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Oil and Slaves

The oil age is coming. Year books, financial journals, the sharks of Throgmorton Street, together with the rest of the interested, "far seeing" exploiters and worshippers of the golden calf, are eagerly discussing the possibilities of oil as a motive force, and how much more profit they can grab by its use.

 It behoves the working class to consider the question also, because it is they who are going to suffer, as usual, from what would be a boon and a blessing to all were the toilers sufficiently enlightened and determined to make it such.

 The "Diesel" engine has already proved itself capable of propelling ocean going steamers, and will doubtless be in general use in the near future. Look at this: "The engine room staff of the 'Selandia' consists of eight men and two boys. No firemen required. No boilers needed. No loading with bunker coal for the voyage."

Material World: South Sudan – Another Failed State

Material World

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, was plunged into civil war in 2013, just two years after gaining its independence from neighbouring Sudan, after President Salva Kiir dismissed his deputy, Riek Machar. During the first two years of independence, the country was producing nearly 245,000 barrels of crude oil per day, raking in billions of dollars in revenue annually which paid for this trade. South Sudan's ruling class, responsible for atrocities, have managed to accumulate fortunes while the people suffer under a civil war. The country’s competing privileged elites are sacrificing their own people’s lives to secure the political and economic benefits derived from control of the state. Peace remains a distant prospect, with Kiir and Machar seemingly hell-bent on a military solution.

Colonialists to the Barricades

By one of those transformations common in our society, a group who were the heroes of yesterday have become the traitors of today. The French settlers in Algeria and their sympathisers in the French Army, who played a leading role in De Gaulle's return to power in May, 1958, have become today's dupes of “liars and conspirators"; working against the “Glory and Honour .of France." Revolutionary or rebellious groups who push their efforts too far are always likely to find themselves at the wrong end of a “whiff of grapeshot." Messrs. Biaggi, Ortiz, and Lagaillarde and General Massu must now be bitterly regretting their assumption that they could challenge De Gaulle. A study of the careers of the Napoleons would have enlightened them on the methods and ethics of the struggle for power.

Peak Oil and Capitalism

“Securing adequate oil supplies was … an important element in all the major wars of the twentieth century and in the United States' two most recent interventions in the Middle East.” (Matthew R. Simmons:Twilight in the Desert)

Oil is a bit like the dinosaurs: it was made millions of years ago and is not being made any more. Among the most useful of nature’s products it will continue to be essential to modern day life for some time to come. But it is finite and will one day run out. It could be about to reach its maximum rate of production, and barring new discoveries or improved recovery techniques, increasing demand will meet dwindling supplies – if it has not already done so. “Peak Oil” will have been reached.

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