MR editorial, Dec. 2002

dmschanoes dmschanoes at
Sun Nov 9 13:52:24 MST 2003

2050 is most definitely not the consensus, at least not among the
Hubbertists like Campbell, Deffeyes, Ivanhoe, Barnett, Duncan.  Campbell,
whom Jon refers to repeatedly thinks the peak is already behind us-- as do
some of the others.

So now we have gone from Wolfowitz writing a "what if" paper in 1992-- an 8
year look ahead-- to a 50 year?  What makes the 2050 peak more pressing upon
the bourgoisie in 2000 than in 1990?  Or 1986?  Or 1998?  The only peak that
matters to the owners of capital is the peak in profits, and all the
visionaries employed to peer 10 years or 50 years ahead are the economic
equivalent of religious hucksters-- promising damnation or salvation for the
do right/do wrong hypocritical faithful, while everybody keeps bumping into
everybody elses hands in the till.

What you regard as stagnation is not the issue-- what is the issue is the
rate of growth of petroleum demand-- it is simply not anywhere near the
DOE's qualified, designated, caveated emptored "high growth" scenario.  The
DOE produces various scenarios to test models and to suggest weaknesses in
current methods of analysis and data gathering.  It would probably help if
you relied a little less on secondary sources and reviewed the annual Energy
Outlook's produced by the DOE's EIA.   As it stand, the 90s were not a
period of stagnation throughout Asia and Latin America, and not globally.
The 80s were, globally, despite Japan's higher growth rate.

And even if they the 90s  were, then that would argue even more strongly
against the "high growth" scenario of the next 20 years, Louis.  What
possible material evidence can one produce, if indeed capitalism is nothing
but the magnification of stagnation over the past 30 years, for the
applicability of the high growth outlook?

What I suggest here is that we analyze the movements of the capitalist
system based on the actual inputs to the categories of that movement.  That
is the great power of Marxism and after all its is the most important input
into the movement, wage-labor, that provides the ultimate revolutionary
critique. To fail to do so eventually leads one, by the nose, right back
into the church of Mal-en-thus-iastic hucksterdom.


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