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

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at
Wed Dec 4 17:43:53 MST 2002

As I understand Mark Jones' views as outlined on this
list, the A-List, and the former Crash List, he believes
that by the time capitalism has been overthrown, our
ecological problems will be so severe, that even a
socialist state will have to resort to very severe measures
to reduce consumption, especially energy consumption
down to levels that will be sustainable over the long run.

Mark Jones has a rather pessimistic view of our immediate
future.  Even with a socialist revolution, the survival of
humanity will be a rather close call.

Jim F.

On Wed, 04 Dec 2002 23:37:41 +0000 loupaulsen at writes:
> 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
> subsistence.
> Lou Paulsen

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