World Accumulation and Planetary Life
or Why Capitalism Will Not Survive Until the ‘Last Tree is Cut’
PERC/CUSP Lecture by Jason W. Moore
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Why does it seem easier to imagine the end of the world than to see the end of capitalism? Part of the answer turns on a rift between radical economic and ecological thought: one emphasizing capitalism’s economic woes, the other, how capitalism propels manifold biophysical crises, climate change above all. In this talk, Jason W. Moore suggests how we might mobilize the insights of both in a new synthesis that reveals the exhaustion of capitalism’s business-as-usual strategies, cohered over five centuries of conquest, colonialism, and capital accumulation. Arguing that capitalism is a world-ecology of power, re/production, and nature, Moore shows how this long history of the degradation of work and life – human, but also of all natures – might be transcended through new, revolutionary, ecologies of care and hope.
The event has now passed. An audio recording can be found below. An edited transcript of the lecture can be accessed on the PERC website.
Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is associate professor of sociology. He is author or editor, most recently, of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (PM Press, 2016), and, with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (University of California Press, 2017).