[Marxism] Re: Marxism Digest, Vol 33, Issue 26

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Jul 12 13:38:40 MDT 2006

Yoshie, I'm assuming that you are playing devil's advocate, here. But,
yes, untenable, absolutely. From the biological point of view, ionizing
radiation is anathema to living systems. Some bacteria have the ability to
cope with mutations induced by such radiation, but, unfortunately,
eukaryotes, such as ourselves, with complex chromosomal architecture,
don't. As you are totally aware, we condemn the use of spent uranium
shells for two reasons: toxicity and radiation. You are only too aware of
the sequelae of nuclear weapons. And of the effects of a diminishing ozone
layer. Yet none of these would compare with the long-term effects of the
escape of radioactive material into the environment from massive
accumulations of nuclear waste. As others have pointed out, there is
simply no way to safely dispose of nuclear waste at present. Having said
that, however, I would still defend Iran's (or Cuba's or Brazil's, etc...)
right to use nuclear power, barring a qualitative 'tilt' in the
international balance of forces against imperialism (like its
elimination!). As in most things in politics (and science, too), we
recognize different levels of determination and time-frames. In the long
run, by defending Iran's right to develop and employ nuclear technologies
the against imperialist trampling of that country's national sovereignty,
we are perhaps, speeding up the advent of a day when we can do away with
nuclear technology, altogether.


> Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 15:01:39 -0400
> From: "Yoshie Furuhashi" <critical.montages at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] Nuclear Issues
> To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
> 	<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID:
> 	<cd351fdc0607111201k1150cebq16649990f359a679 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> On 7/11/06, Mike Friedman <mikedf at amnh.org> wrote:
>> nuclear power is untenable
>> would hold true, as it does today in the U.S. (and other imperialist
>> powers).
> If nuclear power were untenable, wouldn't it be also untenable in Iran?
> I believe that the Iranian power elite mean it when they say they are
> interested in using it for electricity production -- see
> <ttp://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/abn050706.html>:
> <blockquote>One of the current objectives of the Islamic Republic of
> Iran in its nuclear development is electricity production.
> Throughout the last three decades, given the increasing social and
> economic development of Iran, the strategy of exploitation of fossil
> resources has been affected by two limiting factors: on one hand, the
> improvement of the living standard and the programs to improve the
> economic indices that must supply the new energy demand in all the
> domestic and national industrial sectors; and, on the other hand, the
> national economy that depends on oil revenues.
> Iran, notwithstanding its great oil and gas deposits, cannot depend on
> these fossil fuels alone to supply itself with energy, for various
> reasons, like the limits of these resources, the greater added value
> of these fuels in processing industries, and environmental
> consequences of their use.</blockquote>
> Is that tenable?  If it is, wouldn't other nations -- especially the
> ones similarly circumstanced -- also be interested in it?
> --

Michael Friedman
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Systematics Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street and Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Office: 212-313-8721

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