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(en) Czech, AFED: Capitalism stinks. For a long time -- Review of the book History of the World on the example of seven cheap things[machine translation]

Date Mon, 1 Mar 2021 10:45:40 +0200

Will you come too calm and need healthy shit? What do you read about the history of capitalism? You can start with the destruction of Madeira's ecosystem, the financing of war campaigns by Genoese bankers, the rampage of Christopher Columbus and other colonizers, slavery and the consecration of churches, the burning of witches, pogroms, fencing of municipal land, the suppression of peasant and workers' riots, institutional racism and other manifestations. inextricably linked to the emergence of an economic regime which, thanks to its adaptability and ability (and at the same time urgent need) to conquer new territories for exploitation, reigns hegemonically to this day. One is ashamed to be part of a "civilization" built on such foundations, even though it was formed by a few to the great detriment of the majority.

Such an excursion into the history of profitability and looting on the one hand and suffering and at the same time resistance on the other can be perfectly arranged by a book published in October 2020 by Neklid . It is called "briefly" History of the World on the example of seven cheap things. A guide to the capitalism, nature, and future of our planet and its authors are academics Jason W. Moore and Raj Patel, who describes himself as "someone with a very strong anarchist sense."

Before I opened the book, I thought that the seven things would be somehow concrete, tangible products with their own history. A hint of something like this in the form of chicken bones or cane sugar would be found in the book, but otherwise it is a completely different "thing", ie rather aspects, issues, issues. It is nothing less than nature, money, work, care, food, energy and lives. And in order for capital to accumulate, all these items must be kept as cheap as possible. The old lesson says that when something is cheap, it means that one will pay dearly elsewhere. Cheap here does not only mean the same as cheap, low cost. "Gilding in the sense of devaluing means a set of strategies that aim to subjugate to their power the broader fabric of life. (...) Cheap are strategies, practices and violence that mobilize all kinds of work - human and animal,

The authors do not see capitalism only as an economic system, but as "the whole way of organizing relations between man and other nature." Capitalism, as they explain, "exists only as a process of conquest, because it expands from one place to another, reshapes socio-ecological relations, produces more and more kinds of goods and services that circulate through an ever-expanding series of shifts." They describe how Society and Nature were separated, how most women, indigenous peoples, slaves, and colonized nations were denied their humanity. They also pay attention to the fact that capitalism "is inseparable from the modern state and state domination, as well as from the processes of transformation of nature, man and others." They explain that in order to ensure the cheapest possible care, modern categories of gender differences are being created within the framework of "capitalist ecology" (a term expressing the pervasive relations of the world under the yoke of capital) and that "asking capitalism to pay for care means asking for an end to capitalism." And here you will come across more and more interesting connections and observations.

Patel and Moor are not very optimistic about the future, they certainly consider it necessary to dream, "to dream much more radically than what current politics offers." He comes up with a vision of "ecology of remediation," in which "redistributing care, land, and labor so that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to improving life and ecology around them can atone for violence in the name of the abstractions that capitalism is pushing us to do today and every day." What does this mean for us? "If we are a product of capitalist ecology, then we can only change by putting into practice new ways of producing and caring for one another, the practice of renewal, new thinking and a new experience of our most basic relationships."

It is good to stop from time to time and think about the things (even the very specific ones) that surround us and the relationships behind them. Like this book. The initial thanks, which include an inexhaustible number of names and 44 pages of literature, are proof, among other things, that it was created by a huge number of people (including its transformation into material form in various parts of the world) and accumulated knowledge and experience across the world and centuries.

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