The planetary emergency

by John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe.1 But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these crises resides in the process of capital accumulation. Likewise the common solution is to be sought in a “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large,” going beyond the regime of capital.2 It is still possible for humanity to avert what economist Robert … Continue reading The planetary emergency

Petro-market civilization

by Tim Di Muzio Prologue: The Rule of Threes Lending weight to the popular saying that bad things always come in threes, three events in April of 2010 underscored the level of capitalist civilization’s addiction to carbon energy.  On the 3rd of April off the coast of north eastern Australia, the Shen Neng 1, a Chinese owned coal tanker hauling 68,000 tons of coal collided into the Great Barrier Reef – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – at full speed.  The impact ripped the ship’s haul, leaked three to four tons of the worst quality fuel oil into one of … Continue reading Petro-market civilization

A new age of reason

by Ali Shehzad Zaidi There is no better time, in this age of global warming and mass extinction of species, to rediscover the liberating thought of Thomas Paine, which recalls that of mystics and poets of many ancient cultures. In his iconoclastic The Age of Reason, published in 1794, Paine transfers the locus of the sacred from religious texts to the material Book of Nature, since “it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man” (Age 29). With these words, Paine anticipates the emergent romanticism of his times by envisioning … Continue reading A new age of reason