recycleable resources. That means: A pure capitalist economy would just as well take a non-recycleable resource (say, oil) to make power as a recycleable (say, hydro-electricity or sunpower). There is no incentive to choose "wisely" - just short-term money-making.
- Capitalistic corporations expand. Why? Because the reason the investors put their money into a corporation was to maximize their profits. You can do that by expanding or by making a more effective organization.
As opposed to this would a pure socialist economy have the opportunity to control all these things - and take whatever concerns they want to take. A socialist society (=a society that collectively thinks of everyone as most important) would actively choose the solutions which benefit mankind the most, and most of the time that would be the most environmental option.
A socialist economy does only have to expand according to its population growth - but socialism doesn't either provide some sort of population control (OK we do not count killing people, Stalin is dead).
But resources are finite also in a perfect, socialistic world. We would just not have to use them. And if they ended, we would still not need any. Gee.
Yes I know - We do "NEED" resources. But we wouldn't kill off our entire economic system if they ended - we would just get a lowering of living standard. In a capitalistic system, we would get a much harder smack - the corporations would go bankrupt, people would get unemployed, and we would get a lowering of living standard.
My conclusion, added as an update the day after the original writeup, is: Capitalism (in its pure form) is more prone to choose methods which uses the cheapest available source of resources. The cheapest available source is not necessarily the most resource-saving or the most recycleable or the most resource-wasting.
A more controlled system than capitalism can control resource usage better than capitalism. Capitalism can not per definition control its resource usage! Today this is a problem with f.ex. oil. We have the technology to make cars that don't waste all the oil - but the market does not pay for them because they cost more to make.