More on Socialist energy / environment measures (response to Mark)

viveka kaliyuga at
Tue Dec 3 04:58:23 MST 2002

> Kay replies to Mark:
> On the contrary it is this humanitarian instinct which
> will force us to consider the impact of our actions on
> the natural world.  It's not so much that we deserve
> to become extinct, we will become extinct.  As you
> point out.

Kay, I think you miss the point of the use of the term "humanitarian," at
least in this context, which suggests focusing on the "human" to the
negation of the rest of the world and comes out of the western idea of man
separate from nature standing above it.
> Kay replies:
> What sort of muscular "scientific" socialism is this?
> As a socialist I am not fighting for the right to be
> complicit in deciding which group of humans has lesser
> status and can be encouraged to self select or be
> coerced to die for the rest of humanity and the
> natural world.  This sounds like the Brits who stood
> by while millions died in the Irish Famine while they
> still exported oats and any other human-made famine
> you care to name.  I am sure they thought this was for
> the greater good.  What a world to win!!!

Kay, again you are over-reacting and not putting this into context.  To
suggest that a system, no matter how idealistic, will need to make difficult
choices, is tsimply o put reality into the discussion.  Mark posed sacrifice
as an "hypothetical," but such extreme possibities are important to
consider, and, in fact are part of actual decisions being made.  Thousands
of Nepalese were displaced to create a reserve to ensure the survival of the
rhinos and tigers in Nepal.  How many of them might have actually died
because of it?

To suggest that "socialism" would not be faced with difficult choices is to
put your head in the sand.
> So the future is a choice between barbarism and
> barbarism since it seems unlikely that the "transition
> away from the petroleate  society" is going to happen
> in the next few weeks?

That may be the case, but I don't think it makes sense or moves the
discussion forward to blame the messenger, now does it?

> Kay replies:
> I wonder how you can build viable parties and/or
> coalitions without some vision of what future we are
> fighting for.

I think a future in which the planet survives is a good one.  I don't think
it hurts to scare the shit out of people.  It's a good motivator.

Go and look at the Swans site.  It
> might restore your equilibrium and respect for
> humanity.

Kay, we all like to feel we're part of the nice and good crowd that can pass
judgment on the rest of the population.  Glad reading Swans has restored
your confidence in humanity, but then again, talk is cheap, ain't it?
> Kay replies:
> At the heart of conscious self sacrifice is indeed
> self interest.  In early historic times the sacrifice
> of children was to placate an angry god or to please
> one for a good harvest.

I think we're talking here about noble causes here, unless, of course, you
would not give your life for such a cause, or believe that such a cause is
worthy of your life.  There has never been an advance in human history that
has NOT involved human sacrifice - conscious or not.  One has only to think
of the thousands of Cominards shot dead against that wall in Paris to
realize this.
If the world
> got to that state, then humanity would be beyond
> saving anyway.

You might not think that way if you were one of the few left behind.   But
maybe we'll all be enlightened by then, groovin' to the music in our solar
paneled houses.


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