先に感想から。


ウェーバーは「プロテスタンティズムの倫理と資本主義の精神」において「市民的資本主義」と「賤民資本主義」を区分けしました。

佐伯啓思先生は、それらを、フォードに代表される職人の延長としての「産業資本主義」とユダヤ的「金融資本主義」に対応させますが、アメリカにおいてロックフェラーが石油帝国を築くまでは、職人的「産業資本主義」およびプロテスタントの勤勉さをアメリカ文明は失っていなかったと感じます。

古き良きアメリカ文明を破壊し始めたのは、ユダヤ的金融よりもロックフェラーだったと改めて気付きました。

ロックフェラーは、産業資本のように見える石油産業を作り、石油と言うコモディティーを通じてアメリカ国民を「金融資本主義」への道に巻き込んで行ったと感じます。

つまり、「金融資本主義」に象徴される現代アメリカ文明の膨張を支えたのが、ロックフェラーが体現したアメリカ石油産業であり、物作りよりも消費者作りに走り(コモディティとしての石油は作る要素は少なく湧いて来ていたから、消費者作りが重要)、物や人間の価値を無価値化・数値化して行く装置であったのだと感じました。

その後、無価値化された商品と消費者にのって金融は自己増殖過程に入りますが、スタンダードオイルの経営方針そのものがアメリカ中を覆った印象です。

リーマンショック以降、政府介入排除・自由主義の先鋭であり、金融資本主義の象徴と言えるゴールドマンなどの投資銀行が次々と政府に助けられる皮肉が起きましたが、これも、金融資本主義の膨張を生み出し、支えた石油の限界に端を発しているのだと改めて感じました。

大恐慌後の1933年に出来た銀行法やニューディール政策は、まさに現在のアメリカで行われていることですが、前回との違いは、金融が空けた穴を補った石油がもはや潤沢ではなくなり、戦争をして収奪する先も限られて来ていることでしょうか。

過去、歯止めをかけようとした大統領は倒れた訳ですが、最終的な危機状況においてオバマを選んだアメリカ国民は、相当に賢いのかも知れません。

もう昨日までのアメリカ文明は滅びて、オバマ大統領を先頭にアメリカ自身が新しい道を踏み出す時に、古いアメリカ文明にしがみつく日本の平和さに悲しい気持ちになりました。

つまらないことですが、BPのメキシコ湾岸石油流出事故は、スタンダード石油がアングロペルシャ石油にトドメを刺される構図とも言え、歴史の皮肉を感じます。



How the power of oil dogged former presidents, and could tar Obama

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/22/oil.presidents.obama/


(CNN) -- The president was young, a Harvard-educated intellectual admired for his charisma and skill with the written word.

His foe was pious but ruthless, the head of a massive oil corporation that supplied 90 percent of America's oil.

When Theodore Roosevelt tangled with oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, near the turn of the 20th century, he became the first president to pit the power of the White House against the power of oil.

Roosevelt ultimately won that battle in 1911 when the U.S. Supreme Court approved the breakup of the Standard Oil Company, Rockefeller's company. But oil has tarred other presidents, and may do the same to President Obama as he tries to manage the Gulf of Mexico disaster, says Nancy Koehn, a historian at Harvard Business School.

"He needs to deal with this in a politically effective way or he's going to go down in oil-tinged fumes," Koehn says. "This is a make or break moment for his presidency."

How oil boosted the success of one American president


Oil doesn't just foul the ocean, it can destroy a presidency, historians say.

One president sealed his greatness with his handling of an oil crisis. Another was doomed by his inability to contain an oil crisis, scholars say.

President Eisenhower was the first president to warn the nation about oil in 1957, says James Hedtke, a history professor at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

"He was the first president to mention oil in the State of the Union message," Hedtke says. "He talked about the United States' dependency on oil."

Other presidents delivered the same talk -- Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- but America's dependence on foreign oil continued to grow.

One president did convince Americans to cut back on their consumption of oil.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president to grapple with an oil shortage in war time, says Jonathan Emord, a Washington attorney who has written publicly about Obama's cleanup efforts.

After World War II erupted, Roosevelt formed the Petroleum Industry War Council to ensure the military's access to oil. And he convinced Americans to accept the need to ration oil, Emord says.

"Rather than tax his presidency," Emord says, "rationing became generally accepted and bolstered the perception that he was uniting the nation in the war effort."

Roosevelt could not have led the U.S. to victory in World War II had he not ensured that the nation had access to oil, and its enemies didn't, says Richard Heinberg, author of "The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies."

