[Marxism] Review of Wheen's 'Biography' of *Capital*

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 22 20:53:22 MDT 2006


Yet before long, Marx's catastrophist themes were once again in vogue, as 
gloomy promoters of apocalyptic scenarios endorsed Marx's warnings of the 
environmentally destructive and socially corrosive consequences of 
capitalist enterprise. Yet Marx anticipated the transcendence of the 
capitalist order through the quest for the higher development of the 
productive potential of society. He never envisaged an era of decadence in 
which the capitalist system would curtail its own development in the 
pursuit of fashionable nostrums such as 'sustainability' or 'environmental 


TRANSLATION: If you have qualms about genetically modified crops, DDT, 
atomic energy, profligate production of greenhouse gases, gargantuan 
hydroelectric dams and cutting down every last tree in the Amazon 
rain-forest, then you must not be a Marxist. These people should not be 
allowed to even use his name. Also, note the euphemistic "quest for the 
higher development of the productive potential of society." Sounds exactly 
what Ronald Reagan used to say when he was shilling for General Electric on 
television in the 1950s. And Wheen isn't much better with his involvement 
with the "decent" left backing NATO's war in the Balkans.

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