Frank Furedi's bum (was: help sustainable development)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Jun 11 07:09:12 MDT 2000

> In the meantime, here's an article by Trotsky from 1901 on technology and
> progress that may be of interest to list members.
> Paul F

Actually, one of the chief reasons for the underdevelopment of ecological
thought in modern Marxism is the failure of Trotsky to write about these
matters. Nobody expected anything different from Stalin, but Trotsky's
deficiency largely explains Spartacist League worship of nuclear power. Except
for Michael Lowy, I can think of no recent Trotskyist thinker who writes about
these questions.The uncritical attitude toward science and technology was
something specific to Trotsky, but not characteristic of one of his main
ideological rivals, Bukharin. Perhaps if Bukharin had been driven into exile,
modern Marxism would have had an ecological dimension of the kind we are
to restore.

Bukharin attempted to elaborate upon the concept of a "metabolic rift"
contained in Marx's Capital, V. 3 in his "Historical Materialism". He wrote:
"The BALANCE between expenditures and receipts is here obviously the decisive
element for the growth of society. If what is obtained exceeds the loss by
labor, important consequences obviously follow for society, which vary with
amount of excess." In this sentence, you find encapsulated the kind of
that Marxism can bequeath to the environmental movement.

Compare this to Trotsky, who was writing idiotic paeans to eugenics in "If
America Should Go Communist":

"There is no turning back from it to the mode of thinking and acting prevalent
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. While the romantic numskulls of
Nazi Germany are dreaming of restoring the old race of Europe’s Dark Forest to
its original purity, or rather its original filth, you Americans, after taking
a firm grip on your economic machinery and your culture, will apply genuine
scientific methods to the problem of eugenics. Within a century, out of your
melting pot of races there will come a new breed of men—the first worthy of
name of Man."

Louis Proyect
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