Swans Commentary: Letters to the Editor - letter274



Letters to the Editor

(November 4, 2013)


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Manuel García, Jr. on renewables and Marxist romanticism of John Bellamy Foster: "Black Gold, Maximum Entropy"

To the Editor:

I totally disagree with Manuel García, Jr.'s pipe dreams for a (left-wing?) green future under capitalism. Although he views a socialist revolution -- which sees society run for the needs of the many instead of mismanaged to meet the needs of a few -- as a fantasy, I would argue that it is he who is fantasizing. Fighting for an alternative to capitalism is the only rational response to counter these dark destructive times, and it is this, not the mere tinkering with capitalism, that I see it as an exciting and feasible challenge, providing an inspiring project for all that would be liberating for society (to re-appropriate Manuel's words), inspiration for which can be taken from Kshama Sawant's ground-breaking political campaigning in Seattle. http://www.votesawant.org/.

Although Manuel acknowledges that the severe problems we currently face stem from being bound to "the rails of... capitalist economics," for some reason he believes that there is no "objective evidence" to suggest that we need to do away with our bankrupt economic system that puts profit before human need. Rather than having faith in humanity's ability to shed the shackles of capitalism that act to prevent us from using already existing technologies to manage our resources to meet the needs of everyone, he says "it seems realistic to conclude that humanity's conceptual and social limitations will lead to its premature extinction sooner than need be the case..."

Having adopted such a disempowering line of thought, the misanthrope in Manuel is then fully revealed... after all, he concludes, such a "premature extinction would not be a 'bad thing' for Planet Earth..." Following this line of thought, it is humanity that "is terminally delirious with fossil fuel fever" (even if the majority of it does not profit from this alleged delirium). It seems more reasonable to conclude that it is not humanity that suffers from this fever but just a handful of ultra-rich capitalists who determine the planet's energy policies with total disregard for the rest of humanity. Of course, a socialist revolution is considered strictly impossible for Manuel, and on this he is clear: "The moral choice between restraint for the good of all life versus gaining an immediate boost to private power will always be won by the latter."

Best wishes,

Michael Barker
London, UK - October 29, 2013


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Published November 4, 2013
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