Peter Grimes interview on Indymedia
Schanoes at MNR.ORG
Tue Nov 4 09:55:21 MST 2003
But on to less childish things as the moderator has suggested...
While we have an obligation to stay current on matters of energy
consumption, energy resources, that currency is social and not natural.
No one is going to argue against the importance of sustaining rather
than destroying the components for life itself. But the problem comes,
and it always comes, in distinguishing the historical from the eternal,
the social from the natural, economy from biology. And the problem
exists, along with the solution, precisely because human activity
transforms the eternal into the historical, the natural into the social,
the biology of life into the economics of class.
While we might say it costs 120 times more expensive to drill 30,000
feet than 5000 feet-- we should say it costs 120 times more TODAY-- and
in fact we can only make such a comparison based on a technology that
has already successfully reduced the costs of drilling to 5000 feet.
The historical costs of the production of oil are the classic example of
this. $1.82 in 1996. Production of oil from the Athabasca tar sands
was deemed unprofitable at prices of less than $25/barrel in 1975 due to
costs of production in the 12-20 dollar range. Latest costs are $4-7
What does Grimes say about the future? Nothing about profit. Nothing
about labor. Only about future and frequent resource wars. Well when
has there been a resource war as Grimes envisions it-- a war for the
hoarding of life sustaining objects, a war for use values? Every war
for capital is about exchange, money, profit, the aggrandizement of
labor. In a word, in brother Melvin's word-- PROPERTY.
Louis is quite right to show the transformation, the compression of
calories, from their natural state into their social consumable "usable"
state as food. But you can't eat oil or LPG so the calories therein are
useless without the conversion, and such conversion is specifically
social, a function of class.
Sometimes Grimes' "biological facts" are just flat out wrong-- as his
discussion of SARS, attributing it to global warming shows. The
mutation and spread of SARS had nothing to do with temperatures,
particularly since the origin was in cooler climates, not one of
elevated temperatures. The mutation jumped to human beings as a result
of poor sanitation, a social condition, not the ambient temperature.
The assaults on the public availability of water by capital have again
absolutely nothing to do with a "shortage" of water. Like the on again
off again shortage of oil, the shortage of water is the panic drum
beaten to stampede the herd into the corral of private property.
Nobody is arguing that socialism can transcend nature, rather, we argue
that what is presented as "natural," in both consequence and origin, is
in fact social, based in the organization of classes.
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