Start › Forums › Courses › Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History › Mon 17 Feb: World Systems, History and Ecology
|February 19, 2014 at 13:34 #11654|
Reply to Nisa’s post
|February 19, 2014 at 13:40 #11655|
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 »radical change« as you put it.
|February 19, 2014 at 14:04 #11659|
Reply to Nik Petek:
I really liked your reflection and the things you came up with. Your point of view in that we human beings tend to see ourselves in the light of being ”on top of nature” is one that I take as well. Of course that is not to say we are completely separated from nature and that is important to understand. The view of not being separated from nature is more inclined with the concept of ”world-ecology”. However, there is no other species who take advantage and dominion over nature as does us humans and therefore the concept of Anthropocene is to me relevant.
|February 19, 2014 at 16:25 #11660|
In response to Sabbath Sunday –
It was interesting to read your post – thanks for sharing. It appears that you are a fan of Immanuel Wallerstein – as am I. His call for intellectual change through world-systems analysis has been answered by Moore, but also, as Moore writes himself, by his mentor Giovanni Arrighi. Wallerstein also has a pretty great website where he posts bi-monthly commentaries, the latest one was about protests in the Ukraine (check it here → http://www.iwallerstein.com/commentaries/).
|February 19, 2014 at 16:34 #11661|
Response to Gao Yongliang’s reflection
By Yaqi Fu
Thanks very much for your comprehensive reflection. Personally I understand your feelings as well.
From the first part in your reflection I can see you are confused about terminological words that Moore used in his article. I agree with you on this problem. Since he seemed to prefer using some “big words” in his essays. It’s easy to get lost if there is insufficient of explanation. Global issues are hard to solve and even to find a way in solving. These “big words” may lead it to the air, but not real solutions, and further as you said, make readers hard to evaluate and comment on his work. But on the other side, it’s helpful to know some new terminology in his articles.
The second part of your essay is about trans-disciplinary thinking. You found Moore’s work is more focused on economical and political history, but less on environmental history. I think that is true. Moore believed current environmental problems are in fact historical, and environmental history can not be studied without understanding capitalism in history and neoliberalism now. In Moore’s idea, environmental problems are much more complicated than what you (I also) understand. This is good to have a broad view on environment issues, I think.
In the third part you questioned if his articles seem to present so much theories but not enough facts. I agree with you on this side. Cheap food is also of my interest. In explaining cheap food, he uses the historical facts in the capitalism age, and a chart to show the price fluctuation in the current time. But it still gives me a feeling that the evidence is so general and partial. From cheap food, he extended to hegemony, capitalism, ecology, neoliberalism and what more. This trial is creative and provoking, and makes us reflect ourselves what is next when cheap food ends. But it’s so broad that gives another feeling that we can not catch any certainty of facts.
|December 18, 2014 at 14:53 #15781|
Moore argues that capitalism as we know it may very well crumble within the next few decades. I believe neoliberalism, as the over-arching ideological framework for contemorary capitalism, will come to crumble or change long before that and that this change might already have started. In this paper I present some of my thoughts towards this “whatever-comes-next” as I try to summerize the literature and the written reflections of my colleagues.
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