Wendy Brown: Cultures of Capital Enhancement

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Jason Moore: Capitalism and the Web of Life

Jason Moore speaking on his new book from Verso. There is also an interesting review of the book here at New Inquiry. A short description from Verso:

“Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today’s global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Drawing on environmentalist, feminist, and Marxist thought, Moore offers a groundbreaking new synthesis: capitalism as a “world-ecology” of wealth, power, and nature. Capitalism’s greatest strength—and the source of its problems—is its capacity to create Cheap Natures: labor, food, energy, and raw materials. That capacity is now in question. Rethinking capitalism through the pulsing and renewing dialectic of humanity-in-nature, Moore takes readers on a journey from the rise of capitalism to the modern mosaic of crisis. Capitalism in the Web of Life shows how the critique of capitalism-in-nature—rather than capitalism and nature—is key to understanding our predicament, and to pursuing the politics of liberation in the century ahead.”

 

Wendy Brown: When firms become persons and persons become firms (on the US Hobby Lobby Decision)

Nancy Fraser: “Legitimation Crisis? On the Political Contradictions of Financialized Capitalism”

Jason Moore: Anthropocene or Capitalocene?

David Harvey and Gar Alperovitz on Cooperation and Capitalism

Bruno Latour: The Affects of Capitalism

Interview with David Harvey on the contradictions of capitalism

Arundhati Roy: Re-imagining a world beyond capitalism and communism

This article appears in full on Adbusters.

Arundhati Roy

Re-imagining a world beyond capitalism and communism.

“The day capitalism is forced to tolerate non-capitalist societies in its midst and to acknowledge limits in its quest for domination, the day it is forced to recognize that its supply of raw material will not be endless, is the day when change will come.

If there is any hope for the world at all, it does not live in climate-change conference rooms or in cities with tall buildings. It lives low down on the ground, with its arms around the people who go to battle every day to protect their forests, their mountains and their rivers because they know that the forests, the mountains and the rivers protect them.READ MORE

What the frack? Combustible water and other late capitalist novelties

Imre Szeman, a Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, has a new commentary out in the latest issue of Radical Philosophy on hydraulic fracturing. It is entitled, “What the frack? Combustible water and other late capitalist novelties.”

Here is the introduction, the rest is available here:

What the frack?

Combustible water and other late capitalist novelties

“There is a reason why oil gets the lion’s share of attention when it comes to the global game of petrocarbon extraction. Through the multiple products into which oil is refined, most important of which are gasoline and diesel, oil is the blood that animates the body of capitalism. It is a substance necessary for economies to keep operating and profits accruing, which is why access to it fuels so many geopolitical struggles around the globe. The atrocities committed by major oil companies almost everywhere they have set foot – of which spills such as BP’s recent debacle in the Gulf of Mexico are but the tip of the iceberg – draw public attention to the consequences of living in oil societies, and so too to the full scale of our dependence on the substance. And whether or not we believe tales of peak oil, as oil gets harder to access and in shorter supply and so more expensive, the extent to which oil and capitalism are tied together cannot help but make us sit up and pay attention. Economist Jeff Rubin has recently argued that the unprecedentedly high price of oil over the past decade is the primary reason why economies around the world have found it difficult to recover from the 2008 crash.1 While the current price of around US$90 per barrel is well below its recent peak of $147 in July 2008, it is still exponentially higher than the average $2 per barrel at which oil was priced during capital’s massive expansionary phase from the 1920s to the 1970s – a virtually free form of energy with an extraordinarily high ratio of energy returned on energy invested.

If natural gas is also making the news today, it is due only in part to its expand­ing use in fleet vehicles (replacing petrol or diesel) or in the generation of electricity (replacing coal-fired or nuclear power plants). Despite the ever-expanding market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), ‘the world’s fastest growing energy source’, the price of natural gas remains too low to excite many investors.2 One of the reasons for the reduced cost of gas is the recent global expansion of natural gas supply, which is due almost entirely to the discovery of a new source: the decaying organic material that makes up the compressed rock of black shale. With this discovery, the world is now awash in shale gas. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the USA has 2,632 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, enough to address domestic demand for 100 years at current rates of use. In the UK, the discovery of a gas field in north-west England by Cuadrilla Resources promises enough gas to meet demand for 64 years.3 Even if profits are not as high at present as producers might want, consumption of natural gas is expanding rapidly (29 per cent over the past decade) and the growing capacity for LNG means the possibility of servicing export markets such as China and Japan, which needs more of the fuel than ever in its current post-nuclear phase. As an easy allegory for the disaster of runaway consumption or the tendency of human beings to gleefully destroy the environments that support them, natural gas certainly cannot compete with oil. But as it begins to occupy an ever-greater segment of the overall market for energy, the race for shale gas is resulting in ecological and political problems that should cause all of us to pay as much attention to gas as we are starting to pay towards oil.”