Ecology and Political Strategy, was Re: Forwarded from Hans Ehrbar

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Jun 10 18:34:17 MDT 2000

Hans Ehrbar wrote:

>  [snip] In
> my judgment, the overturn of the capitalist system will
> become a necessity for the sake of preventing ecological
> catastrophe (i.e., an external barrier for capitalism)
> before the inner contradictions of the system have caused
> the majority of the population to turn against the system.
> If this is true, the revolution will not take the idyllic
> course of a mass uprising, but it will be a minority
> vanguard wresting control from the present rulers and having
> to maintain themselves in power through terror.  It will be
> ugly and there is no guarantee of success, but it is going
> to be far less ugly than having to face ecological
> catastrophe with the present rulers in power.

I would have a number of disagreements with this, but it is
the *sort* of thing I mean when I ask for a political context
for Mark's and Lou's ecological theories. The accumulation
of facts about coming disaster in the present or future is only
of purely scholastic interest unless linked (even though at a
high level of abstraction) to some sort of strategic vision in
response to the facts.

A certain proportion of intellectuals ought always
be devoting their time and energy to matters of scholastic
interest only -- at the very least such matters have the legitimacy
of public parks or museums, and they also have shown a
tendency over the millenia to suddenly display links to
matters of other than scholastic concern. But by their
very nature scholastic concerns are the concern of only
specialists and it is silly for the specialists to insist that
others share their interest unless potential relations to
action can be shown.

Mark tells us he is preparing a post on class struggle among
other concerns. Perhaps that will provide a basis for
discussion. The proposition that global warming is destroying
us is by itself is merely interesting, like the fact that at 70
I probably have only 10 or 15 years left. Nothing to get
all hot and bothered about -- unless someone comes up with
the information that medical science is developing methods
of reversing the aging process, in which case there would
be occasion for important debates over the allocation of


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