Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Humankind 4: Object-Oriented Marxism

By Jove it's perfectly thinkable, and I'm thinking it right now in this Verso book. Nice one! Wasn't quite expecting it to work exactly the way it is, which is also awesome. It's working so well that I'm going to be arguing that Marxism only works if you include nonhumans. Rather than condescendingly “Wouldn't it be nice to include nonhumans like we included race and gender after Perry Anderson?” or “Ecology was always included!” like in John Bellamy Foster. You can go right inside the theory itself and argue from the inside out that you absolutely have to have nonhumans, not as a nice extra to make things nice, but as an intrinsic component that makes things work. Which in effect is arguing that the anthropocentrism in Marxism is a bug, not a feature. Hahaha, bugs...

5 comments:

D. E.M. said...

Great stuff! Matter, labor, soil.... Base/superstructure-- yes, it'll work from the inside out!

cgerrish said...

I'd include thinking about inequality too. There's something of the human/non-human in that equation as well.

nickguetti said...

Ecodesign has worked with the concept that nonhumans are intrinsic to human life from day one. The problem for us is not that no one realizes this; it's that this intrinsicality is itself a human-flavored utility-pattern we impose on bodies that never signed on to following that pattern.

John said...

Great thinking. Not sure I buy into what I have nor yet read, but the premise would explain a great deal. In the last year I reposted 2 of your blog pots concerning the difference between racism and speciesism, one on a progressive animal lawyer's listserve, and the other on a crunchy Marxism discussion board. Surprisingly the leftist animal lawyers were more hostile (paraphrasing "I don't know what this means and am not sure it is appropriately posted") than the Marxists who at least took the time to discuss the quoted material -- although neither approved. I was looking at Marxist theory's failure to include (very many animals) from the outside and this is where you get the discussion going again.I would add that without animals there is no capitalism, but would there be Marxism without animals? It may seem facile but the first Marxist collectives were probably to hunt and disassemble animals.

D. E.M. said...

In _Blood Relations _ Chris Knight argues that the first collectives were menstruating women (in synchrony) & hunters (comprised of men) who returned with the flesh to the collective of women. It's a Marxist study of human differentiation from other primates, who don't menstruate.