Carrol: Are apples red? Mark & Lou: No, they are round Re: Mark's environmentsal panic attack

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Fri Jun 9 10:01:49 MDT 2000

Mark Jones wrote:

> Carrol Cox wrote:
> > If global warming proved *not* to be a threat, would
> > that show that capitalism is eternal?
> You seem to think that global warming is something only future generations
> must worry about; this is wrong.It is a major problem now, and its effects
> are certain to get worse, in floodplains, coastal regions, the Horn of
> Africa, in part of America and Europe [snip]

No. I don't think anything in particular at all on this topic. I am asking you
Lou to explain to me why I should think something on it. You refuse to answer
my question, but instead prefer to give 10k post after 10k post arguing on a
topic the importance of which you have not even tried to establish.

On the basis of your non-answers I would have to assume the following. Mark
and Lou have despaired of working-class revolution. They now feel that Marx
and Lenin were completely wrong in assuming an antagonistic contradiction
between Labor and Capital, a contradiction which could only be resolved
through the overthrow of capitalism by the working classes of the world.

Still retaining however their hatred of the capitalist system, and still
that capitalism cannot reform itself from inside, they have decided (as one last

desperate hope) that perhaps the *people* (not working classes) of the world
can be frightened into resistance through the spectre of the destruction of
nature by capital.

But of course as 200 years of struggle has established fairly well, the *people*

(as opposed to working classes) can exert their power only by giving it away
to a Man on a White Horse. The People (as a classless mass) cannot engage
in the revolutionising practice necessary to become a collective ruler of their
own destiny.

So I repeat:  If global warming proved *not* to be a threat, would
that show that capitalism is eternal?

That is, is the threat of global warming the *only* evidence we have that
capitalism is defeatable. Unless, that is, Nature itself can defeat capital, are

we forever doomed to suffer under it?

Now I do believe, without reading more cascades of irrelevant factual data,
that the continuing hegemony of capital will (and is) doing immense damage
to the ecosystem. The price in human misery (now and in the future) of that
damage is huge and incalcuable. But I also believe that that damage can
only be limited or reversed by a revolutionary movement in response to
the internal social/political contradictions of capital. So my question to
you is "Do those contradictions exist?"

If they exist, then we must focus on them in building an anti-capitalist
movement, and the issue of global warming can only be a marginal
matter in that process. (The ecological destruction of black communities
in the U.S. is an issue that can be central to the process. Probably many
other ecological issues can and must be incorporated into that process.)

But if capital's only fundamental weakness is global warming, the exhaustion
of energy sources, etc. (i.e., Nature), then socialism becomes an absurd
response. The only possible resolution of that contradiction would be through
world domination by one or a few men who, convinced themselves of
the danger from nature, could impose their will on the world.

I prefer to continue to try to build a socialist movement, incorporating
concerns, but not making them central.


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