Oil and overproduction

Charles Brown BrownBingb at aol.com
Mon Jan 20 17:34:15 MST 2003

(fwd from Schanoes) Oil and overproduction

1,125, 625,000,000 barrels.  Let's say 1 trillion.  At the present rate
of consumption, less than 80 million barrels a day,  that will take us
forward another 40 years.


CB: How is 40 years until the end of oil supplies not an extremely alarming
declaration of  rapidly approaching depletion ?  Forty years ago was 1962.


 And this is only a partial list, leaving out
Canada, many Sub-Saharan African countries, etc.  Now I know that some
of this oil will be difficult or impossible to extract, there will
difficulties in transport, there are different grades and sulfur
contents, etc.  But those are questions of cost, of price, of
technology, of profit under capitalism, not questions of resources.
One more thing, many countries have seen estimates of proven reserves
record significant increases since 1996.


CB: Even 80 years to substantial depletion would be alarming.


If you were to ask any oil corporation executive:, "Which has more
importance to your company, the 40 year outlook, or this year's rate of
return on investment?", even without knowing the ABCs of Marxism he or
she will reply "the roi" (if honest.)

Knowing the ABC's of Marxism makes that reply even more accurate.


CB: You should understand, and Mark ( I sometime call him Marx Jones) is a
highly proficient, very learned Marxist economist. He understands completely
the dynamics of overproduction, surplus value, the law of the tendency of the
rate of profit to fall as discovered by big Daddy Karl, as well as Marx's

Mark can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think he means that the world
ruling class is not acting in the classic fashion as understood by Marxists.
But this regular capitalist conduct is now beginning to be overlaid with ,
yes , their becoming aware that a neo-Malthusian trap is hatching. We are ,
according to Mark's analysis, in a qualitatively new situation from Marx's
day, in which the historically concrete nature of the means of production ,
specifically the arch-strategic raw material fossil fuels, and its depletion
become determinative over and beyond the mode of production and its laws of


My point is we are not at the end of a natural resource.


CB: If "we" includes the next couple of generations of the human species, our
children and grandchildren, then "we" certainly are at the end of an
ARCH-CRITICAL AND STRATEGIC natural resource in 40 to 80 years.  In forty
years my son will be 53.


 But David W
and Charles J make an equally important point, we are not at the end of
technology, of development.  What we are at is simply the point where
the means of production, the needs of production, have run up against
the limits of the relations of production, the limits of capital, of
wage-labor, of private property. And that point indicates not the
opening of the era of wars for resources, but the opening of the era of

And if that's and ABC course, that's fine.  Beats the hell out of the
other scenarios I've seen lately.



CB: We , especially Mark, know the ABC's.

 Here's another ABC of Marxism: It is not a dogma, by which rigid schema are
mechanically applied in every situation.It is always historically concrete,
ever considering the fresh facts. And further, it recognizes that things turn
into their opposites, such that theory , like reality must make qualitative
leaps, revolutions so to speak.  I think Mark is saying we are in such a
situation with our theory now.

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