Re: (OPE-L) Re: The Amish in a fossil-fuel depleting world -- Nader/Camejo

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sun Oct 03 2004 - 10:16:43 EDT


I use Harris, *Environmental and Natural Resource Economics*, by Jonathan
Harris who runs a major institute at Tufts.  I got all the texts I knew of
together before deciding.  None passed my first screen.  But then I looked
at Harris again and realized that it is refreshing in its emphasis on
ecological economics over environmental economics and in its exposure of
major limitations of neoclassical economics to the point that I can get
students to seriously wonder what they have been thought.  I couldn't
assume any knowledge of marxist economics, in this advanced undergraduate
class. Harris is not itself a radical text, but being a month into the
semester, I'd choose it again for opening students up and being seriously
concerned about ecological destruction.


Thanks for the below as I hadn't know of Andriana Vlachous' paper.
However, I'm not starting the course from a marxist perspective.


For any on this list who have not yet been exposed to the ecological
earthquake (minimum Ritter 10) coming up, I recommend *Powerdown* by
Richard Heinberg, New Society Publishers, 2004, as an easy, alarming read.  
The Amish is the only alternative model offered in the book with some
promise for the world's future.  It predicts the crisis to begin in the
second decade of this century, and criticizes lack of attention to the
population explosion and an economic growth expecting the third world to
come up to the first world rather than the first world and third world
going down (if drastic steps are not taken).  That is, powerdown will
happen, one way or another, and the worse, but perhaps mostly likely,
scenario is competitive "last-one standing" wars.

On Nader/Camejo, my opinion is that that campaign deserves a lot of
respect for all the hard, committed work its supporters have had to engage
to keep such issues on at least some screens of attention in this
Presidential campaign (for those outside the U.S., the Democratic Party
attacks on Nader/Camejo have been particularly vicious).  What I'm unclear
about is where that effort would go the day after the election, if it is
not be just a protest.

Paul Z.

Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science

On Wed, 29 Sep 2004, Francisco Paulo Cipolla wrote:

> Paul, are you aware of Andriana Vlachou´s paper on Nature and Value Theory
> (Science and Society Vol. 66, no. 2, Summer 2002, 169-201)?
> If I were starting a course on environmental economics froma marxian perspective I
> would certainly use it as a starting point.
> Decades ago the author of the Fiscal Crisis of the State (I forget his name: James
> O´Connor?) wrote something on ecology that stayed in my mind for a long while but
> I wouldn´t be able to give you the exact references.
> I hope you send your syllabus tothe list one of these days!
> Paulo
> Paul Zarembka wrote:
> > Jerry,
> >
> > For the first time in my life I'm teaching environmental economics
> > and becoming much more aware of fossil fuel depletion and global warming.
> >
> > I don't know how to fit the Amish into modes of production issues (inc.
> > capitalism), but I do know that the recent book *Powerdown* offers the
> > Amish as a lesson how at least some could simply survive the end of the
> > fossil fuel era.  In any case, in no way was I suggesting the Amish form
> > of production as a model within capitalism.  Capitalism is itself the
> > problem.
> >
> > Sorry, but I don't have a big program to offer anyone; it's all too scary!
> >
> > Paul Z.
> >
> > *************************************************************************
> > Vol.21-Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
> > RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Zarembka/Soederberg, eds, Elsevier Science
> > **********************
> >
> > On Wed, 29 Sep 2004, Gerald A. Levy wrote:
> >
> > > Hi Paul Z.
> > >
> > > > Since Sept. 13, the Nader/Camejo web site carries every day a new
> > > > 'featured national asset', today being The Amish.  Without saying so but
> > > > connected to yesterday's press release for the Nader/Camejo Campaign --
> > > > "Global Climate Change Requires Us to Break Our Addiction to Fossil
> > > > Fuels", it offers a way forward as humanity destroys millions of years of
> > > > fossil fuel build-up.
> > >
> > > While Amish communities can not be considered to be "Utopian
> > > Socialist"  -- perhaps "Utopian Capitalist" might be a better description --
> > > the belief that the Amish experience and lifestyle can be generalized
> > > while the capitalist mode of production dominates and this "offers a
> > > way forward" could be subjected to a critique similar to Marx's critique
> > > of Utopians like Owen and Fourier, don't you think?  Of course,
> > > many radical environmentalists -- including a lot of my anarchist
> > > friends -- reject that critique of Marx and defend Utopianism.
> > > The ideology of the Green Party is, at least partially, self-consciously
> > > Utopian, I think.
> > >
> > > "Is small beautiful?" is a related question.
> > >
> > > In solidarity, Jerry

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