More on Socialist energy / environment measures (Defense of Mark)

loupaulsen at loupaulsen at
Wed Dec 4 16:37:41 MST 2002

Mark Jones wrote:
> James Daly wrote:
> >
> > The argument is whether the killing of human populations (the term can be
> > used of cities, but also of subcontinents) would be justifiable
> > environmental practice in a socialist society uniting the human
> > race, which
> > I thought minimally involved solving even difficult human problems without
> > slaughter.
> James, your 'minimal' requirement of any future socialist state--that it
> eschews organised violence--means that the socialist state of the future
> will have neither an army nor a police force. This is very laudable, but not
> very practical.

I think most Marxists have understood that you need a state to suppress the
class enemy.  Most Marxists, including myself, are not convinced that the
workers and oppressed of the world, once liberated from imperialism, will have
to go around selecting surplus populations out of their own ranks to
exterminate, like Kodos the Executioner from the original Star Trek series, in
order to alleviate the food crisis.

If that's not what you mean, then I apologize, but I don't feel that I have a
very clear idea what you do mean.   I read your earlier note about the
impossibility of the oppressed countries greatly increasing their own standard
of living even if the consumption level were to fall in the imperialist
countries, but I don't know you are referring to the gravity of the problems
that the world faces under capitalist order, or whether you feel that this
will necessarily be the case in the initial decades of the socialist order as
well, even allowing for the fact that under socialism we can arrange things
more efficiently and can improve 'living standards' in the sense of health,
quality of life, culture, etc., without just mechanically doubling all the
inputs of oil, steel, etc.

When imperialism is overthrown, and the productive capacity of the world is
put at the service of the world's peoples on an equal and democratic basis
(which is to say that it will be mostly in the hands of the oppressed peoples
who form the numeric majority), and if it is used in the most efficient and
appropriate way, taking account the gravity of the situation and being
creative and decisive, are you STILL saying that we will be in an overcrowded
lifeboat situation, and volunteers will be requested to jump into the water?
Even if it is impossible to greatly increase the standard of living everywhere
all at once, it is a different question whether enough can at least be
produced to meet the needs of the population of the planet for physical

Lou Paulsen

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