imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

Activist Video

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Barry Commoner (1917-2012)

by Daniel Tanura Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at 5:43 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

The economic theory of socialism does not demand an unlimited growth. The capitalist agrarian economy and industry wear out the two exclusive sources of wealth: the earth and workers. Capitalist accumulation and the finite earth are in contradiction.

BARRY COMMONER (1917-2012)

Pioneer of Eco-Socialism

By Daniel Tanura

[This commemorative article published on December 11, 2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.sozonline.de/2012/12/barry-commoner-19172012/.]

On September 30, 2012 Barry Commoner died at the age of 95. By calling a biologist and professor, he was interested in the global functioning of ecosystems.

At Washington University where Commoner taught, he founded the “Center for the Biology of Natural Systems.” Previously he became known at the end of the 1950s through his rejection of nuclear power, particularly surface or above-ground nuclear weapon testing. In 1971 Commoner published “The closing circle” (German translation Wachstumwahn und Umweltkrise 1973). In this bestseller, he showed that everything in nature comes from something and enters into something else. This implies a thinking in cycles that bids farewell to the utilitarian vision where the environment on one side is a reservoir of resources and on the other side a dump for wastes.

The work was strongly marked by his polemic against the couple Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the authors of the “Population Bomb” (1971 that was also a bestseller. As Malthus disciples, the Ehrlichs claimed environmental destruction was mainly due to demographic growth. Commoner countered that argument with a profound analysis of environmental pollution in the US and concluded that the technological factor (the mistakes made in choosing applied technologies) was five times more responsible for destruction of the environment than the demographic factor.

“The closing circle” also demonstrated that Commoner had a solid Marxist education. He actually read “Capital” more attentively than many authors who pretend to have mastered Marx’ thinking.

- He emphasized the antagonism between capitalist accumulation and the finiteness of nature. “Concluding that the system of free enterprise is forced to develop unbridled while its ecological base cannot endure unlimited exploitation, we recognize the one is absolutely incompatible with the other.”

- He deduced the systemic character of the capitalist crisis. “In this sense, the appearance of a crisis in the eco-system should be understood as a first sign of an imminent crisis in the economic system.”


- He made a distinction between the writings of Marx and the Soviet reality and denied that socialism by its nature is productivist. “A socialist regime could bring more advantages than a regime of free enterprise because it can produce the essential harmony between the economic process and the demands of ecology. The economic theory of socialism does not seem to demand an unlimited growth.”

- Finally Commoner paid tribute to the author of “Capital” on account of his concept of the “rational execution of the material exchange between humanity and nature” and because he understood that the capitalist agrarian economy and industry wear out the two exclusive sources of wealth: the earth and workers. He pleaded for a “thorough modification” of the economic system in general and socialism in particular.

THE CONCENTRATION OF ENERGY AND WEALTH

The second bestseller from Barry Commoner appeared in 1976: “The poverty of power” (German translation Energieeinsatz und Wirtschaftskrise 1977). This work is as remarkable as the earlier work. Commoner discussed the inseparable connection between the environmental crisis, the energy crisis and the economic crisis. If he pleaded for a comprehensive understanding of the environment and its cycles in “The closing circle,” he urged a holistic approach to the energy system in “The poverty of power,” in applying the second law of thermodynamics to the whole energy system, not only to energy plants. This approach inspired many other authors.

“The poverty of power” grapples with the monopolies of the oil- and petrochemical industry. Commoner championed an (eco) socialist solution more clearly here than in “The closing circle.” “Several years ago the idea of nationalization provoked embarrassed reactions. Today the necessity presses to be considered – with circumspection – as a possible solution of the problems of the railroad companies and even of the energy system.”

His conclusion at that time has only gained relevance to the present. “A blind and senseless concatenation of events has changed the industrial and agricultural technology, altered transportation and raised the output of the productive system and the price of the increased need for capital, energy and other resources. These events have destroyed jobs and damaged the environment. They have concentrated the physical power of energy and the social force of wealth that comes from a small number of enormous firms and nurtured this force and power with unemployment and poverty. Here we have the basic problem that produces the environmental- and energy crisis and threatens to bury us under the debris of a tottering economic system.”

Reading and re-reading Barry Commoner is very worthwhile. That would be the greatest honor that we could show this engaged and conscientious scholar, this free and courageous spirit and forerunner of eco-socialism.

