Friday, July 20, 2012

James Watson on Modern Marxists

In this interview, James Watson comments on those opposed to genetically modified food. He makes this observation on how Marxism got aligned with environmentalism:
And then, you know, the usual leftist, Marxist, communists who, when they can't fight for communism, became environmentalists, because, you know, as an environmentalist the chief evil was the rapacious corporation, which is going to destroy the air, the soil, the oceans, etc. So it was, you know, Marxists need bogey enemies.
I think one good way to divide the left and right as commonly understood are those who fear power concentrated in government versus those who fear power concentrated in corporations. He's a pretty funny guy. When asked if he would want to live forever, he says:
You mean, stay at 50? Uh, I'd freeze women at 35 ... Right now I haven't met a 100 year old person I want to look at.


cig said...

The UK's Living Marxism sub-church, for example, is rabidly pro-GM, and virtually all Marxism-inspired political regimes that have existed were or are as un-green as you make them. So much for Marxism being aligned with environmentalism.

It's not really something the ideology covers. Merely being against big corporates is irrelevant, as they can still support state agencies doing the very same stuff.

Anonymous said...

Nice guy, science has another health opinion. Health disorders have been arrested from no GMO and then treatment. Time will tell more than we can for know.

Anonymous said...

so what are you if you fear concentrated power in any form ?
Right? Left ? libertarian ?

Eric Falkenstein said...

While one could say 'libertarian' is the anti-power group, I think that's too facile. The key is that at the margin, in today's world, which is a greater threat to your welfare: government power, or corporate power. Choose which is relatively worse, even though both are bad.

Anonymous said...

Eric, I am not seeing that choice at all. I see corporate power underpinned by state power. This is why Austrians want the gold standard, to restrain the fascistic tendency of corporate and state power to merge and tyrannize the common weal.

Tel said...

Large and rapacious corporations exist for one reason only -- because the government allowed limited liability and the legal fiction of corporate personhood.

This makes corporations larger because they can more easily attract shareholders when the shareholders know their risk is limited; and they don't need to care too much about what that corporation does to make a return on that investment. It also isolates all of the humans from direct responsibility for their actions. If you have a problem with what I do then hey, I only work here, you have to sue the whole corporation not me. This lack of responsibility applies all the way from bottom to top... and worse when the government regulators get involved. The corporation blames the regulators for being useless (which they invariably are) and the regulators always claim they didn't have enough power to bring the corporation under control.

What's more the size of these things means they are essentially equal partners in government, able to control money and votes and thus able to negotiate for government favours. Internally the corporation even operates the same as government (layers of committees, meetings, procedures, and constant diffusion of personal responsibility).

The sooner environmentalists start to understand that central planning is not going to solve any problems, the sooner we can start some real environmentalism. It is so strange that no one will look at the appalling environmental record of China and the USSR as an example of what central planning achieves.