The German army's march across Western Europe and Russia; Japan's decision to attack America and its subsequent defeat -- all revolved around the need for oil, Heinberg says.

"FDR was very much aware of the power of oil," Heinberg says. "World War II was very much about oil."

How oil doomed another president


Nixon and Ford made national pleas for energy independence after the OPEC crisis of the 1970s, when a boycott from oil-producing countries produced long gas lines in the United States.

One president became wildly popular when he fought a war that some say was sparked by a need for oil.

The elder President Bush's approval rating soared to an all-time high in 1991 after the American and coalition forces kicked Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait, home to about 20 percent of the world's oil reserves, says Hedtke, the history professor from Cabrini College in Pennsylvania.

"His [Bush] approval ratings were about 90 percent, '' Hedtke says. "If the economy hadn't fallen apart, it might have given him a second term."

His son, President George W. Bush, launched an invasion of Iraq that some critics said was based on the need for more oil.

But the president whose term was most profoundly shaped by oil was Carter, some historians say.

During Carter's term, the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran led to a significant drop in oil exports. The subsequent Iran-Iraq War caused oil prices to rise in the United States as well.

He went on television wearing a cardigan sweater and asked Americans to turn their thermostats down to 68. He called for putting quotas on oil imports, installing solar panels and spending enormous amounts of money on energy research, Heinberg says.

The American public, though, didn't want to tighten their belts. They subsequently elected Reagan, who removed the solar panels Carter installed at the White House and said America deserved its easy motoring way of life, Heinberg says.

The lesson for politicians was clear: Don't ask Americans to sacrifice their desire for cheap oil, Heinberg says.


"Politicians look at it as the 'Carter curse,' " Heinberg says. "You can't just tell the American people the truth anymore. You can't call for bold action."

What Obama can learn from Teddy Roosevelt

At least one other president challenged the nation with bold action, and succeeded. President John Kennedy challenged the nation to put a person on the moon within a decade.

Could Obama issue a similar challenge in the name of building a petroleum-free future?

Paul Roberts, author of "The End of Oil," says Obama faces a more difficult task than Kennedy.

"We've had cheap oil for such a long time that's it's very hard for the average consumer to see why they shouldn't be entitled to it forever," Roberts says.

But Koehn, the Harvard historian, says Obama could learn from Teddy Roosevelt.

Roosevelt campaigned relentlessly against Rockefeller, who had transformed Standard Oil into a monopoly through ruthless business practices. The president conducted whistle-stop tours, wrote op-ed pieces, invited industry leaders to the White House to talk about the danger of an oil company gaining too much power.

"Go directly to the people and say these are the two things -- it can't be 160 things -- that we need to do," Koehn says. "Americans are dying to be of service. But he's not issuing a call to arms."

The time for that call is long overdue because the only oil now available is in far-off places that present huge environmental and financial risks, she says.

"There is not going to be any easy pickings out there -- no more Beverly Hillbilly gushers left to be discovered in the backyards of Dallas," Koehn says.

The country may face another oil crisis as soon as a decade from now, says Heinberg, who is also a senior fellow at the Carbon Institute, a nonprofit think tank in Santa Rosa, California.

Heinberg believes it could include people freezing to death in the winter in the Northeast; farmers going bankrupt because they can't afford to pay fuel prices; the chemical industry collapsing because it doesn't have enough oil to make plastic.

Time isn't running out -- it has already run out, Heinberg says.

"What is humanly possible and politically possible are two different things," Heinberg says. "We've lived without oil for thousands of years until the last century so, yes, we can do it.

"But the transition is going to be wrenching unless we prepare for it. We should have prepared for it but we blew it."

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日本時間2010616日午前9時過

メキシコ湾岸からの視察から戻り、執務室からのTV演説より抜粋


One of the lessons we've learned from this spill is that we need better regulations better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20% of the world's oil, but have less than 2% of the world's oil reserves. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean - because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.



For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked - not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.


The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.


We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.


This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels will take some time, but over the last year and a half, we have already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that will someday lead to entire new industries.


Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of good, middle-class jobs - but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation - workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.


When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill - a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America's businesses.


Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And some believe we can't afford those costs right now. I say we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy - because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

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Leaders of the companies in the UK’s Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) – Arup, SSE, Solarcentury, Stagecoach and Virgin – argue that premature peak oil would be quite as bad as the credit crunch. In the foreword to our report published in February we urged the UK government to “act now . . . don’t let the oil crunch catch us out in the way the credit crunch did”.

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