Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Saturday, 24 July 2010
The ISO and BP how Capitalism is destroying
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: Capitalism - Socialism discussion from Indy Media

The ISO and BP how Capitalism is destroying
the planet do you agree?

The ISO and BP how Capitalism is destroying
the planet do you agree?


author: A green Anarchist

The ISO (Internationalist Socialist Organization) is having a discussion about the
BP oil spill and how Capitalism is destroying the planet. They
are saying that Socialism would be better and if oil
production was state controlled then we would not have these
disasters happen. I don't agree an here is why.

Socilaism is a moral philosophy as is
capitalism. Today we tend to think of them both as sciences
but they started as moral philosophies and remain so today.
Socialism shares with captalism as far as I can tell, and I am
not the only one saying this a economic growth worldview.
Which is to say Industrialization is inevitable and we can and
must continue to grow the economy.
The big problem that I
see with this is that we live on a finite planet and that
there is only so much stuff that we can chew up and spitt out.
A lot of people believe that science is going to save us, and
I think that not only is this not possible it is foolish. This
is coming from someone who has been studying peak oil for the
last six years and believe it to be resl snd believe that we
have already past it.
What are your thaughts on the
matter? And does anyone want to go with me on the 29th to
debate tgis with the ISO? Thanks

Here is a link to the
event  http://portlandsocialists.org/


I'm afraid I have to


As much as I despise the ISO (and I do) there
is an important distinction between Capitalism and Socialism in any
form. Capitalism by its very design requires the production of
Capital and the expansion of Industry. When that expansion and
production declines, you have a Recession. When it stalls, you have
Market Failure/Depression. Industrialization and economic growth,
while interrelated, are not interchangeable. In Marxian thought the
Proletariat revolution shall occur when Capitalism produces a
sufficiently industrialized and uniform global economy. The
following stage of social development, Socialism, is intended to
mark the period in time where the means of production - Industry -
are used only to sustain the human race; rather than under
Capitalism where they are used to expand and destroy Capital. While
depletion shall continue under Socialism, the truth of the matter is
that consumption is an inevitability of existence. They key point to
focus on is the DIFFERENCE in depletion - like taking a sip of water
in comparison to gorging yourself at an all you can eat buffet,
Socialism is, in comparison, significantly less consumptive than
Capitalism. This is to say nothing of how workplace democracy and
decentralization (none of that Leninist garbage, genuine Socialism)
will give us a far greater control of how much we consume than a
continued reliance on a Bourgeoisie/Managerial class under
Capitalism would.


Thorn is essentially

Mike Novack

Continuously pointing out how destructive
capitalism is for the argument does NOT (by itself) make that
socialism WILL be better in that regard.

pointing out that it is necessarily a characteristic of capitalism
to require expansion and that THIS property might not be present
under socialism does NOT mean that it will be absent. That's just an
argument that socialism COULD POSSIBLY be better. But the people who
keep making this argument refuse to specify any better model; in
fact trefuse to specify ANY model. That makes their argument "any
form of socialism would be better" and that simply is not the case.

Besides -- a major logic flaw thinking that arguing against
capitalism is the same as arguing FOR socialism. For that to make
sense you have to have already bought in to a theory of history that
is purely linear with a directed arrow of "progress". In other
words, have to BELIEVE (as in religious beliefs) that the only
alternative to capitalism is socialism. Clearly in the past we
humans have managed to organize our societies in ways that were
neither (capitalism is at most a few hundred years old).

Don't take that wrong --- All I mean by that is "historical
determinists" can't ASSUME all of us out here accept that theory of
history as truth. Need to always be including in your arguments "and
assuming that historical determinism is true and that we humans have
"progressed" to the point where the only social arrangements
possible are capitalism or socialism" THEN arguing against
capitalism is arguing FOR socialism.


