[Marxism] Re:Hu's on First - belated reply I

dmschanoes dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 21 15:22:40 MST 2003


A comrade has forwarded Nick's post to me and since my name or initials have
come up, let me provide a direct response.  First, how good it was to
discover that Nick was alive, well, and functioning, after posting the
Grimes article and then falling off the radar.  I was truly worried, and
thankfullly, for no reason.

So much for niceties.  Melvin gets it, Nick comes close, but not close
enough.  The utility of oil exists only in its social framework, its
framework of production-- thus the issue is one of capital reproduction and
the historical course of value.  Exchange value dissolves all distinctions
of utility in its "aqua regia," translating the utility into a socially
necessary value, which of course, is the mediation established by specific
relations of production.

So....while Nick says some things that are very perceptive-- i.e. that oil
given its "universality" in capitalist production (actually more
transportation than production, but that would be making a permanent
distinction between production and circulation when in fact each is
manifested in the other and the separation is momentary-- that moment
expanding as capital's reproductions become more problematic, less adequate)
can determine the general rate of profit (and not only that, but the
apportionment of profits among the different capitals), he retreats from the
social criticality of this function and back to "entropic traps."

There are no entropic traps in the line item accounting for capitalist
production.  You won't find a placeholder in the budgets of any energy
company for this, and while you might think this is a measure of capital's
shortsightedness, it is nonetheless the same shortsightedness of the
bourgeoise that determines their actions, political and military.  It is the
shortsightedness of exchange value that is the prize for the eyes of the
bourgeoisie, and their concerns for scarcity and depletion are their
nearsightedness expressions of overproduction and devaluation.

The US EIA has just released its 2002 tables on FRS (federal reporting
system) companies' economic performance through 2002.  I recommend that
anyone interested in this matter  review that data, presented in some 35 or
so separate tables.

The EIA has also released its country analysis brief on Norway-- this
analysis contains remarkable insights into the problems and prospects of
current and future North Sea production-- including the fact that total oil
extraction has exceeded by more than 50% original and earlier updated
estimates.

Regards to all anti-Malthusians.

dms





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