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

Author Replies # Posted on February 19, 2014 at 13:40

Comment on Yaqi’s reflection

After reading your reflection Yaqi, I got the impression that your reflection went beyond merely theoretical musings. Which is good, musing is the easy way out. I appreciate your personal input into this text; you did not simply evaluate Moore’s theory in terms of coherency, or purely theoretical interest, rather you evaluated what kind of truth about the world or consequences Moore’s claims carry. I agree with you that we should not count on another agricultural or techno-scientific revolution to save capitalism (not us, mind you), however I do not think that Moore actually claims that another plunder/production moment should happen, I believe he claims that capitalism needs new frontiers and agricultural revolution. So, I think Moore does not desire Chinese people to suffer that burden, rather he sees China’s struggle as another symptom of the crisis of capitalism. It seems like a dead-end and you propose an inwards revolution of the self, as I understand it. However, I think we should not understand and tackle this problem with moralizing and depoliticizing the struggle. By internalizing the problem and translating the economological crisis into individual guilt, we only make it easier for those who control the flows of capital and forces of production. Internalizing the guilt and choosing an ascetic way of life is another victory for capital, though I understand what you mean by calling for fairness and justice. We eat while the people who fill our bellies are hungry, but do you think consuming less would make it better? How does this rearrange the unequal distribution of wealth? If I buy local food (if indeed I can afford it, since it is much more expensive), lead an introspective, good life, do I change something? Rather, we should seize the struggle as a political one and not be afraid of Ā»radical changeĀ« as you put it.
As I said in the beginning, I am very thankful for your personal take on this topic and it gave me courage to express my own. I hope we understand each other!