Reply To: 2. Wed 12 Feb: Donald Worster on Environmental History

Author Replies
Henrik S # Posted on February 19, 2015 at 17:59

Comments on Josefin’s reflections on the seminar

First of all, I am sorry for the delayed response to your reflection. It is very interesting that you connect Worster’s presentation to your planned thesis. You seem to have grasped the core ideas of Worster and his views on the capitalist expansion and its violation on the environment. You also define unsustainability as a subsidised development by resources unfairly, or not renewed in the pace they should. As I understand it, defining development without subsidies in the process would be a punch to the capitalist system we have today. The main idea of capitalism is profit, growth and exploitation. You mentioned that Worster may think it could be necessary to sacrifice, or redefine (not sacrifice) I believe, our personal freedom and democracy. I am curious about what you think? Though you did mentioned scepticism about applying rules to people as only the small people would be affected by it, and I agree with you. The question is how to ‘design’ a new society.
In the end of your reflection you briefly mention how we can redefine nature as subsidies instead of capital. That is interesting. But do I understand you correct when you say that it is not the capitalistic values itself being the root of the problem but a social organization lacking limits? It is not the values but the frames and possibilities that need limits. It is an intriguing topic and I was grasped by it. I am somewhat thinking we must redefine liberty and freedom of choice; not really ‘restrict’ it but put it in context of our limits and social justice. It is also about putting man in nature, as part of nature and not as masters of the Earth. I wish to see further elaboration of your thoughts on this topic during the semester!

/Henrik S