tuna and the environment

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Fri Nov 7 15:49:12 MST 2003


From: Mike Friedman <mikedf at amnh.org>

First, What is the point of this argument? Of course it is capitalist
industrial fishing, motivated by profits, that has driven tuna to the
brink. Under socialism (and not deformed versions), I don't think this
would be an issue,

--
reply:
This is to live in a dream world. It is not only capitalism, but the way we
look at communism/socialism that drives these problems. Our entire
comprehension is of a land of plenty, with the greatest production levels
ever entertained. Surely we are realizing that this is not an option on a
livable planet.

Many socialists, particularly Marxists, reply to questions of how to reduce
our devastation of the planet 'after the revolution' in a very touchy
manner. It strikes a chord that most of us do not want played-- that
socialist planning doesn't automatically mean that the world is saved. In
fact, if we try to do the basics of what was considered neccessary under
industrialization, our program is FAR WORSE. But, we do have the ability to
change all that.

The reality is that countries and regions who need to trade their resources
to meet immediate human needs will continue to mortgage their futures in
order to make requirements for trade, even under socialist conditions.

Material abundance, so goes the mantra, will increase and be accessible to
all under 'real socialism'. How that will be possible without destroying
the Oceans, Forests, air and fertile lands, we don't really say. Until we
let go of these visions, everything else is, as Marx describes the
Communist League back in his time, 'mere farts in the bathtub'.

Changing our mode of production is ultimately even more important than
changing the ownership, unless our goal is as a red-green friend put it to
me years ago, to 'socialise the means of a dead planet' (Please, Jose and
others, I already know that the planet will be fine, only the people will
be fucked, ad nauseum...). The question then goes something like this: If
the way we power and run everything is horribly unsustainable at the level
it is now-- First World dominance in every sphere, almost nothing consumed
in the Third World-- what the Hell will happen in the process of trying to
equalize global distribution? It means, in a giant make work project, we
will *speed up* the so-called extinction of the planet. If not, then it
means, again, that we need to focus on doing anything possible for North
America to come unglued. But this means going to the very fabric of the
society for where we make our starting point, that everything, all spheres
must come into question, and not merely those that currently are
disadvantageous to the working and toiling classes.

It means it will not be a simple revolution like many of the changes we
have seen, nor 'only' as far reaching as the most thorough going ones we
have seen, either: IT WILL MEAN THE most comprehensive change, if
everything in toto, we have ever experienced yet.

Or we could wave the red flag at the environment, salute it with our gas
masks on and wait another generation or two for the question to be solved
once and for all.

Macdonald Stainsby
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/rad-green

In the contradiction lies the hope.
		--Bertholt Brecht.


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