[Marxism] Class Struggle, Fossil Fuels, and Environmental Catastrophe

ehrbar ehrbar at lists.econ.utah.edu
Thu Jun 19 09:26:14 MDT 2008

S. Artesian wrote:

> "Numbers" of humans will decline?  This, I infer, refers to absolute 
> numbers, not just decline in rate of growth.

Yes.  If the carrying capacity of the planet has indeed been exceeded
(which I assume in my article), then this means numbers will decline.
If we don't manage an orderly climbdown, then they will decline
by famines and plagues.

> How are we as Marxists going to advocate that?

It is our duty to tell the truth and to do what we can that this
decline will be orderly.  The established powers cannot do this,
because the changes necessary for this climbdown to be orderly are so
fundamental (a big culture change of more sustainable consumption, at
most one child per woman, etc.) that they must come from the masses
themselves.  They cannot be imposed by carrot and stick by a class

> IMO, to advance a struggle against destruction of the environment, to 
> protect living and mineral resources, we really have to oppose anything that 
> can be taken as Malthusian.

Are you saying that the earth has unlimited carrying capacity for humans?

> Rational, social control of resources, the use of resources for...use, not 
> value accumulation-- actual increased economic development through 
> socialism, not austerity or depletion based agitation for reform, 
> represents the best course forward.

We do not have time for such fundamental changes such as socialism
to take effect.  This would destroy the mass basis which alone can
be powerful enough to make a difference in the time frame which we have
(which is less than one decade).


(author of http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/ehrbar180608.html )

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