If we take the BP oil slick, now 23000 gallons a day (May 3, 2010), floating disaster into the gulf of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas onto Florida and then into the Atlantic Ocean as the greatest, the biggest, the primo example of how oil companies are killing the ecological resources, the breeding grounds fly-ways of birds and aquatic life; and make a connection by adding a report from the US Disease Control Agency, revealing that cigarette smoking, (still!) junk food and sedentary life are now causing obesity and diabetes thus increasing heart disease in 50 percent of the adult population (Chron., Disease Control April 27, 10: A8), then we could predict, with qualifying evidence and substantial data, based upon third party research of Government agencies and official news of the established press, that these ruinous events might well weaken the courage and resources of the US economy, the society, the military and the Empire.
As the old line Communists used to say about capitalism: “The internal contradictions will bring it down."
Well those days are gone, however the ever-increasing internal contradictions with Nature are with us, as the expansion of the Empire requires more and more resources, despite the destruction visited upon the earth.
The oil slicks, visited on other countries, have come home to float. "A stitch in time saves nine" hasn't worked." I told you so" is an unworthy statement, "Prevention is worth a pound of cure" is not learned—the 500K safety valve that BP was supposed to put on either didn’t work or was not put on. Halliburton is in the mix (once again) and BP with $680 billion assets said it will pay the costs in billions, while the ecology of the gulf of Louisiana will be crushed for 20 years. The Exxon-Valdez spill affecting the coastline of Alaska took 20 years to rehab.
Two days after the oil break, Obama said he would continue drilling; now he might not advocate it. His speechwriters caught up with nature. Isn't that a relief and how bizarre while destroying whole ecological areas the speechmakers and officials can't see the dead ecozones for their own corporate donors.
Ecology matters? Not important to oil moguls or elected officials. However this horrific disaster might be a good thing, since it will re-frame off-shore drilling in the short run, and the downside of expanding oil exploration and exploitation, while it might bleed over to the disasters within the crisis ridden capitalist system. The Empire has now allowed the original Anglo-Persian Oil Company (BP) [Iran, Mossadegh, UK, CIA] to spoil the waters and natural habitats not in Nigeria, Venezuela, Indonesia and elsewhere but in the home waters of the exceptional nation.
With achievements such as two hot wars, and a few cooler ones in smaller countries, a failing economy with trillions to the banks and brokers and less to the workers plus a population that is sickly and likely to go to hospitals with expensive insurance programs should make for a weakening of the Empire. Maybe.
Eventually one too many contradictions will cause the juggernaut to sneeze-- the beginning of a cold. If the energy corporations (capitalists as they used to say) have avoided essential regulations (not enforced) as in coal mines or oil rigs and the corporations can get away with paying fines while not fixing anything but when a disaster erupts—explosion in the mines, explosion in an oil rig, 49 dead workers in West Virginia and 11 dead in the Gulf, while the US commercial media likes to focus on the Chinese dead in coal mines. Now what? A Greek general strike? Get out the Trotsky signs!!
BP, British Petroleum, the Greenest of all the Green-Washing oil corporations—what was their slogan a month ago? We are the Greenest of all Green? Well now they are the most destructive of all the destructive corporations, and off shore drilling will be slowed, or will Obama and his oil friends continue destroying local ecological areas as well? If so then we can hope—I use that word again—hope the US Empire takes a good kick in the under-structure so that it begins imploding.
In the old days the orthodox (Stalinist) Communists said: "the contradictions in capitalism will bring it down- it will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions." The New Left said you’re kidding—you will wait a long time. They have ways of manipulating, avoiding, and continuing on. The Maoist said, "A Mountain will fall if you push it.” Now, it might be that the old Communists were correct, because of the destruction of the resources (predicted by James O'Connor), with the destruction of ecological areas for fish, birds, wildlife, food, people’s occupations, vegetation, vacation lands, industry and so on. It is not exactly what the old Communists thought of, but it will do.
We can hear right wing religious leaders muttering: "God’s work. Sinful country, the Banks, Wall Street, now the Gulf and the Wildlife" They too may be correct. Well, what is the cause, is it capitalism or sin?
[Editor’s Note: what’s the difference?]