[Marxism] Class Struggle, Fossil Fuels, and Environmental Catastrophe
David Picón Álvarez
david at miradoiro.com
Thu Jun 19 09:55:42 MDT 2008
From: "ehrbar" <ehrbar at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Are you saying that the earth has unlimited carrying capacity for humans?
Unlimited is too much to say, though note that the question itself is not so
well posed (since humans could probably live outside Earth too). What is not
in doubt is that the Earth has a varying carrying capacity for humans
depending on many factors, most relevant being the industrial, technical and
agricultural base, and the mode of production and consequent law of value at
work. If you have any reservations on this statement, consider how many
hunter-gatherer humans the Earth could sustain (no, 4000000000 is not the
right answer). It is therefore at least unjustified to presuppose that the
current tech base and mode of production have exhausted the possibilities
for growth, and I believe it might be a case of reification of current
economic and technical circumstances.
> 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).
If you think in less than one decade you can convinced the world of a
one-child policy easier than you can convince them to adopt a socialist
project, I think you're miscalibrating the relative difficulties involved.
Whereas a good half of the world or so wouldn't be radically opposed to
socialism, at least if we judge from the ideological conditions in places
like the PRC, LatAm, etc, a one-child policy would be everywhere opposed,
with the potential exception of some bits of Europe which practically are
already in population decline and Japan. If we take this seriusly, the
options are going to involve child licences and similar extremely coercive
methods, food rationing in order to push down expectations, and the like.
Basically a coercive and violent reactionary plan of action to dispossess
the people from the gains made during the industrial revolution. I can't
advocate for something like that, nor do I believe it necessary (though I'll
admit perhaps the former influences the latter).
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