Re: Thorn is essentially


I'm going to have to respectfully disagree
with Mr. Novack. "Historical Determinism" is a pejorative applied to
Marxism by those who don't fully understand the nature of Marx's
work. This is partly because Marxism is a complex subject, partly
because it has been politicized, and partly because Leninist
organizations like the ISO have really screwed it up. The "laws"
that define progress in Marxist thought were not intended to serve
as some supernatural endorsement of a particular ideology over
another. Rather they were meant to emphasize the fact that as a
system operates over an extended period of time, participants within
that system begin to recognize certain consequences of that system
as being inherent to it. Marx's Theory (emphasize on the word
theory) was that Capitalism was going to produce a particular set of
consequences as the masses, in turn, would come to several general
conclusions about the desirability of Capitalism itself. The
consequences of these realizations, the ensuing conflict and
paradigm shift, were what Marx called Socialism.

critics have often derided his work for the conspicuous absence of a
concise definition of Socialist society and its instrumentations.
But that lack of definition is crucial to Marxist thought when you
consider all of the aforementioned. Marx didn't believe we walk down
the path of Socialism because "History" commanded us to, because we
all became adherents to Marxist thought, because it is the "only"
option available to us, Rather he argued that we build a society in
contrast to Capitalism and in an effort to succeed where it fails.
By taking the same system, projecting its consequences, Marx made a
guess as to the qualities of that future society.

accuracy of Marx's conclusions are undeniable. If you look at the
sum of Anti-Capitalist thought and the forms of Anti-Capitalism
which have prospered by means of the extent to which they resonate
with the common man, you find a great deal of consistent and
overlapping themes that are perfectly in line with the
characteristics of Socialism as outlined by Marx. Many of these
anti-capitalist philosophies have been critical of Marx and Marxism,
many have been designed to account for the perceived failings of
Marxism and yet none of them departed from the crucial elements of
Marxism. Is this because we have been forced by the Party to
formulate all Anti-Capitalist thought in a manner that coincides
with Marx or is it because that in the process of formulating any
alternative to Capitalism one inevitability is going to the very
kind of conclusions Marx is talking about? Whether we have a
successful Anarchist revolution, a PareCon revolution, the success
of any revolution that comes from the working class in the way Marx
talks about is going to be a vindication of Marxist thought.

And from that I'd disagree the argument that "rejecting
Capitalism doesn't mean Socialism will be better in terms of the
environment". If Capitalism gets so bad that some sort of global
awakening takes place, you can rest assured that environmental
degradation will play a role in it. If we're going to overthrow
Capitalism and not establish a system that is inherently better than
it, what is the point of overthrowing it in the first place? I know
I - along with the millions of other ecologically-minded people out
there - will continue to push for a sustainable future during the
revolution and through the democratic channels of a Socialist




more discussion


Is the Person or Profit


In Marx' understanding, persons are
commodified and degraded under the fetishism of market, capital and
money where the market or profit are made central. Reductionism and
alienation occur when life is reduced to the market economy, CEOs
are stylized "job creators" and workers degraded as "cost factors."

In the 50s, we had a guns-and-butter economy without limits.
Pushing the workers and increasing productivity was the panacea. In
the 80s with the neoliberal counter-revolution, Reagan reduced the
top tax rate from 71% to 24% and gave capital all freedom in the
"trickle down" mythology. In the current financial crisis,
pyromaniacs are called fire-fighters and speculators "investors."
Trust will be more distant than a star until the financial sector is
shriveled, working hours are reduced and redistribution occurs from
top to bottom.

As the Sabbath was made for man and not man
for the Sabbath, the economy should be a part of life, not a
steamroller crushing creativity and self-determination.

is a link to an essay on Erich Fromm. The future will be brighter
when we overcome our estrangement and send the architects of crisis
back to the golf course!





The ISO are $ocialists,
not socialists


I don't currently have the time to type the
book that it takes to properly get into the subjects raised here,
but let me point you to an excellent talk that addresses why
socialism is necessary to save humanity and the planet.


Video at -  http://www.megaupload.com/?d=GNFJC51X


Socialist Worker on A
truly sustainable Society

Meredith (ISO)

Socialist Worker has excerpts from the new
Haymarket book "Ecology and Socialism" that fit well into this
thread. I encourage people to check out the article and let us know
what you think.



This still does

answer my question.

