Referring to industrial pollution as the anthropocene lets the polluters off the hook. It has gone on some time now, so as the word isn’t going away its high time to ask just who is the anthro in this anthrobscenity? The generality is clear, but maybe it would be worth considering a few things that should be more obvious; that the ruling classes of the capitalist world system profit from polluting and have done so all along; collective control of the machinery of production would imply collective responsibility and collective decisions about how we all live; blame for the anthropocene glossed as blame on humans as such of course obscures entrenched privileges and hierarchies of class, region and nation, and history; capitalism is not the only global option, nor even the first ‘world system’, but it’s disconnect of responsibility and control of the means of reproduction is unique and appalling; reproduction of life need not pollute, need not harm, need not waste lives or energies – you do not have to fuck people over to survive; the Eurocentrism of the formulations here – anthropocene century climate change and scarcity discourses is blatant but underexamined; recycling tokens, reform targets or regulatory mechanisms mean little change while wealth determines power via control of the means of production; exclusivist opportunist private control turns means of production into means of pollution every time; Anthropocene means nothing more than a few of the usual suspect fuckers fucking the planet and getting away with it, with obfuscation – it’s really fucked up, fuckity fuck your filthy polluting class privilege, oil slick dodges, legitimacy excuses, the obscenity of your scams and all your dirty anthro-words.
– part of a gripes version of a future essay/chapter/book that will be rehearsed online here or on academia.edu
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This very good review by Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
Ewa Mazierska and Lars Kristensen (eds.) (2014) Marx at the Movies: Revisiting History, Theory and Practice, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 293 pp.
includes a nice summary of my chapter:
In the realm of the classical cinema, John Hutnyk’s ‘Citizen Marx/Kane’ draws a parallel between Citizen Kane and Marx’s book (218-243). When read together, these two seemingly disparate works symbiotically enrich the viewer’s understanding of both. Through an exploration of such notions as the allegory of property, philosophic biography, and the fetishisation of objects, Hutnyk asserts that a Hollywood classic like Kane can render Capital relevant to the present day. He illustrates that what we see in the film that is not in Marx’s book ‘is the personification of a class system’ (240). For Hutnyk, a Marxist reading of Welles’ film serves to debunk the obscuring of the oppressive regime of capital and the alibis in the name of philanthropy that capitalists deploy ‘for their acquisitive plunder’ (240).
Read the whole review: Bruce Williams in Film-Philosophy.
￼WORKERS￼WILD￼WEST ￼￼￼￼ISSUE #3 –
FREE NEWSPAPER FOR GREENFORD, PARK ROYAL, SOUTHALL, HEATHROW WORKERS OF THE WORLD, STOP MOANING, START THE RUCKUS!
For .PDF click here: WWW ed3
1) EDITORIAL: PARIS, ALEPPO, BAGHDAD – THEIR WARS, OUR DEAD!
2) DAYS OF DAY LABOUR – WORK EXPERIENCES FROM AGENCIES ‘CLEANEVENT’ AND ‘OLYMPIA STAFF’
3) MESSING WITH THE DRIVERS! WINCANTON/SAINSBURY’S TRANSPORT OFFICE, GREENFORD
4) WHAT ARE WE SCARED OF? WAREHOUSE WORKERS STRUGGLES IN ITALY
5) WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: WORKING AND STRUGGLING AT – POLAND & GERMANY
6) REBEL CITY! – NEWS AND VIEWS FROM LONDON TOWN
7) AT THE DEAD-END OF THE RUNWAY – REPORT ABOUT WORKING AT AIRLINE CATERER
8) WHAT IS THIS PAPER ABOUT?
1) PARIS, ALEPPO, BAGHDAD – THEIR WARS, OUR DEAD!
Things were pretty grim in 2015. The attacks in Paris, thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean trying to reach safety from war and poverty, tension between NATO-states and Russia, police state measures in France and Belgium, more austerity announcements by the UK government… what to make of it all?
