Monday, April 3, 2017

The crisis of reproduction

Anger, terrorism, fear:

Left Business Observer: March 2, 2017 - Mark Blyth on neoliberalism and global Trumpism
(the Guardian/Observer article on Mercer and Cambridge Analytica he talks about is here)

Life without Authority: Generational Politics in West Africa
Nigeria has the largest economy on the African continent and is one of the world’s major oil producers. Yet the majority of Nigerians lives in utter poverty and the country is torn by two extremely violent insurgencies. What’s going on? Corruption is only a superficial explanation. More important is a breakdown of state, civic, customary and religious authority – a crisis that leaves the country’s youth in limbo.

The crisis of reproduction:

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England, women pulled carts loaded with coal in the mines. When their hips were warped to such a degree that they could no longer have children, the owners decided another solution was needed.

We now face a new crisis of reproduction. This time, however, the crisis is not a result of physical distortion, but of symbolic distortion. Existential issues fail to be addressed by outmoded social mythologies. The result is socio-economic breakdowns, such as austerity, that make it impossible for young people to establish families - very visible in South Europe at the moment. When direct economic limitations are not relevant, it is often cultural adaptations based upon the outmoded mythologies that limit reproduction. The dramatic decline in fertility in Japan and Italy are examples of what happens when women are not offered opportunities expected in modern society. Finally, purely ideological offensives such as "global warming" and "terrorism" (greater expenditures on the military industrial complex) are used to convince people that increases in population are undesirable. "Global warming" can be seen as a reversion to Gaianism, a primitive pagan belief. The Chinese "one child" policy was a direct result of the publication of the book "The Population Bomb." Now the country faces a demographic crisis. In the most extreme cases, we have academics researching "zero-growth economics." All of this in the face of space industrialization, which will expand resources available to humanity more than at anytime in history.



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  6. Despite the precariousness that it creates, why does capitalism survive? Radical theorist Silvia Federici discusses how capitalism perpetuates itself by dispossessing and dividing us, while putting the job of reproducing the workforce squarely on the shoulders of the working class, especially women. She considers the missteps that the feminist movement made in confronting the rise of neoliberal capitalism and argues for an approach that leads to the reappropriation of power from below.

  7. In his now notorious 1977 book, Eco Science, John P. Holdren wrote of a need for the U.S. to follow an agenda of “de-development” via “a stable, low-consumption economy”. The book also calls for programs of mass sterilization, one child policies and an authoritative “Planetary Regime” to oversee their implementation.

    As we have previously pointed out, though the catalyst has changed throughout Holdren’s work, the endgame remains the same. In the 70’s, Holdren was busy talking up the drastic threat of global cooling, warning that it would produce giant tidal waves and environmental devastation. Holdren’s convictions about climate change have flip-flopped in order to accommodate whatever scientific fad holds sway at the time, however, his goal of depopulation and de-development remains constant.