[Marxism] Eating is not over-consumption

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 23 10:03:01 MDT 2009

Barry Brooks wrote:
> Consuming what we need is never over-consumption, but expanding 
> production to produce jobs is requires wasted consumption. Eating is not 
> over-consumption unless one is very fat. Yes, poor people consume too 
> little. We should increase their consumption, but how?
> Real conservation is something that would end the need to waste. Before 
> we can talk about conservation we must understanding the difference 
> between a stock of wealth and a flow of resources.
> http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications/downloads/Herman_Daly_thinkpiece.pdf 

I think it is best for Marxists to differentiate themselves strongly 
from Herman Daly even though he does provide useful empirical data on 
the environmental crisis. He is a neo-Malthusian who has an awful 
position on immigration:

The Sierra Club is holding a member referendum on one of the most 
potentially divisive issues faced by the environmental movement in 
years. The issue is what position, if any, one of America's largest and 
most influential environmental organizations should take on immigration.

In 1996, Sierra Club members adopted a resolution saying the 
organization would take no positions on immigration levels or policies. 
However, a successful petition drive followed, mounted by those who want 
the Sierra Club to advocate for US population control through 
immigration restrictions. The debate has been divisive and bitter, with 
the controversy spilling out into the pages of The New York Times, The 
International Herald Tribune, and numerous other newspapers.

Those who want the Sierra Club to endorse restrictions on immigration – 
those favoring “Alternative A” – include economist Herman Daly, 
Worldwatch Institute president Lester Brown, and former Sierra Club 
associate executive director Brock Evans. They argue that the 
organization needs to advocate rapid stabilization of the US population, 
both through lowering fertility rates and through restricting 
immigration. In a fact sheet sent to Club members and available on the 
Sierra Club Web page, Alternative A proponents cite studies that link a 
predicted US population boom and its ensuing environmental degradation 
to immigrants and their offspring: “The US will add 125 million people 
in the next 40 years if current birth and immigration rates are not 
changed. The impact of this many Americans on US and global ecosystems 
will be severe.”

full: http://www.yesmagazine.com/article.asp?id=831

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