The present crisis of capitalism has a history. A history of the private accumulation of wealth through property regimes which allow increasing commodification and the privatisation of resources: from land to knowledge and even to life itself. Understanding that history may allow us to imagine alternatives after Capital which are no longer private but common. After Capital explores this history, showing how the economy is linked to environmental damage, climate change, resource depletion, and to massive inequality. It takes the reader from liberalism to neoliberalism, from climate change to the Anthropocene, and shows how this history is inextricably the history of colonialism. It is a rich and detailed narrative of capitalism over the last 200 years, that explains its texture and its neoliberal endgame. This discussion frames speculation on what postcapitalist societies could be, with regimes of private accumulation replaced by a politics and ethics of a democratic and ecologically- grounded Commons.
Chapter 2: In the Shadow of Tipping Points: The Political Economy of Climate Change
Nothing captures the contradictions and stuckness at the heart of the tragedy of climate change as the decision by President Obama on 17 August 2015 to grant final permit to Royal Dutch Shell to drill the Arctic for oil in the Chukchi Sea yet doing so just a few days after he himself alerted the world about the dangers of global warming when he announced his administration’s support for the US Clean Power Plan (now proposed for repeal, October 2017). This Plan was described as the way forward ...