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

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

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 - js reader 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



Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

Liberal Majority Passes Sheriff's Civilian Review Board D09 8:40PM

KPFK in fund drive, yet again , but in deeperin trouble D09 12:01PM

INDY lost lots of concerned poster D09 11:27AM

PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN SAN FRANCISCO—AGAIN D07 10:52PM

FREE Silver Lake Consensus, Collaboration & Conflict Resolution Workshop w/STARHAWK D02 8:06AM

Protesting Hewlett-Packard on Black Friday N30 10:48PM

Wayne Pharr, Elder Freeman, Passed On in 2014 N30 2:33AM

Some LA Ferguson Protest Links N27 12:35AM

Protests at fig and Washington N24 11:09PM

LA Protests Grand Jury Decision N24 9:40PM

Chris Dixon on Indymedia On Air N24 6:49PM

NEW INTERVENTION BY FILIPINO WRITER IN FILIPINO N24 6:29AM

REMEMBERING CARLOS BULOSAN N23 6:27AM

RE-VISITING CARLOS BULOSAN N22 1:08PM

Winter 2014 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! N20 11:12PM

#UCLADivest N19 1:46AM

Ferguson verdict Monday? N16 1:42PM

TV LEGEND BOB BARKER FUNDS ‘LION’S SHARE’ OF SUCCESSFUL MISSION TO SAVE CIRCUS ANIMALS IN N13 11:30AM

Veterans Against Foreclosures Marches in San Fernando Veterans Day Parade N11 2:46PM

Disappeared Documentary in L.A N11 2:23PM

Los Angeles Questions Oversized LAPD Response to Million Mask March N07 1:57AM

Ghosts of Wall Street Occupy Hollywood Blvd Halloween Night N06 12:48PM

The "Cleaning Up" of Venice N02 5:16PM

Activists Hold Prayer Vigil for Lexi Dillon and Jonah Rief in Orange County O31 2:32PM

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Thaw in US/Cuban Relations? D18 3:13AM

EU Parliament Recognizes Palestinian Statehood D17 12:40PM

Review of E San Juan's AMBIL D17 10:53AM

Jeb Bush, Cocreator of 2 Disastrous US Wars, Executioner of 21 D17 10:03AM

Continuing Reports On Crimes By fbi,PI,DPS D17 9:36AM

Jeb Bush Exploring White House Bid D17 6:37AM

Kiev Anti-Russian False Flag Planned? D17 4:46AM

#BlackLivesMatter Massive Lawyer Die-In at Los Angeles Courthouse D16 10:11PM

Plummeting Oil Prices D16 12:44PM

Former Ukrainian Parliamentarian Exposes Kiev Ruthlessness D16 6:55AM

Economics is Onesided and Reactionary D16 4:13AM

Obama's Phony Turning Point D16 2:47AM

Politique de la poésie D16 12:13AM

Politique de la poésie D16 12:09AM

San Francisco Day of Resistance March Occupies Market Street Once Again D15 3:44PM

Knee-Jerk Reaction to Sydney Hostage Siege D15 12:11PM

Herstory of Blacklivesmatter D15 10:16AM

PLO Security Council Statehood Bid D15 7:47AM

For a Different Economics D15 5:00AM

Major Anti-Russian False Flag Coming? D15 3:02AM

Formeer Mossad Head Blasts Netanyahu D14 10:18AM

NATO Delivering Arms to Ukraine D14 7:05AM

US Spending Bill Bonanza for Wall Street D14 3:14AM

Market Euphoria: The Mother of All Ponzi Schemes D13 11:56AM

Academic Groups For and Against BDS D13 7:40AM

Washington's Master Plan: World Conquest D13 2:16AM

Apprentissage irrémissible D13 1:59AM

Chickens Coming Home to Roost D12 12:11PM

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