How to solve the growth problem. Some of you
said that I was wrong and then went on to say that Socialism would
be like sipping oil from a glass rather than gorging at an all you
can eat buffet. Then still others tried to make yourselves sound
very intelligent and used a lot of big words.

The bottom
line is this oil and fossil fuels ot finite and will run out this is
an undisputed fact which we have known for a long time. Today most
of out energy is made using fossil fuels. So with demand rising
"growth" and this would happen in a socialist country as much as a
capitalist country which is why the Soviet Union fell. The Soviet
Union could not provide for the basic demands of it's population
furthermore the educated class demanded more materials and a higher
standard of living. Not to mention what happened to tha Arial Sea
which is one of the worst enviromental disasters in history.

I don't believe science will save us so I refuse to believe
in any political idialiogy thst believes in growth as the answer to
societies proplems, and thank you Steve I totally agree.




The socialists seem to be forgetting or
denying that BURNING OIL by itself is a global catastrophe. No
leaking needed. A socialist economy could run a completely
leak-proof, worker safe, even egalitarian etc., oil economy and the
environment would still fall apart around us. Burning any fossil
Hydroelectric dams will
destroy all of the global salmon runs if global warming doesn't.
Dammed up rivers also produce huge amounts of greenhouse gasses by
creating big anaerobic decaying pits of organic matter. Sometimes
more greenhouse gasses than coal burning power plants. Look it up.

But let's be clear here, producing and maintaining solar
panels, or windmills, or thermal generators, or whatever is also
needlessly polutive, wasteful and harmful.
Metal mining requires
the destruction of huge tracts of land and poisons streams and
rivers. It increasingly requires the use of large quantities of
cyanide and other toxic chemicals. The production of plastic
releases Dioxins (some of the most deadly compounds known), and then
the plastics that we use continue to leak dioxins and other harmful
chemicals into the general environment (wherever it is that they
happen to be, in your home, outside, wherever).
Recycling is
also a chemical and energy intensive industrial process that harms
the environment and is wasteful to the degree that eventually, as a
system, it will run out of raw materials to circulate.
Any way
you cut it, fossil fuel and electric infrastructures are not
sustainable. And by "not sustainable" I do not mean just mean "dirty
and regrettable but still an option, if only a not so good one"
that's not what "not sustainable" means! It doesn't mean "yucky, but
workable." It means that IT PHYSICALLY CANNOT CONTINUE. A
non-sustainable practice will stop itself from continuing either by
completely depleting the resources it needs to continue OR by
destroying the environment to the degree that human life cannot be
sustained- whichever comes first.
Heck, even a steam industry is
not sustainable... most of the U.S. was deforested during or even
before the early industrial revolution alone. Early Middle Eastern,
African and European civilizations that practiced intensive grain
agriculture were not sustainable (while it would appear on the other
hand that indigenous milpa -maize, squash, beans, etc.- farming is
rather sustainable). Most of the lifestyles that we have come to
think of as "civilized" are just not sustainable.

But don't
sweat it. Biologically modern humans have been around for 200,000
years. Large-scale industrial energy infrastructures have been
around for roughly 100 years. That's less than 0.1% of the time that
humans have been around. Meaning that I'm sure we'll be able to
figure out how to live just fine again without that utterly
frivolous, completely unnecessary crap.
The ghosts of
essentially all of your ancestors going back to the earliest humans
would probably laugh in your face if you tried to tell them that "I
can't imagine living without electricity! Certainly it can't be


Re: This still does


Whoa whoa whoa. Slowdown there. The person
asking this question - who I assume to be you - asked for
clarification, from a Socialist standpoint, about industrialization.
Not the use of Fossil Fuels. The consumption of natural resources is
an inevitability but the consumption of Fossil Fuels is not.
Throughout this discussion I have maintain the orthodox Marxist view
(which is not sustained by Leninist organizations) that Socialism is
not possible without Capitalism first reaching a particular level of
development. It is from the Capitalist's mindless industrialization
that the peoples of the world become members of the Proletariat and
in turn the conditions for a Socialist revolution are eventually
made possible.

