We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

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

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Barry Commoner (1917-2012)

by Daniel Tanura Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at 1:43 PM
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
www.onthecommons.org
www.buzzflash.com
www.storyofstuff.com
http://thinkprogress.org
www.therealnews.com
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

FALSAS VICTIMAS J18 9:22AM

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM

MACROTHSCHILD J17 9:38PM

FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM

DEAD MAN LIVING J17 10:46AM

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 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