Colonial Latin America (Louis & Mark)

Julio Huato juliohuato at
Tue Jun 12 20:48:14 MDT 2001

Louis Proyect: >By stating that "stuff is stuff," not only does Julio ignore
the question of ecological imperialism, it also does not do justice to
Marx's own interest in nature and non-renewable resources.>

What do you mean by 'ecological imperialism', Louis?

Louis again: >If oil disappears, they will use other forms of energy.
Leaving aside the question of whether this is actually feasible (and of
course Mark Jones will have his own thoughts on this matter), it begs the
question of resource depletion in the neocolonies.>

Mark Jones: >it not only isn't feasible to speak of "substituting for oil
with alternative technologies, reconverting their industries", as Julio
does, it's Solowian, Samuelsonian, Rostowan nonsense to mention
substitutability when it comes to energy. Even Morry Adelman doesn't talk
any more about oil as a 'renewable, substitutable resource'.  Even Doug
Henwood doesn't.>

Why is it nonsense, Mark?  Why is substitutability nonsense when it comes to
energy?  And there's no need to resort to guilt by association.  Deal with
the ideas.  If it's Solowian, Samuelsonian, or Rostowan is wrong, eh?  What
a joke!

What I suggest is a mental experiment.  I claim that it is not absurd.
First, life is adaptable.  Second, humans are adaptable.  Third, capitalism
is adaptable.  The metabolism between society and nature is not bound to oil
consumption.  Not in general.  Not under capitalism.  Why would it be?
Conservationists advocate susbtituting for fosil fuel with cleaner sources
of energy.  Why is this impossible?

And, ultimately, oil is a finite resource on earth.  If humans stay alive
and keep consuming oil, even if they slow down the rate of consumption,
eventually (under capitalism or hopefully under something better) the
resource will be abandoned as a source of energy (which you imply is
nonsense) or exhausted.  In any case, they will have to adapt.  Or perish.
Out of basic historical optimism, I say they will adapt.  But, if I'm wrong
and humans perish, neither of you will be here to reproach me nor I will be
here to hear you.

>Either Julio is pulling our legs or he needs to take a vacation from these
>lists and go do a little basic reading about oil depletion, energy
>economics and entropy (not to speak of value theory, come to think of it).
>Not to speak of rereading Lenin too, for that matter.>

I appreciate your advice.

>Lenin, recall, was able  in
>But if Lenin got the essential point 100 years ago, there's no fucking
>excuse for Julio's intellectual laziness today, is there? >

No need to react as an offended prima dona.  Limit your ad-hominem rants and
enlighten us.  Show your intellectual diligence.
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