How to Read Capitalism in the Web of Life: Towards a World-Historical Materialism in the Web of Life

Of modernity’s illusions, none is so powerful—and none more fundamental to the imperialist bourgeoisie’s belief structures—than Man and Nature (Moore 2021e). I have written these words in the uppercase because they are not merely words; they are instruments of bourgeois rule. I call them ruling abstractions, and they are the ideological building blocks of capitalism’s structures of domination: Prometheanism (Man over Nature), racism (White over Non-White), sexism (Man over Woman) (Moore 2019; 2020; 2021d). The history of capitalism and its long history of entwined genocide and ecocide, beginning in 1492, is more than a “material” history of devastated environments, mass graves, and profit-making opportunities created by empires and seized by capitalists. It is a history functionally enabled by ideological models specifically designed to allow empires and bourgeoisies to manage planetary life in the interests of endless accumulation.

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