[Marxism] What do Marxists do when labor is no longer the limiting factor of production?

ehrbar at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu ehrbar at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu
Tue Jul 12 16:39:34 MDT 2011

In response to my "are we too nice" posting, someone wrote
me something I think I agree with (still have to think about
it more):

> Yes, we need disciplined cooperation, but not to
> produce as much as possible. We need to maximize
> our wealth by minimizing our waste and consumption.

> Labor shortage is a quaint theory. Today, we take the
> wealth of nature with machines, and that makes us all
> freeriders. Resources and pollution limits are now the
> limiting factors, the weak links in the chain of production.

> Planet parasites unite! Don't kill the host.
> The freerider concept is the problem and it
> drives the "need" to produce as much as possible,
> even though that is way too much.

I hope the author of the above doesn't mind me forwarding
his text anonymously.  I leave it up to him to identify
himself if he so wishes.

I usually don't send the same posting to several mailing
lists at once--I consider it rude--but this time I did.  I
sent my "are we too nice" thing also to a mailing list for
Utah environmental activists.  From them I got a response to
which I then responded as follows.  I probably risk my
reputation as Marxist or even progressive if I show you
this, but I got good responses from the Utah enviros and
wonder what you in the marxism list say about it.  The rest
here is my [E1250] posted to the energy list:

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 22:10:42 -0600
To: Renewable Energy Policies for Utah <energy at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu>
Subject: [E2150]  Re: Perhaps we are too nice?

> So what should we do to help the starving people now?

Forget about helping others.  The emphasis must be on
co-operation.  This is different than helping.  Here are some

If you have a job in fossil fuel dependent industries we
expect you to re-train for something that does not destroy
us all.  This is co-operation.  We will also fight like hell
for a social safety net for those who lose their jobs.  If
we were in power, such a safety net would exist.  But we are
not in power.  Don't blame us for the class struggles you
lost in the past.

Co-operation also means: if you have a green technology, we
expect you to give it to those in need, in Africa etc.  We
will not ask those in Africa to pay for it, but we may ask
them to introduce birth control--while again fighting like
hell for an old age insurance system so that they don't need
so many children to secure their old age.  Again don't
make us responsible if it does not exist.

Anyone who wants to take private advantage of the calamity
for all is a free-rider or worse.  If you co-operate with me
then your damage is my damage, not my gain.  I don't need to
be altruistic to want to minimize damage to you.  It is in
my interest because it gives me a stronger ally.

Even if we co-operate this does not mean we can solve all
the problems of the world or can afford paying reparations
to everyone harmed by a system not of our making.
Co-operation also means: get over what was done to you in
the past.  Don't think that being exploited made you
a better person.


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