Reply To: Mon 17 Feb: World Systems, History and Ecology

Author Replies
Sabbath Sunday # Posted on February 19, 2014 at 11:00

Reply to Kristina by Sabbath

Thank you Kristina for your thoughtful reflection on J.W. Moore’s perspectives and the main theme ‘World systems, History and ecology’. I agree with you that it was the evolution of capitalism or rather the individualistic and institutional greed for the accumulation of property and financialism in the guise of development, which created the so called ‘world systems’. This was nothing but the systems of socio-economic hegemonies (capitalocene) whose aim was to plunder Mother Nature in search of the ‘four cheaps’. In due process (historical process), man-made ecological systems came into existence due to the ‘rush’ for new frontiers at the expense of natural environment.

As students of environmental history, I notice your concern about the order of things much as I do, which is also supported by Moore on his reaction about the fate of capitalism. He said that ‘capitalism is done’, in other words the system has already reached its limits. Moore chooses to emphasize this in his metaphoric titles and expressions like ‘end of the four cheaps’ and another article entitled ‘The end of the road’. However, to bring the whole issue to our current experience, capitalistic world systems are mutating in that the end of colonialism and ‘the four cheaps’ has gradually been replaced by financial hegemonies in the process of prolonging degradation of environment. The usual suspects now are the World Bank and IMF which are controlled by powerful states disguising as development partners. The result of this has been climate change, agro-ecological exhaustion, crop diseases and chronic indebtedness among the poor states.

According to Immanuel Wallerstein who is actually the pioneer scholar to develop a theoretical framework to understand the historical changes involved in the rise of capitalism up to the modern day world systems, these strong modern states or core states have only facilitated a ‘skewed development in which economic and social disparities between sections of the world economy have increased instead of providing prosperity for all.’ It is thus predicted that ‘a worldwide economic crisis is imminent and that the capitalist world economic system will collapse, giving way to new revolutionary changes’. Moore himself supports these changes, according your reflection that ‘we have to define our own new world-ecologies’ for future survival of both human and extra human nature. Thank you for your reflection Kristina.