[Marxism] Does Peak Oil Theory Help the Bourgeoisie?

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Jun 11 16:27:49 MDT 2008

That is the second most ridiculous statement I've heard recently. It's now
passe to claim there are limits to the exploitation of the natural
environment! I guess that's because it's now passe for Marxists to be
materialists... Marx himself based his entire work on ground rent on
recognition of these intrinsic limits. Whether recognition of these limits
becomes a tool in the hands of the bourgeoisie or not is absolutely
irrelevant: they exist. Peak oil may represent an expression in
(bourgeois) economic terms (i.e., relating the limited supply of this
non-renewable resource through production costs to its actual extraction),
but that hardly makes it useless for Marxists, much less causing it to be
a complete fabrication. And sticking our heads in the sand (or in the
idealist version thereof) and pretending there are no limits, or worse,
preaching faith in the Holy Technological Magic Bullet, will neither turn
the masses against the bourgeoisie, nor assure a material basis for our
survival, much less the construction of socialism.

>Message: 17
>Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 11:00:21 -0400
>From: bauerly at yorku.ca
>Subject: Re: [Marxism] Does Peak Oil Theory Help the Bourgeoisie?

>I am not denying the finitude of oil, but the causes of human society
>that end.  The real danger is in aiding the bourgeoisie in its effort to
>overcome the crisis and to create a new and deeper round of commodification
>through profit seeking.  If it were once radical to claim a limit to the
>exploitation of the natural environment, that time has now passed.  The most
>ardent green constituents are now capitalists.


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