Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Final Stretch and My Non-Responsiveness

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Final Stretch and My Non-Responsiveness

    A clunky title but true. Just a quick word of explanation for my ongoing lack of participation on many nights. I am now in the last three months of a multi-year long research project that culminates in the submission of my next manuscript to the University of Toronto Press at the end of April 2017. 72,000 words done, 38,000 words to go (things go easier towards the end with the tail winds of so much research and draft material behind me). This will be my 4th book with UTP (assuming I pass muster with peer review). Publication is still a few years away (university publishing is a very slow process). It takes an average of one million key strokes per book.

    Anyhoooo, most nights you may see my chip truck parked somewhere as I edit the manuscript, conduct research, or scan various papers for research gold. I cannot be in comms or hear comms or follow orders under such conditions thus my non-squading up. The marvel of having two screens!

    Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three: The Central Problem with the Central Value System:

    "Whatever the specific content of capitalism’s value system may be, the outcome of this dominant value system is climate change, the degradation of the ecological foundation to life, and a decrease in the variety of life. The authors of a 2015 study of extinction rates grimly concluded that “a mass extinction is under way—the sixth of its kind in Earth’s 4.5 billion years of history.” Furthermore, “The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history . . . our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years.” Typical of observations in this field of study, pessimistic projections of future species losses “may more closely approximate the true threat level” than optimistic projections. Also typical is the conclusion that without a dramatic shift in the business-as-usual course of action the world will endure an intense mass extinction. The output of capitalism’s value system is an mass extinction event that threatens human survival.

    Proposed responses to this global crisis vary greatly. The response that I focus on herein is the one that calls for radical transformation of the world system. While such an approach may itself appear to be unjustified it is noteworthy that for over a century economists on both the left and the right have argued that change as radical as a post-capitalist society is inevitable. A wide spectrum of economic theorists including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Max Weber, David Ricardo, Charles Wright Mill, Werner Sombart, John Maynard Keynes, Rudolf Hilferding, Karl Polanyi, and Joseph A. Schumpeter all expected to witness the end of capitalism. We could dismiss this as one more example of economics’ failure as a predictive science or we could heed multiple voices that warn of capitalism’s crisis and history’s precedents.

    Economic systems and their social orders, entire civilizations, are subject to catastrophic collapse. It stands to reason that we contemplate the horror of a possible future wherein “we’ll tragically lose a few billion people.” John Urry likewise observed that sociological thinking must acknowledge the possibility of societal collapse, “It seems incorrect to posit that human societies constitute given and unchanging elements upon the earth. A bifurcation could be reached, with catastrophic collapse of human societies were they to pass a tipping point.” Things have gone terribly wrong for human civilizations in the past. The fact that our technologically-advanced civilization has reached astounding heights of science, wealth, and power is small comfort. As Jared Diamond points outs, “a society’s demise may begin only a decade or two” after it reaches peak population, wealth accumulation, resource consumption, waste production, and environmental impact. Diamond argues that, under such conditions, time itself becomes the most precious commodity, “declines of societies tend to follow swiftly on their peaks.” We may not have reached our peak, but the additional 3 billion consumers that will be joining us in this century will help us quickly scale the summit of capitalism’s excess. At our current rate of expansion, by the end of this century the global economy will be eighty times larger than it was in 1950. Arguably, we are not doing enough to slow down our pace of consumption. As Adrian Parr, UNESCO cochair of water and sustainability, suggests, typical responses to climate change, adaptation, modification, “a few adjustments here and there” are insufficient as they merely “constitute the very essence of capitalism . . . Voluntarily offsetting a bit of carbon here and there, eating vegan, or recycling our waste, although well intentioned, are not solutions to the problem, but a symptom of the free market’s ineffectiveness.” As Dauvergne likewise argues, current changes to global consumer capitalism “remain too slow and incremental to avoid irreparable damage. The evidence of ongoing – and increasing – harm to people, forests, deserts, freshwater, oceans, and the climate is overwhelming.” Under such conditions it will take radical change to move beyond market-based responses to the climate crisis."

    Be well,

    Dr. Strangelove
    aka E-Male





    sigpic

  • #2
    Did you already spend that six million dollars of advance money for this latest book? :D

    Comment


    • #3
      Unfortunately, what one makes writing academic books does not pay for the coffee, paper, and printer toner. After I am done this one I plan to finish one of my fictional novels for a break. A story about a boy who discovers he is a wizard . . .
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        A boy who finds out he's a wizard? Pff, it'll never sell.



        Comment


        • #5
          How about a young girl named Hegemony who discovers that she is really just an ordinary girl, and a not a witch?

          P.S., also, owls
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            You had me at owls.



            Comment


            • #7
              (In my best Hagrid voice) You're a wizard E-Male!

              Comment


              • #8
                sigpic

                Comment

                Connect

                Collapse

                TeamSpeak 3 Server

                Collapse

                Advertisement

                Collapse

                Twitter Feed

                Collapse

                Working...
                X