The oil thing

Charles Brown BrownBingb at
Wed Jan 22 07:26:47 MST 2003

From: Charles Jannuzi <b_rieux at>
Subject: The oil thing

Hello Charles J.


However, all my reading convinces me that it is
both too simplistic to say , for example, a war
on Iraq (or in 2001, Afghanistan) is all about
Iraq's oil.


CB: I was going to say I didn't say it is all about oil, then I thought
"well, what is it all about (Alfie)  _but_ oil  , in the main ?"  I think a
little bit of it is about the fact that with the fall of the SU the U.S.
military industrial complex is extremely redundant so there is an important
task of manufacturing new "threats" to justify not cutting military spending
by 9/10's. But the class war dimension , the capitalist motive, of this is
still "blood for oil profits" in this particular situation.
Anyway , on this thread I think you want to say this war is not all about oil
_depletion_, no ?  Most of your discussion below argues that it is all about
oil. I agree with you.


And if you think saying 'it is all
about their oil' is going to sell a peace
movement in the US, you have got to be kidding
yourself anyway. Paint a doom and gloom
Malthusian scenarios over oil, and many Americans
will more than gladly support the Bush and Cheney
oil, construction and defense mafias


CB: Now I agree with you on this. I'm not sure exactly how Mark's thesis
should be translated into anti-war propaganda at this point. Lots of
Americans would go for
"Us for ourselves, the devil take the hindmost" , if they thought we were
headed for the Catastrophe ( with capital "C") that Mark suggests. A real raw
survival of the fittest would definitely kick in. Maybe that's why there are
so many survival shows on tv now ( Lou ?).

But "in house" ,we Marxists have to decide what the facts are today. Is oil
running out in the near future or not ?  Then we'll figure out how to
communicate it to the workers. If oil starts to run out and we didn't know
it, we lose our claim to being scientists,a basis for our credibility.

Also, if oil is running out, somebody within the ruling class knows it,even
if they aren't letting on. For them to admit it would be a little like
admitting that we HAVE been visited by aliens at Roswell , or the like.
"Might" cause panic.



Right now the national security state of the US
wants higher priced oil. It wants higher priced
oil because it thinks that this will help stem
deflation, will shore up profits among a core
group of US companies, and will help pay for
future development of oil--such as in the Caspian

Iraq is just too good not to have a war against.
First, the US thinks it can, in part, pay for
military costs with their higher oil. And a war
in Iraq is going to do that--cause still higher
oil prices--even as the US hasn't got all those
problems in Venezuela sorted out (and have no
doubt that the problems aren't being sorted out
because the US supports those creating the


CB: Yes, I think the war is about oil's role in the classical capitalist
dynamics AND possibly with some overlay of what Mark says, because if there
is depletion, somebody in the capitalist regime knows it. I mean they can
count or have people who count for them. So, they want to get control of all
of it, so they will be the surviving fittests.

By the way , this is a materialist argument and explanation, just at a deeper
level of materialism. You know , _The German Ideology_. Man must eat, sleep
and have shelter and have sex before doing art and religion.


Second, Iraq's position is just too
strategic to ignore. It is, in fact, one of the
most strategically located countries you could
possibly imagine. Not only does it have a large
oil supply, but it neighbors most of the world's
key oil suppliers. Moreover, Iraq has long been
identified as key in securing multiple routes for
Caspian oil and gas, the security of which has
been explicitly stated US foreign and energy
policy for years.


CB: Agree


So US foreign and military and energy policy is
not going ahead with the idea that oil and gas
are going to run out anytime soon (remember,
these people also thought that energy market
deregulation and Enron would bring about a new
era both in terms of economic strength to the US
and in terms of 'more efficient' energy markets).
On the contrary, they are going ahead with the
idea that the developed and developing world's
INCREASING dependence on fossil fuels is the
reason the US should continue as the world's only
'hyperpower' both in terms of military but also
in business and finance (e.g., global companies,
capital markets, etc.).

Suggested reading:


 Yes, they  ( the capitalists) are infamously shortsighted,  and selfish ,
even to the extent of being indifferent to the welfare of their own
grandchildren. They are very capable of running us all off a cliff as long as
they enjoy their lifetimes.

thanks for the reading list.

Charles B.

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