World Accumulation and Planetary Life, or, Why Capitalism will not Survive Until the ‘Last Tree is Cut’

There’s a big problem with such explanations. Anthropogenic implicates an  actor that doesn’t exist. There is no Anthropos, no humanity as a unified actor. So, if not anthropogenic, what? In a word: capitalogenic . Let me be clear about this term, and about the idea of the ‘Capitalocene’. Liberals complain that there’s plenty of responsibility to go around, and that capitalists aren’t the only ones to blame. The Capitalocene doesn’t say that the One Percent are completely to blame for the crisis. (But, just to be clear, the One Percent  are   completely to blame for the crisis.) The Capitalocene argument isn’t about blame; it’s about identifying the system that has devastated life on this planet. It’s about making clear the history of capitalism. The Capitalocene is a way to begin to ask how the accumulation of capital, the pursuit of power and the co-production of nature form an organic and evolving whole. That  whole is a ‘world-ecology’. To say capitalogenic is therefore to invoke not just economics – whatever that might mean – but the power and violence that has made endless accumulation possible.

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