Oil and overproduction 3

David Schanoes dmsch at attglobal.net
Sat Jan 11 13:58:45 MST 2003


I disagree.  There is every point to answering the question about
overproduction.  The Caspian may or may not be become a bust.  That in no
way changes the impulse to capital to explore, develop, seize, abandon,
destroy the fields if and when return on investment warrants it.  Examine,
for example, the surge in Gulf of Mexico investment in the late 90s when
those fields had been undeveloped for years.

The problem with discussing the existence of the size of reserves is that
determining those sizes those reserves is a measure not absolute, not in and
of itself, but a measure of the technical development and economic need of
the "measurerer" himself.  It measures the tools available for performing
the calculation in the first place, and as we know, the development of those
tools is circumscribed by the very same social conditions that make
overproduction in all its facets such a burden of social development.

The "finiteness" of resources was a common theme in the 70s after the first
OPEC jump, the decline in the rate of profit, and gave rise to all sorts of
apocalyptic notions, most, indeed all, are really nothing more than Malthus
decked out in beads and earth shoes.


The issue is the motion of capital, its structure, its internal dynamic, and
I don't believe the evidence has ever suggested that capital comports itself
based on 50 year horizon of accessible supplies.  Its motions are determined
by its exchange with wage labor, the rate of that exchange, and the rate of
transformation of that exchange into profit.

As I side, to locate the predicament or "crisis" somewhere else, takes the
negation, the revolutionary agent out of the picture and gives us
apocalypse.

I am aware of the history of corporate involvement in the region.  I don't
find the failure of and industry to realized its investment expenditure
conclusive evidence of the finite nature of a resouorce, social or natural.

But thank you for your response.

.


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