Skip to main content

View Diary: UPDATED: The OPOL Report: The sad, the shameful and the indefensible (230 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Capitalism as a way of rearranging nature (9+ / 0-)

    Just as Jason W. Moore suggested.

    Every once in a while something he says in his essays will really help make sense of the world.  And a lot of his stuff needs translating into plain English -- so he's a goldmine for good writers who can do that.

    Yeah, I kinda miss nature the old way, when it wasn't so used up by capitalism.  But I gather this is one of those extinction periods, characterized by what Stephen Jay Gould called "punctuated," as opposed to "equilibrium."  These days, "natural selection" is applied by the Texas cops who run the school-to-prison pipeline and by four-year-olds who discover loaded guns in their household's living rooms.

    Washington's blog: You're more likely to be killed by a toddler than by a terrorist

    Frankly, I don't know why the Darwin fetish ("kill them all and let Mammon God sort them out") persists in America culture.  We should have figured out that That Way Lies Hitler seventy years ago.  Frankly, I'm encouraged by the fact that someone snuck a grand piano into Taksim Square and thatKropotkin's Mutual Aid is available online.

      Hopefully, as Moore suggests, capitalism is on its way to its "terminal crisis" and we can expect the transformation into the next system.  We'll probably have to endure a long and painful interim period, the one described by Gopal Balakrishnan:

    We are entering into a period of inconclusive struggles between a weakened capitalism and dispersed agencies of opposition, within delegitimated and insolvent political orders. The end of history could be thought to begin when no project of global scope is left standing, and a new kind of ‘worldlessness’ and drift begins. This would conform to Hegel’s suspicion that at this spiritual terminus, the past would be known, but that a singular future might cease to be a relevant category. In the absence of organized political projects to build new forms of autonomous life, the ongoing crisis will be stalked by ecological fatalities that will not be evaded by faltering growth.  
    Keep writing, OPOL.  Please expand your audience -- crosspost more!  It's good stuff and more folks are thinking.

    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:26:31 AM PDT

    •  When I was first studying economics in my (2+ / 0-)

      teens, I came to what I thought was an overly simple issue in capitalism, which was the distribution of goods and capital. It seemed too easy for the capitalists to overcome market forces and control capital's distribution.

      It turns out I was right.

      •  Not sure what that means -- (3+ / 0-)

        The thing to remember about capitalism is that the capitalist, as Marx suggests in Chapter 4 of Volume 1 of Capital, is a "rational miser."  Capitalists all wish to make money with money, and the fact that many of them can't just use their money to steal more money means that they must risk their money in production.  But, really, all they want to do is to make money with money.  Capitalists want to take and take and take, and so they rearrange the world to facilitate acts of taking.

        Thus the system as a whole becomes a way of rearranging nature -- a force subordinating whole ecosystems to capital accumulation and remolding them in images of capital.  Think mines, factories, cities, extraction zones and accumulation centers.

        Paul Prew: The 21st Century World Ecosystem: Systemic Collapse or Transition to a New Dissipative Structure?

        The flow of energy and materials tends to occur geographically from the peripheries to the core, while the waste tends to be concentrated in the peripheral regions. This flow tends to create a division between town and country, but the expansion of capitalism, necessary to its logic, poses limits to the development of these polar relationships. The peripheries develop complexity at the same time that values are depleted, but peripheral regions must develop complexity in a certain fashion to serve the needs of the core. So called "development" is not possible for all regions of the world because of the nature of global world-system and the very logic of capitalism.

        The question to be asked, really, is whether we proceed with capitalism until we reach an ecological bifurcation point that leaves the habitability of the earth in question for the vast majority of the population, or we reach a social bifurcation point that leads us to a social system of production that is dissipative, nonetheless, but does not threaten the flowing balance of nature.

        "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 10:01:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site