“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Here Comes a Dark Ecology Snippet about Capitalism

“Capitalist economics is also an anthropocentric practice that has no easy way to factor in the very things that ecological thought and politics require: nonhuman beings and unfamiliar timescales. Considering public policy at timescales sufficient to include global warming, economic theory tends to throw up its hands and say, “This doesn’t fit our science”—well duh. What is really meant here is “This doesn’t effect our interpretation of data given that, unlike a physicist, we are unwilling to notice that we may suffer from confirmation bias.” Or consider the argument within economics that depression about ecological issues is dangerous or absurd or impossible—how it can be all three without being a politicized pseudotarget eludes me, but the idea is again that “the science” doesn’t justify it: why on Earth would anyone want to impose a tax on goods entering or leaving the country unless one were some kind of “authoritarian” hostile to “free trade?” Such reasoning is deaf to the nonhumans whose inclusion in thought compels one to think about, for example, minimizing or changing one’s energy use, perhaps by taxing things that have to travel a long way. Psychology and economics, “sciences” closest to humans, are, not surprisingly, deeply anthropocentric and unwilling to consider that they may be caught in hermeneutical loops.”

1 comment:

cgerrish said...

Capital is incapable of the ecological thought, because it can think of nothing but itself. It looks at the catastrophe in the biosphere and says, "sure, but what about me. I'm not feeling so good myself. My growth isn't what it used to be."