Sieferle on Foster, _Marx's Ecology_

kay mckinnon jmckinnonus at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 6 12:28:13 MST 2002


>
> Forwarded from Joan Cameron: A Lesson in Logic for
> Mikey
>
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2002, Mike Friedman wrote:
>
> > You're wrong, Joan. By the way, it doesn't help
> the discussion when you
> throw in red herring issues, such as gay rights or
> feminism. We are
> talking about environmentalism. <
>
> No Mike, I'm not wrong. I made a valid point about
> the *types* of
> anti-Marx arguments that have been raised by
> proponents of identity
> politics and by environmentalists - a point
> supported by your further
> argument below.
>
> The point I am actually addressing is: Marx had
> *nothing* to say about
> issue x. I have  pointed out that Marx indeed *did*
> have something to say
> about issue x. You have noted, for instance, that
> Marx had "few things"
> of relevance to say. Your words, Mike, are a
> refutation of the notion
> that Marx had *nothing* to say about issue x.
>
>
> > Marx, himself, nurtured in industrializing England
> with its urban
> proletariat, had few things of relevance to say: for
> example, his
> critique of Malthus (which I regard as wrong,
> although for the right>
> reasons) and his related discussion of soil
> fertility, but Marx was a>
> technological determinist, enamored of developing
> productive forces, and>
> this ideology imbued Marxist thought at least
> through the 80s, at least.
> The Marxist left (particularly Evelyn Reed's SWP, of
> which I was a
> member) --> with some honorable exeptions -- had a
> technological
> determinist point of view that led them to reject
> environmentalism as
> "petit bourgeois." The Permanent Revolution, for
> example, was supposed to
> enable underdeveloped countries to unleash their
> productive forces and
> attain levels of development that they had been
> unable to attain under
> imperialism. <
>
> Well, I don't know what the SWP was saying back
> then; but, here in Canada,
> the League for Socialist Action was generally
> supportive of environmental
> concerns, although not necessarily of the
> environmentalist movement itself
> (which is,, btw, predominently petty bourgeois),
> and, as I noted, they
> discussed this in terms of the rationalization of
> production - a topic
> upon which Marx expounded at some length, as I
> recall. He had plenty to
> say about this, actually. I see no reason why the
> idea of the Permanent
> Revolution must *necessarily* preclude environmental
> concerns.
>
> > The specific issues you mention were not major
> issues of the Marxist
> left: there was simply no way they could be
> integratedinto the prevailing
> paradigm, except as examples of corporate greed,
> imperialist domination,
> etc. <
>
> I never said they were *major* issues. I am arguing
> that it is factually
> incorrect to claim that Marxists had *nothing* to
> say about these issues.
> Your very words, Mikey, support my argument.
>
> > NACLA, Food First! and other such issue-based
> groupswere dealt with as
> a health issue or an issue of imperialist control
> ofthird world markets.
> NACLA, Food First! and other such issue-based
> groupswere NOT Marxist, and
> their restricted -- and often non-class based
> --focuses tended to hinder
> rather than help Marxists to integrate
> ecologicalawareness into their
> worldviews.<
>
> So, in other words, these issues *were* addressed
> back then, hm, MIkey? I
> never said they were, Marxist, Mikey. I said that I
> remember drawing upon
> such sources for information, not necessarily for
> analysis. Contrary to
> what Proyect seems to think, I am actually quite
> capable of assessing
> sources critically and of doing my own thinking.
>
> And mostly what I think about what in comes to
> so-called peripheral
> issues, is dialectic materialism, the foundation of
> Marxist thought. It
> is there that I look for Marxist "spirituality",
> because it is there that
> Marxists learn to re-intigrate spirit with gross
> reality. I specifically
> reject any other kind of spirituality.
>
> And I specifically reject the right of any holy man
> or goddess worshipper
> to lay their ethos on me.
>
> Joan Cameron
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Sat, 19 Jan 2002, Mike Friedman wrote:
>
> > You're wrong, Joan. By the way, it doesn't help
> the discussion when you
> > throw in red herring issues, such as gay rights or
> feminism. We are talking
> > about environmentalism. Marx, himself, nurtured in
> industrializing England
> > with its urban proletariat, had few things of
> relevance to say: for example,
> > his critique of Malthus (which I regard as wrong,
> although for the right
> > reasons) and his related discussion of soil
> fertility, but Marx was a
> > technological determinist, enamored of developing
> productive forces, and
> > this ideology imbued Marxist thought at least
> through the 80s, at least. The
> > Marxist left (particularly Evelyn Reed's SWP, of
> which I was a member) --
> > with some honorable exeptions -- had a
> technological determinist point of
> > view that led them to reject environmentalism as
> "petit bourgeois." The
> > Permanent Revolution, for example, was supposed to
> enable underdeveloped
> > countries to unleash their productive forces and
> attain levels of
> > development that they had been unable to attain
> under imperialism. No
> > mention of sustainable development in Evelyn
> Reed's companion George
> > Novack's writings, for example. You should read
> some of Dick Levins works,
> > including the Dialectical Biologist and the NY
> Marxist School's working
> > papers on science for a cogent critique and
> advocacy for an ecological
> > perspective on the left. The environmental justice
> movement, which emerged
> > as a force in communities of color in the 80s
> helped steer Marxists in the
> > right direction. So did more recent Cuban and
> Sandinista willingness to
> > entertain environmentalist views (although still
> marginal to a
> > developmentalist vision). The specific issues you
> mention were not major
> > issues of the Marxist left: there was simply no
> way they could be integrated
> > into the prevailing paradigm, except as examples
> of corporate greed,
> > imperialist domination, etc. The left, of course,
> in a broader sense,
> > included single issue type groupings that took up
> those issues. Their
> > perspective on environmentalism was mixed. NACLAs
> critique of the Green
> > Revolution, for example, was framed in the context
> of a discussion of
> > corporate profits and hunger: not bad, just not
> environmentalist.
=== message truncated ===


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