Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why "Boycott BP" is not a progressive slogan

Read about it here.

Many will recall the Enron scandal and the way that business media covered that event: "a couple of bad apples", a "rare event", a "lapse" in an otherwise streamlined economic system, etc, etc. Virtually nothing that was said about Enron in the consensus media indicated that it is perfectly rational to do what the Enron crooks did on the road to profit maximization. Nor did we read any mention of that fact that it is exactly this sort of instrumentalizing, rent-seeking behavior that our economic system encourages and cultivates.

The same is true, of course, of the massive environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.

This is not an anomaly. This is not a "rare event". This is not the fault of some particularly evil individuals working for just one firm. This is the truth of off shore drilling itself. This is the truth of for-profit resource exploitation.

It's easy to try to cover these truths in particularities about the present case by pointing fingers at BP, etc. But the problem is much deeper and systemic. Moreover- the problem also tracks the proliferation of built environments that force people to burn fossil fuels in order to leave their home.

To be clear: I'm not defending BP in the least. I think all of their assets should be seized and that the stock holders should be saddled with debt until this crisis is completely take care of. But let us not forget that the problem is with a system that ruthlessly exploits the natural environment and people for profit- not with a handful of "bad apples".

And let us not forget either that our wonderful "progressive" president still "strongly supports off-shore drilling". The only surprising thing about this is that some people on the left are surprised about Obama's position on this issue. There was an excellent Harper's piece on Obama a year before he ran for President detailing his close relationships with the Corn and Oil lobbies in IL. Is there any doubt that he played liberals for fools in the 2008 elections?

1 comment:

fwoan said...

"Teach BP a lesson,buy your gas from Exxon!"