Reply to Raymond Hickman: It's "green" warfare!

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Sat Jun 22 10:10:09 MDT 1996

At 2:14 AM 6/22/96, Rolf Martens wrote:

>The very fact that someone's asking such a question on a
>Marxism list shows how far things have gone today with the
>bourgeois "green" warfare propaganda. I posted some things
>on this a couple of weeks ago to this list.
>The "sustainable development" propaganda which today is
>being disseminated by the main forces of the bourgeoisie in
>the world is an ultra-rightist, counter-revolutionary, pro-
>genocidal propaganda. It's directed against the workers and
>the oppressed peoples. It's a very important task for the genuine
>Marxists to counter it. This propaganda goes in the direction
>that "the natural resources are becoming scarce". It aims at
>making people accept the present ultra-reactionary anti-growth,
>anti-technolgy, anti-science and anti-industrial campaigns, which
>the main bourgeois forces are engaging in in order to prevent
>conditions from ripening for revolution. These campaigns already
>have had enormously harmful effects for the masses.

This is one of the most idiotic postings I've read on this list, and
there's some pretty stiff competition (Malecki, of course, being in a class
by himself). It's anti-science and anti-working class to *deny* ecological
crisis, not to assert it. Only a handful of corporate rent-a-scientists
will deny the risks of eventual catastrophe should we continue pumping
toxins into air, water, and soil with our present abandon. And it's clear
that the poor and nonwhite are inflicted disproportionally with the toxic
effluvia of capitalist industry - far more than the rich and white.

It's also anti-Marxist. "Growth" is a capitalist obsession, not a socialist
one; certainly the First World has all the wealth it needs now to support a
decent life for everyone, and the problem is distribution and the
qualitative nature of the wealth. And, according to Marx, the two factors
of production are labor and nature; the exploitation (and ruination) of one
goes hand in hand with the other. As he wrote in a passage beloved of
Red-Greens everywhere (Capital vol. 1, p. 638 of the Vintage edition):

"Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and degree
of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously
undermining the original sources of all wealth - the soil and the worker.
Moreover, all progress in capialist agriculture is a progress in the art,
not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil; all progress in
increasing the fertility of the soil for a given time is a progress towards
ruining the long-lasting sources of that fertility...."

The difference between Red-Greens and the Luddite deep ecologists is that
we believe in the transformation of technology into something friendly to
workers and the earth, not a return to pre-industrial life.



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
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