Jobs, Ecology, and Survival

Henriksson, Lars

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20915

Lars Henriksson presents some thoughts about solving the old contradiction between jobs and the environment, ilooking specifically at the auto industry.



In the debate about the crisis ridden auto industry, two positions crystallized:

"Let it die!" Represented by the remnant of true believers of the invisible hand and creative destruction -- a rapidly shrinking flock at the time.

"Support the industry!" Unions, Social Democrats, many governments -- and naturally, the industry itself. They advocated subsidies of various kinds, from "Cash for clunkers" to the involuntary quasi-nationalization of GM and Chrysler. (And of course, sacrifices from us who work in the industry.)

Of course the "Let it die" position -- notoriously articulated in the United States by Mitt Romney -- was no alternative for us in the auto industry. It would have huge social implications in an economy where unemployment was rocketing, and especially in a auto dependent city like Gothenburg.

It would also be an enormous social waste. The auto industry is not just some buildings, robots and assembly lines. It's first and foremost an organization of people, who together make up an industrial machine built and perfected for nearly 100 years. If you take it apart it's no more an industrial machine than a car that's taken apart is a car.