Oil and overproduction

David Schanoes dmsch at attglobal.net
Tue Jan 21 06:32:51 MST 2003


Charles,

Thank you, you're a little late, but your comments are welcome.

Enough pleasantries:


Regarding MJ and the ABCs of Marxism:  MJ says they, the ABCs don't apply to
oil.  He says it's not important or at least not as important as the studies
of oil that showing its looming disappearance. MJ says the ABCDEFs don't
apply because overproduction is not the issue.

I say this conflict with Iraq is not about depleted resources.  Actually
it's not about "oil" as oil.  To say that is to fetishize the commodity even
more. It's about the price of oil, it's about the costs of production, it's
about the overproduction of oil interfering with the reproduction of
capital, or to say it in the ABC form, it's about the falling rate of profit
in the oil production industry.

Others equally versed in the ABCs have entered the discussion with
assertions that oil is the ultimate capitalist commodity given its essential
role in all other commodity production.  However, somehow this ultimate
commodity doesn't conform to the analysis Marx developed of commodity
production.  The categories of "Value, Price, and Profit" can't be applied
I'm told.  (Aside to LP, if VP&P can't be applied to oil or to private
agriculture in Cuba, just where do they apply?).

I don't dispute anyone's credentials or scholarliness.  Neither do I care
about credentials and scholarliness. We're not living in a world where
credentials and scholarliness can, in and of themselves, claim validity.And
I did not deploy the category of "ABCs."  But either the ABCs apply or they
don't.  And if they don't you will have a hard time finding in your analysis
the necessity, (in the ABC Marxist sense) for a revolution or program for
rational transformation of the mode of production.

I believe I provided certain numbers on price, rates of return, levels of
investment to buttress my assertions.  Those are my credentials and I have
yet to see an alternative provided by my honorable critics.

I have also provided a negative example so to speak, in the scrapping of a
multibillion dollar plan to extract more oil from Canadian oil sands.

So let me close by adding a comment by two  oil production professionals ,
one of a company  working in Iraq, one not, one quoted in The Guardian
(11/22) one in the WSJ (1/16 I believe):

1. (Guardian) This oil { from Iraq} could cost  as little as 97 cents a
barrel.  "Ninety cents a barrel for oil that sells for $30-- that's the kind
of business anyone would want to be in." John Teeling  head of Petrel
Resources.

2. "If we go to war it's not about oil.  But the day the war ends it has
everything to do with oil."  L. Goldstein, Pres. Petroleum Industry Research
Foundation.

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

ABC, easy as 123.

DMS


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