In Marx's time the issue of environmentalism
wasn't nearly as pronounced and so it wasn't really an element of
his work. But considering the fact that Marx did believe Capitalism
would produce a set of conditions so terrible that it would cause a
global class movement, its rational to say he would have included
environmental degradation in his theory had he been living today.
consumerism, global warming denial, and general complacency towards
our environment are deeply ingrained in the Capitalist system. It is
these characteristics, necessary to sustain the demand for consumer
goods that fuel growth of the Capitalist system, that will
invariably prevent the ruling class from acting in a manner that
prevents some sort of catastrophe down the road. When this
catastrophe occurs, it WILL indisputably demonstrate that Capitalist
development is at the heart of the declining integrity of our
planetary ecosystem. When this catastrophe occurs, Capitalism will
be unable to cope with the massive, destabilizing strain it places
on Global Markets. When this catastrophe occurs, it will compact
with all the other insidious tyrannies that exist to maintain the
system and burden the working class - political, social,
intellectual, economic, etc.

It figures that such a
culmination of events would be the spark that lights the proverbial
fuse - causing that global awakening that precedes the true
Socialist revolution predicted in Marx's work. This environmental
catastrophe will inevitability be a crucial element and focus of the
democratic, non-hierarchial reorganization of our planet; as the
masses will seek to establish a system which will not repeat the
disaster that was so horrific that it helped cause a historically
unequaled paradigm shift the world over.

Because we are
unavoidably moving towards a totally industrialized world today, by
the time such an event occurs its logical to assume that
industrialization will be even more prevalent. On a planet with a
human population of billions - all of whom who are trained to
operate and dependent on industry - it would be impossible to
immediately abandon industry without causing starvation that in
unlike any of our most horrible nightmares. But because these
industries will be operated to SUSTAIN humanity rather than to
simply perpetuate growth for profit, immediate steps - such as the
abolition of Fossil Fuels and the mass adoption of Alternative
Energies - will be immediately possible. As the jump in awareness
that is necessary to operate a democratic, non-hierarchal society
spurs on infinitely greater and more socially-mindful education, as
the prosperity inherent to operating industry for need affords the
masses more time to develop other skills, the process of slowly
reducing the need for industrial dependency will steadily alter our
economies and in turn the size/composition of the human race as
whole. Conversely the depletion of the Earth's resources - slowed
but ever present - will never allow a global society of
collectively-orientated people to simply ignore the state of the
Earth - thus insuring energies will be consistently dedicated to
mitigating humanity's impact on the Earth.

Although all of
the aforementioned is quite complicated (and will be even more so in
practice), the fact that such a future is possible and well within
the operating confines of SOME socialist thought I hope I have
successfully helped you understand how it is simply not realistic to
put Socialism on the same level as Capitalism. And to reiterate my
emphasis on the world "some" large elements of what I've outlined
here are simply structurally impossible under some forms of
Socialist thought - primarily Leninist ones. As you have correctly
stated the Soviet Union unilaterally failed to distinguish itself
much less the "greatness" of Capitalism despite its barbarity.
Leninist thought retains one of the most crucial and powerful
elements of the Capitalist system - the necessity of hierarchal
power structures due to what the perceive as the incompetency of the
masses. When you keep hierarchy, you keep an unequal distribution of
power. When you keep an unequal distribution of power, you establish
the basis of a class system and when you have a class system you
have class interests which compel some to control and exploit the
people. It is this basic principle that has rendered all attempts at
Leninist Socialism miserable failures with unforgivable loses of
life. The ruling class of the Soviet Union - the beloved
"professional revolutionaries" and "People's Party" worshiped by the
Leninists - never care about the people just like their Capitalist
counterparts; only the perpetuation and defense of their power and
wealth. When these inherently selfish elements are steering the
ships of our nations, they cannot be convinced to avoid the icebergs
of ecological devastation that threaten to hurt everyone but them.


Get a grip Thorn23.Jul.2010


Thorn,you sound more like Bill O'Rilley or
some of the others on Fox 'News.'


Posted by Joe Anybody at 3:28 PM PDT

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