Ep 92 – Technology & The Left (w/ Leigh Phillips)

Srsly Wrong

A podcast about prescriptivism and words, exploring alleged contradictions, creative re-interpretation, changing and challenging ourselves and the world, and exciting strategic paradigms for mental toolkits.

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2 Responses

  1. Jamison says:

    It’s amusing how Leigh Phillips correctly criticizes the ecological left for using the word “we” in an obfuscatory manner that papers over class divisions and ignores the call for austerity, and yet turns around and says non-sense such as “we must make use of nuclear technology.” Who is this “we”? Clearly he is talking about all the leading capitalist states, especially since he talks about this being carried out by the “public sector”, i.e. the state. Then he turns around and talks about “neither Washington, nor Moscow.” The working class certainly has no say in how energy is carried out. Phillips is mistaken in his assumption that nuclear energy is about the electricity supply of something like “the masses”. This assumption that electricity is merely about the consumption of normal people and their needs is a joke. If this were the case, if nuclear energy were really about supplying people with electricity, it would be sensible for the critics of nuclear power to implore politicians to abolish it.

    An industrial nuclear supply of energy is about providing sufficient energy to power a capitalist economy (rather than about sending a little electricity to grandma’s kitchen). But why does this form of economic organization require the consumption of an ever-increasing amount of energy? The reason for this is quite simply that the goal of the capitalist economy is growth, and its measure of success is the rate of growth. Growth here does not refer to the production of an increasing quantity of material wealth, i.e., useful goods. Rather, growth refers to an increase in invested capital, whose purpose it is to provide the investor with a profit, and in this way to make more of itself – thus the growth for which the state organizes its energy industry is the growth of wealth in the form of money. Since the goal of a capitalist economy is the endless growth of capital, the energy needed to fuel this growth is equally without limit. Phillips is totally oblivious to this.

  1. September 26, 2016

    […] out this episode of Srsly Wrong to learn a bit about safe nuclear power and other areas where the left has lost the plot. While […]