[Marxism] From the latest LRB

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 17 13:38:03 MDT 2007

It’s the Oil
Jim Holt: Iraq’s Lucrative Mess

“Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received 
opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney 
perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ 
precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit 
strategy’. Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is 
more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its 
long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich 
nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire 
country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by 
the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 
billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 
300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US 
forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The 
value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would 
be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of 
comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is 
around $1 trillion.” [full: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n20/holt01_.html]


Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings
Jerry Fodor: The Case against Natural Selection

“An appreciable number of perfectly reasonable biologists are coming to 
think that the theory of natural selection can no longer be taken for 
granted. This is, so far, mostly straws in the wind; but it’s not out of 
the question that a scientific revolution – no less than a major 
revision of evolutionary theory – is in the offing. Unlike the story 
about our minds being anachronistic adaptations, this new twist doesn’t 
seem to have been widely noticed outside professional circles. The 
ironic upshot is that at a time when the theory of natural selection has 
become an article of pop culture, it is faced with what may be the most 
serious challenge it has had so far. Darwinists have been known to say 
that adaptationism is the best idea that anybody has ever had. It would 
be a good joke if the best idea that anybody has ever had turned out not 
to be true.” [full: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n20/fodo01_.html]

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