[Marxism] Perfect storm?

rrubinelli rrubinelli at earthlink.net
Sun May 8 15:42:13 MDT 2005

Oh yeah I know the "drill," so to speak, and the drill bit, and like
stocks on the stock market, oil is a commodity so whatever the physical
origins, biotic or not, what the markets respond to, what drives capital
to war is encased in the terms of capitalist production, and not
theoretcial depletions projected out 10, 20, 30 years from now.  In
short, oil may or may not exist in the ground, but it is only  produced,
takes on a social life, as value. It is in the production and
expropriation of value that the secret to, and the secret to the end of
capitalism exists.

We know this drill; been through it beaucoup times, with greater and
lesser rancor, etc.

But the point was, with the original response, the lack of historical
specificity surrounding the current problems of capital, so that the
problems are located in trade deficits, or dollar denominated assets,
and not in the relation of capital to itself, i.e. a conflict between
the means and relations of production....so we get predictions of a
perfect storm, stock market crash, oil peak everyday for twenty years.
Makes it senseless doesn't it?

Is the supply of oil finite?  Of course.  Do we know what that finite
number is?  Of course not.  Even Hubbert's followers have revised upward
that finite number since 1996.

Natural gas?  Don't even start.  Supplies have barely been scratched.

Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to get a good grasp on that number,
but only years after a socialist revolution.

We should all remember that Hubbert started his inquiry with a belief
that world reserves were approximately 500 billion barrels; even better
we should all remember that Hubbert included in his inquiries
predictions that coal production was in decline based on the depletion
of reserves.   Really.

If stocks of labor start dropping, Bush and company will institute
national health care like you can't believe?  You wanna bet?  Because
just the opposite is happening in the developed countries of Western
Europe where population growth rates are dropping and the govts are
doing their best to follow the Thatcher model, privatizing,  reducing
pensions, lengthening working weeks, and capping health care benefits.

No, what is happening is disemployment of greater numbers of workers,
sometimes more quickly sometimes less quickly, simultaneous with
reduction in medical benefits, on a corporate and national scale.
Latest move cuts 10 billion from Medicaid while allowing an additional
106 billion in tax cuts. Or internal outsourcing, 3rd worlding the
working class, or in the case of the EU, balkanization of the working

It ain't supply and it ain't demand.  Supply and demand don't exist
except as moments in the reproduction of capital, in the return on

It's one thing to discuss what the potential limit is on petroleum
stocks, but it's something else completely to say that the US invaded
Iraq to control its oil supply, to break OPEC, to secure another
strategic petroleum reserve.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Les Schaffer" <schaffer at optonline.net>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 2:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Perfect storm?


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