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


Local News

Meet Green elected school board members, Sunday, March 29 in LA - 4pm M26 2:36AM

Californians Shame Regulators For Teaching Big Oil How To Skirt Law and Pollute Our Water M25 5:28PM

Next "Star Wars" to score in Los Angeles for First Time in Franchise History M25 10:43AM

Los Angeles Stands Up for Women's Rights M10 9:25PM

American Flag Banned from UC Irvine M06 10:38PM

Conversations with 3 HOLES AND A SMOKING GUN M06 5:27PM

Indymedia and the Cyber Left M01 4:03PM

FEDS ALLOW LAWSUIT TO SHUT DOWN DIABLO CANYON TO PROCEED F27 8:18PM

Open Letter to LA indymedia re hardly any more comments F27 12:07PM

Time Warner Now Charging Customers For Over-The-Air Television F14 12:16PM

Sketchy Crusader Against Poor Brandishes Dildo at Council F13 7:23PM

March Against Air France J31 8:46PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Panel Discussion on Government and Corruption, 1 hr M30 4:24AM

U-Sponsored Slow-Motion Genocide in Yemen M30 2:01AM

No Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program - So Far M29 11:31PM

Obama, Rogue Arab States Support Mass Murdering Yemenis M29 10:57AM

Obama: Tool Of The Cruel Plans To Extend Afghanistan War, The US' Longest M29 10:48AM

New York Times Editors Endorse Murdering Millions of Iranians M29 10:32AM

Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel Blasts Iran's Peaceful Program M29 9:01AM

Déterminismes et automatismes M29 5:44AM

Iran Nuclear Deal: Getting Close, Hold the Cheers M29 5:25AM

“Censoring Palestine” event at UC Berkeley M28 6:42PM

Washington Wants Irs Big Lying Machine Revved Up M28 11:33AM

Israel Uses Lethal Force Against Palestinian Children M28 11:16AM

Israeli Stooge Abbas Supports Obama's War on Yemen M28 9:15AM

Israel Joins Obama's War on Yemen M28 6:08AM

Phony US Support for Ending Palestime's Occupation M27 11:54AM

Kiev's Ongoing Dirty War o Donbass M27 8:41AM

Amnesty International Documents hamas War Crimes M27 8:03AM

America at War, Again M27 3:46AM

Gov Susana Martinez petitions court to reject Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache Tribe's legal re M26 10:05PM

The Shortwave Report 03/27/15 Listen Globally! M26 5:03PM

Are Jewish students safe at the University of California? M26 4:16PM

Putin and Assad Address Western Imperialism M26 11:08AM

Secret US Intelligence on Yemen Compromised M26 8:41AM

More US-Sponsored Middle East Aggression M26 2:54AM

Where is Geronimo M25 10:36PM

NJ Gov. Christie Claims Cannabis Legalization is "Blood Money" M25 7:40PM

how the fbi converts cops at every level (and citizens) into criminals. M25 2:56PM

Vaccines' Toxic Ingredients Fueled by Drug Company Liability Immunity And Greed M25 1:04PM

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