It’s not just about religion, and not only about oil
Ever since Britain and France were colonial powers, read More here
I’d followed this story from the start, but as the journey dragged on I was only catching up much later, usually a month or so after the fact. This is the last of the series which follows a container ship on its travels – a HUGE container ship – as a meditation on ethnography and much else besides. Great project. Read back to some of the earlier posts, especially the first ones, for commentary on size. But this bit on waste is also worth retaining:
One of my first conversations with the captain when we were still in Oakland was about this very vexing problem of waste: as we experienced longer and longer delays at the US ports, the primary question on the captain’s mind was what to do with all the garbage the ship had accumulated. Recent US environmental regulations prohibited the release of these wastes into the 24-mile coastal waters off the US shoreline, and their presence was starting to give the captain a headache. “Grey water” – the collected dirty liquid from laundry machines and shower stalls, was nearing capacity in the tanks, so the laundry room had to close. Sewage could not be disposed, and food waste, biodegradable and otherwise dumped into the ocean every three days, was gathering the smell of rot and decay into corners of the deck. “Apparently,” said the chief mate, “the US does not want to shit where it eats.” – and so it protects its waters from waste, making the world’s ocean into its toilet bowl.
There is some rich irony in all this: environmental regulations declared a ‘victory’ for communities in the US may have alleviated the blight of pollution in US territorial waters (itself somewhat of an oxymoronic term), but this only means that that garbage is disposed of somewhere else – received, recycled, cleaned, and ingested by populations unable to escape from its detritus. I think often about this circulating image as an allegory for the inequalities of the global economy: boxes full of garbage, wastepaper and scrap travel east and are recycled to keep China’s manufacturing and packaging industries humming, while those same containers travel back west with goods made cheap by indentured labor – goods soon to be discarded in a yawning hole and brought back east again not long after they are purchased: computer chips, 6 month-old iPhones declared irrelevant upon the release of newer models, barely sturdy furniture, dollhouses, plastic utensils, etc. etc., the whole rejected flotsam and jetsam of our ravenous, bulimic society in giant landfills, representing a grand dialectical tussle between value and its antithesis.
In China, however, waste is business. Not only are a ship’s eastbound containers laden with refuse and scrap; the endlessly traveling ship is itself a massive waste-producer. As we neared the Chinese ports, the chief engineer and captain ran over the long list of overhauls and waste management procedures they would have to accomplish on top of the rush of cargo operations. In Hong Kong, I watched as a crane lifted a hulking mountain of garbage collected over a month at sea into a waiting barge below, the smell of heavy fuel and rotten food mixing together in the humid air. In Yantian, a sludge disposal company with a freshly-painted barge drew alongside the Ever Cthulhu in the harbor in the afternoon, and I watched as it lifted a pipe by crane onto the ship’s deck, and pumped 75 tons of sludge from the engine room’s tanks into the barge waiting below. The business of sludge management is “so lucrative”, the chief engineer says, that while companies in the EU charge shippers for its disposal, in China, companies purchase this black, sticky mess. When put through a refining process, half of this sludge is usable as fuel; the other half is burned off in a waste plant. So profitable is this business that after they were done with the job, the company sent gifts: the Chief Engineer received a few beautiful calendars, and the crew ten boxes of Tsing Tao beer.
Read the whole post here:
The earlier posts via here.
My May 2007 comment on Marx and the Theory of shit is here and a later follow up here.
Arbeit – Freizeit – Schlaf ist das scheinbar in Stein gemeißelte Triumvirat des idealen Alltags im Kapitalismus. Der Mensch stellt seine Arbeitskraft zur Verfügung, um existenzielle Bedürfnisse zu befriedigen, aber auch um sich Sachen leisten zu können, die ihn in seiner Freizeit von der zu ablenken, damit er möglichst schnell wieder bereit für selbige ist. Der britische Kulturwissenschaftler John Hutnyks hat sich in seinem Aufsatz Shopping is Civil War anhand unterschiedlicher Musikvideos mit dem Irrsinn des Shoppings in der warenförmigen Gesellschaft beschäftigt:
SHOPPING IS CIVIL WAR
By John Hutnyk
Six supermarkets featured in six music videos. In different ways, I can see why these clips go together and it is not merely arbitrary. It worries me that all my life seems headed for the aisles; shopping surrounds me with monstrous collections of commodities.
Read the rest here
The magazine is here: TheInvisibleFinger
Huge excitement building in Hsinchu East…