RELATED LINKS:

“Beyond Growth” Congress, Attac Germany, May 2011
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/05/19/18680061.php
http://www.onthecommons.org
http://www.buzzflash.com
http://www.storyofstuff.com
http://thinkprogress.org
http://www.therealnews.com
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Kassim Alhimidi convicted of murder A17 8:33PM

Members of Bundy Family Explain Bundy Ranch Stand-Off With Bureau of Land Management (BLM) A17 1:03AM

Here's some interesting privatization connections in regards to the LAUSD District 1 race A15 4:25PM

Rock, Rap & Speakout vs Poverty, Prisons & War A13 3:16PM

Report Back: 4th Annual Hahamongna Walkabout A13 2:33PM

Pacifica Exe Director position is in confusion still putting KPFK at risk A10 3:52PM

Bernard Duncan, prior GM of KPFK is still in play A08 5:01PM

San Diego May Dai Workers Film Festival A06 5:11PM

Southern California Joins Worldwide Wave Of Action A05 2:31AM

Pacifica board members named here, who attempted ousting ED A04 1:06PM

LA Weekly promotes a slanted view of Pacifica/ KPFK A04 10:36AM

More Info about Pacifica, which holds KPFK's license, etc. A03 2:08PM

Listen to KPFK's staff talking to Pacifica Exe Director M29 7:31PM

Pacifica IS also KPFK, so let's not ignore what going on M29 5:42PM

Reported excerpts of Pacifica's - and that's KPFK's - incidents happening - update M29 5:14PM

Repost from Counterpunch re Pacifica - KPFK too involved M29 2:10PM

Forever intertwined: KPFK, WBAI, Gary Null ? M28 4:10PM

Why is KPFK still failing to thrive ? M28 3:32PM

GLOBAL DAY of ACTION for the Indonesian Rainforests! M27 3:06PM

Opponents of SB County Jail's Letter Ban to Share Progress, Next Steps M27 9:58AM

Pacifica Radio, Rwanda, and DR Congo M26 2:29PM

International Multicultural Literary Magazine Features Armenia in Spring Issue M25 11:14AM

Why is KPFK still failing to thrive ? M24 9:10PM

Home-less-free occupying is not a free ride either M24 8:46PM

The US Occupy Movement - Since the Eviction from the Squares M21 6:32AM

Protest Against Latest U.S. Meddling M20 9:17PM

FOIA Request Results for LVIMC M20 12:22PM

black activista, white racists meet to discuss civil rights M01 12:55PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Kiev Violates Four-Party Agreement A19 12:50AM

Fake Donetsk Letter Circulating A19 12:49AM

Dissent within after article, Profound Arrogance at UN. A18 7:43PM

Michael Ruppert dead. A18 6:17PM

Pacifica voting in secret with no accountability? Is this part of KPFK ? A18 3:39PM

Flashback to 2003: "Major combat in Iraq is over, U.S. warns rogue Syria" A18 11:40AM

Supreme Court Hears Argentina Predatory Hedge Fund Discovery Case A18 10:28AM

The Shortwave Report 04/18/14 Listen Globally! A17 4:50PM

Four-Party Agreement on Ukraine A17 1:35PM

An Event for All Musicians... and Bring Your Dad for FREE! A17 11:08AM

LION ARK ROARS AND THE AUDIENCE PURRS: RESCUE DOCUMENTARY PICKS UP SIXTH AWARD A17 11:03AM

Ukraine on the Brink A17 12:39AM

More NATO Forces for Eastern Europe A17 12:36AM

Obama Heads for War in Ukraine A16 12:44AM

Israel Seeks Regional Anti-Iranian Alliance A16 12:39AM

Duplicitous Human Rights Misinformation on Ukraine A15 12:12PM

The Augean Stables Of US Justice From Prosecutors To Supreme Court A15 9:21AM

Paraphysique des droites A15 8:51AM

Public Relations - Propaganda as an Economic Branch A15 5:44AM

Duplicitous Obama Civil Rights Hyperbole A15 12:48AM

Ukrainians Resist A15 12:47AM

Navi Pillay: US Imperial Tool A14 12:55PM

The Neoliberal Model: Profits without Investments A14 5:46AM

Celebrate the RH victory in the Philippines, continue the struggle A14 2:21AM

We're All Ukrainians Now A14 12:37AM

Israeli State Terrorism A14 12:35AM

ARE WE READY FOR THIS? ""The Pin Up"" An Erotic Reality Show by LA Artist, David Goldner. A13 10:51PM

What Ukraine Propaganda Looks Like A13 1:16PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy