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Capitalism in the Web of Life: Author Meets Critics

Video Minutes:

The Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies and the Committee on Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research present Jason W. Moore in conversation with Nancy Fraser and Eli Zaretsky about his book Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015). The conversation was moderated by Christian Parenti.

Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today’s global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Drawing on environmentalist, feminist, and Marxist thought, Moore offers a groundbreaking new synthesis:capitalism as a “world-ecology” of wealth, power, and nature. Capitalism’s greatest strength—and the source of its problems—is its capacity to create Cheap Natures: labor, food, energy, and raw materials. That capacity is now in question. Rethinking capitalism through the pulsing and renewing dialectic of humanity-in-nature, Moore takes readers on a journey from the rise of capitalism to the mosaic of crisis and limits today.  He shows how thinking about humanity as part of nature is key to understanding our predicament, and to pursuing the politics of liberation and sustainability in the century ahead.

Jason W. Moore is Associate Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, where he teaches world history and world-ecology. He is author of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015) and editor of Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (PM Press, 2016). He writes frequently on the history of capitalism, environmental history, and social theory. Moore is presently completing Ecology and the Rise of Capitalism, an environmental history of the rise of capitalism, and with Raj Patel, Seven Cheap Things: A World-Ecological Manifesto – both with the University of California Press. He is coordinator of the World-Ecology Network (https://worldecologynetwork.wordpress.com). Many of his essays can be found on his website:www.jasonwmoore.com.

Nancy Fraser is Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor at the New School for Social Research and Professor II at the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo. She also holds the Chair in “Global Justice” at the Collège d’études mondiales, Paris. Her most recent books are Domination et anticipation : pour un renouveau de la critique, with Luc Boltanski (2014); Transnationalizing the Public Sphere: Nancy Fraser debates her Critics (2014); and Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis (2013). Fraser’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and was cited twice by the Brazilian Supreme Court (in decisions upholding marriage equality and affirmative action). The recipient of 5 honorary degrees, she is currently working on a book called, “Capitalism, Crisis, Critique: A Critical Theory for the 21st Century.”

Eli Zaretsky is Professor of History at the New School. His works include: Political Freud (2016), Why America Needs a Left (2012), Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis(2004)and Capitalism, The Family and Personal Life (1974)

Christian Parenti has a PhD in sociology (co-supervised in geography) from the London School of Economics and is a professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. His latest book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011), explores how climate change is already causing violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism. The book involved several years of travel and research in conflict zones of the Global South.

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