The Price of Oil

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico highlights so clearly the nature of what has become a suicide pact between the working class and the capitalist state. A Louisiana shrimper made the point of expressing his hope that this mistake wouldn’t make people stop off-shore oil drilling, even as millions of gallons of oil were being pumped into the very waters where he made his living, because much of his family had jobs on the oil rigs:

Somehow it all gets reduced to economics, as if the amount of profit that can be extracted before the planet dies should be our primary concern. That wasn’t the concern of the Louisiana shrimper; he was focused on the health and well-being of his family. But it was, and is, the main concern of the oil industry as it frantically sucks the final drops of oil from the ground with the sure knowledge that there won’t be any more once it’s gone. They hold a gun loaded with dissolution and poverty to our heads and make us accessories to their crimes against life.

The partnership between the capitalists and the state is made clear by the refusal of the government agencies in charge to allow any independent measurement of the rate of the oil leak or the size of the oil mass. Estimates by non-EPA and non-BP scientists put the rate of flow as much 5 times larger than official estimates. BP mercenaries have turned away news crews under threat of arrest:

OSHA has been recruited to facilitate the criminal actions of BP, declaring that workers being exposed to toxic chemicals used to disperse the oil are in no danger. This despite growing incidences of illness that can be directly traced to these dispersants:

Never has the need for the end of capitalist exploitation been more abundantly clear. Never has the requirement for all workers to actively begin building a positive  alternative been more urgent.

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