July 31, 2007

Capitalism, Nature, Socialism

Posted in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism at 9:38 PM by Brian Gareau

2005

  • Actor-Network Theory, Marxist Economics, and Marxist Political Ecology

By: Alan P. Rudy and Brian J. Gareau
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introductionrudygareaucnsantintroduction.pdf

Introduction Science and technology studies have generated increasing interest within Marxist circles. In this symposium, we focus on Actor-Network Theory, a topic that has, at times, sparked misguided debate due to misunderstanding on both sides. On the whole, though, green Marxisms and ANT have maintained relative distance from each other. The articles in this symposium seek to narrow the gap.

  • We Have Never Been Human: Agential Nature, ANT, and Marxist Political Ecology

By: Brian J. Gareau
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gareaucnsant2005.pdf

Introduction Marxist political ecology has the potential to link the concept of an agential nature in science studies of the actor-network genre with interrelated conceptions of nature, culture, and relations of production (livelihood) in Marxist political ecology. Some adherents of ANT remain closed-minded to the conception of a capitalistic socionature with overarching tendential characteristics and thus fail to benefit from the political ecological aspects of emancipation, resource destruction, and unequal power distribution found therein. Ecological Marxism — and O’Connor’s second contradiction, in particular — contains the tools necessary to benefit from some of ANT’s ontology. Ecological Marxism also provides ‘‘ANTers’’ with a context in which to situate their studies of capitalist networks. Despite ANT’s critique of the obverse, ecological Marxism, particularly O’Connor’s theory, also contains a nearly symmetrical reflection on the importance of nature, culture, and social relations/ conditions that are compatible with ANT’s concerns for a ‘‘post-humanist’’ vision of socionature.

2004

  • Use and Exchange Value in Development in Southern Honduras

By: Brian J. Gareau
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gareau-cns-2004.pdf

Introduction Development has long acted as a way of incorporating new, often rural, areas into the global capitalist market, at the expense of local socio-ecological conditions. Impoverished peoples in the global South are under consistent pressure to make use of economic programs that largely dismiss the importance of the social relations in which the economic relations of their communities are embedded. The consequence, as explicated notably by Karl Polayni in The Great Transformation, is the dismissal of the socio-ecological relationships of impoverished peoples at the expense of greater profit and growth. One place where global capitalism has attempted to establish itself via neoliberal development is the protected area of Cerro Guanacaure in southern Honduras. I present a case from Cerro Guanacaure that addresses poverty by using a citizen participatory approach which incorporates notions of use value and local autonomy, as opposed to top-down production for exchange in the global capital market. The case is based on my research and development experience as a Master’s International Peace Corps Volunteer with environmental projects in southern Honduras in 1997-1999.

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