[Marxism] Nuclear Issues

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Fri Jul 14 11:06:48 MDT 2006

I agree with David. I don't think a a non-Marxist, or a supra-class, or a
non-socioeconomic approach to environmentalism, whatever you wish to call
it (bourgeois environmentalism?), is useful here. In many ways, this
discussion is a reprise of other environmental discussions that have
appeared here, from time to time. Similar, for example, to the discussion
of the "population problem." If we start from the point of view that we
are living on a finite world in which all life forms are strongly
interlinked by a myriad of ecological and geological chains, then it is
rather easy to conclude that humans anywhere should be concerned about
environmental degradation everywhere. True enough. But, we live in
concrete social circumstances that dictate a more nuanced environmental
approach, one based on existing class and national divides (as a
corallary, in Iran, I would hope to see an approach like the various
movements around environmental racism in this country). I know that Nestor
and the folks at Reconquista, for example, have taken strong exception to
the actions of Greenpeace, because their one-size-fits-all
environmentalism ("environmental imperialism"?) comes as a colonialist
imposition. I maintained earlier that by resolving the imperialism
"issue," we do far more to resolve the problem of nuclear technologies
than we could possibly achieve by shouting "No Nukes!" at the Iranians. If
I might again draw an analogy with the "population problem," experience
has shown that the issue has always been a stalking horse for racist and
imperialist control over the demographics and hence economies of colonized
peoples. In addition, experience has also shown that demographic
transition occurs (population growth rate slows down), not when
imperialism calls on Third World women to stop having babies, or even
sterilizes them, but when oppressed people attain a measure of sovereignty
and social stability and security and well-being.


> Message: 10
> Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 19:41:31 -0400
> From: "Yoshie Furuhashi" <critical.montages at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] Nuclear Issues

> As you know, I'm with you on the defense of Iran's sovereignty, but
> that doesn't sit well with environmentalism.
> To counter air and water pollution, as well as to conserve natural
> resources, an environmentalist perspective can't be merely national --
> it has to take into account how what happens in one country can affect
> many others.
> To take just one example, depending on where reactors are located
> (e.g., close to the border), nuclear accidents have international
> implications.
> --
> Yoshie

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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