Towards a Seductive Red & Green Synthesis (was Re: GlobalWarming?)

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Sun Dec 10 16:12:26 MST 2000

Just wondering. Who is Eli Moskowitz? is s(he) here?  I am confused, since
we did  not have a discussion before titled as "seductive" something. Can
somebody clarify 1)who is replying to whom 2) the background of the
discussion 3) the context of the discussion.


> Eli Moskowitz posts:
> >John Thornton: "I still don't see how you can consider the work of
> >Michaels, Balling, Lindzen, and Idso relatively unbiased."
> >
> >Ross Gelbspan, "The Heat is On":
> >The skeptics are virtually unanimous in accusing their mainstream
> >scientific colleagues of exaggerating the magnitude of the climate
> >problem in order to perpetuate their own government research funding.
> >
> >But that argument cuts both ways. While testifying in St. Paul, Pat
> >Michaels revealed under oath that he had received more than $165,000
> >in industry and private funding over the previous five years'
> >funding he had never previously disclosed. Not only did Western
> >Fuels fund both his publications, he disclosed, but it provided a
> >$63,000 grant for his research. Another $49,000 came to Michaels
> >from the German Coal Mining Association. A smaller grant of $15,000
> >came from the Edison Electric Institute. Michaels also listed a
> >grant of $40,000 from the western mining company Cyprus Minerals.
> >Questioned by the assistant attorney general about that grant,
> >Michaels responded, "You know, with all due respect, you're going to
> >think I'm not telling the truth. I'm trying to remember directly
> >what came out of the project. . . I'm sure we were looking at
> >regional temperatures in some way."
> >
> >In fact, Cyprus Minerals was, at the time, the largest single funder
> >of the virulently antienvironmentalist Wise Use movement. The
> >biggest organizational member of that movement was a group called
> >People for the West!, whose largest funder, with at least $100,000
> >in donations, was Cyprus Minerals. According to the Clearinghouse in
> >Environmental Advocacy and Research, as recently as 1995 Cyprus
> >Minerals' director of governmental affairs was a member of the board
> >of directors of People for the West!.
> At this moment in history, I think leftists -- especially Marxists --
> should focus on creative ways of linking Red & Green analyses &
> activism, instead of wasting time upon futile "dialogues" with the
> productivist leftists who would rather, ostrich-like, bury their
> heads in the polluted sands.  Only those who live in leafy prosperous
> neighborhoods with little exposure to toxic waste & no shortage of
> water, food, fuel, etc. can believe industry-funded "dissident"
> scientists (the word "dissident" is fitting, in that it evokes how
> the word used to be used in the heyday of anticommunism).
> 1.  Debunking the myth of "sustainable capitalism."  Green
> consumerism, pollution-credit trading, social-clause "fair trade,"
> etc. are more problems than solutions.  While the world remains
> imprisoned in the capitalist market, it continues to be driven by
> M-C-M', and in the absence of socialism it is no wonder most nations
> -- with a temporary exception of the rich social democratic ones that
> have the power to out-source toxic production overseas -- can see no
> alternative to cheap labor & lax environmental regulations in a
> desperate attempt to export their way out of peripheral status.  The
> debunking of the myth of "sustainable capitalism" should go together
> with the historicizing of the "East Asian Miracle."  I don't mean to
> deny the spectacular industrial & other developments of Japan, South
> Korea, Taiwan, etc.; I mean that the conditions under which East
> Asian nations developed their economic powers -- to say nothing of
> the industrial development of Euro/American powers -- are
> _historically specific_, so they cannot be replicated today.  History
> does not repeat itself, not even as a farce, so the developmental
> path of East Asian nations cannot serve as a "model" for today's poor
> nations.  To drive this lesson home, we need to frame the debunking
> of the myth of" sustainable capitalism" & the historicizing of the
> "East Asian Miracle" in a theoretical attack on the Hegelian
> dialectic & the liberal "History of Progress" (born in the nineteenth
> century).  Both the Hegelian dialectic & the liberal "History of
> Progress" -- best summarized by the Hegelian husk, as opposed to its
> "raional kernel", in Marx's own words -- proclaim that "the country
> that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less
> developed, the image of its own future" (in the preface to the first
> edition of _Capital_, Vol 1).  Not so!  Only by a racist &
> Eurocentric denial of *coevalness* of all human beings at any given
> time can we hold onto the idea that the so-called European is an
> elder brother of the so-called non-European (for more on the denial
> of coevalness, see Johannes Fabian, _Time and the Other: How
> Anthropology Makes Its Object_, New York: Columbia UP, 1983; David
> Spurr, _Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse In Journalism, Travel
> Writing, And Imperial Administration_, Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1993).
> 2.  It is a strategic error to tackle the question of global warming
> -- or anything else for that matter -- in separation from actually
> existing struggles.  It is futile & dangerous to attempt to
> synthesize Red & Green analyses at a high level of abstraction, which
> I believe only adds to the widely spread despair & diminished
> expectations of the Left today.  Instead, we need to clarify in
> theory & support in practice the struggles that arise in response to
> the *condensentation of multiple contradictions*.  Take Columbia, for
> instance.  Capitalism.  Imperialism.  The War on Drugs.  The use of
> unsafe herbicides to kill Coca plants.  Oil corporations seeking
> lands & displacing peasants.  Pollution.  Export monocultures that
> leave the working masses hungry & dependent upon food imports: "The
> United States is the principal foreign supplier of consumer-oriented
> food products to Colombia" at
> <>; "The food import
> bills of the NFIDCs and of the LDCs rose by US$ 200 million to reach
> US$ 7.2 billion in 1997/98 which, although lower than the high level
> of US$ 8.0 billion in 1995/96 is still much higher than US$ 5.9
> billion in 1994/95" at
> <>); & "Bush's visions of
> equal trading partners forging Pan-American prosperity, however, soon
> proved disastrous for Colombian agriculture, which couldn't compete
> with the deluge of cheap grains and other foodstuffs that poured in
> from giant U.S. corporate producers.  Not only did crop-dusting jobs
> vanish, but many of the now-bankrupt farmers whose crops they
> formerly dusted ended up either in the Andes tending poppies or right
> here in the Guaviare planting coca"
> (<>).
> 3.  In pursuing 1 & 2, leftists need to learn from poets in order to
> improve our agit-prop. Deduction & induction do not exhaust the
> rhetoric of Marxism.  Just as important is the rhetorical power of
> seduction.  "Déjeme decirle, a riesgo de parecer ridículo, que el
> revolucionario verdadero está guiado por grandes sentimientos de
> amor," as the world's best-looking revolutionary said.
> We'd have to write as powerfully as Allen Ginsberg:
> *****   I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
> poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
> I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops?
> What price bananas?  Are you my Angel?
> (Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California")   *****
> Yoshie


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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