Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to its loss ... and it is right!

Current Economy and Sustainable Development-compatible? GDP growth (at all costs), economic development, inflation ... How concillier the current economy with the environment and sustainable development.
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Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to its loss ... and it is right!




by Christophe » 20/09/17, 20:05

QED?

For Bruno Latour, "the world is populated by madmen" and "there will be no exit from the tunnel"

In "Face à Gaïa", the iconoclastic thinker Bruno Latour judges that Man, blinded by his madness, has become incapable of seeing the reality of the world in the face. Hope, denial, round back, demiurgic fantasy ... nothing will prevent the inevitable from happening.
Bruno Latour is undoubtedly one of the most famous and well-known French intellectuals abroad. The books of the sociologist, anthropologist, philosopher that he has been for forty years are all translated into various languages. He collects awards and medals. Several prestigious universities have done this Doctor honoris causa. And invitations to attend conferences are raining all over the world.
The “eight conferences on the new climate regime” which make up Face à Gaïa essentially cover six of Latour's interventions made - in English - in Edinburgh (Scotland) in 2014. But translated, augmented and enriched by the author, they have changed status to become this literary object of almost four hundred pages as confusing as the fragment of painting by Caspar David Friedrich which adorns the cover of the book.
To say that Bruno Latour's prose is one that is easy to tame would be a lie. Reading is demanding. In a word, Latour deserves. With him, words, ideas, concepts intersect, jostle and collide until they threaten to drown the reader in dizzying abundance. In Gaïa, which is not nature but the symbol of the phenomena which modify the Earth system, there is question of anthropocene (did human activity give birth to a new geological era?), Religion, of spatial conquest, of theology, of Lamartine and James Lovelock… The mixing of ideas is permanent.

The world, in his eyes, is peopled with madmen

An intellectual iconoclast, a radical thinker, confused with a part of the intellectual world, Latour is a sort of prophet of doom, as is in an album of the adventures of Tintin Professor Philippilus (which he never fails to mention). For him, the world is not going through an “ecological crisis”. It would be too simple. “Talking about“ crisis ”would be another way of reassuring oneself by saying that“ it will pass ”; that the crisis “will soon be behind us”. As for the word "ecological", observes Latour, we put it to all sauces "to be reassured, to distance ourselves" and close our eyes.

It has been thirty or forty years, estimates Latour, that Man refuses to see reality in the face. It was "with surprising calm, and even an admirable form of stoicism", inherited from religions, he said, that we received the bad news that was accumulating. We remained inert so that "what could have been only a temporary crisis has turned into a profound alteration of our relationship to the world". And to add: “It seems that we have become those who could have acted (…) and who did nothing or so little. A few pages later, the philosopher drives the point home: "We are fine, as we say," in a tunnel "except that" we will not see the end ". In these matters, hope is bad advice since we are not in a crisis. It's not going to “pass”. We will have to get used to it. It is final. "
When he speaks of a “profound alteration in our relationship to the world”, Bruno Latour actually thinks of “madness”. The world, in his eyes, is populated by madmen. In a category of madmen, perhaps the most dangerous, he puts those who refuse to see reality, who say that we must "keep reason" and "live as before, without worrying too much". At their head, of course, the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
"Return to the idea of ​​progress"

Crazy also those who, few but active, are convinced that if the Earth machine is out of balance, it is man's fault for having controlled it closely. These preach for "a total domination over a nature always conceived as restive and wild". In the ranks of this new Church, born on the side of Silicon Valley, in California, figure prominently the apostles of geo-engineering, apprentice sorcerers of the climate and their scientific fantasies ...
And then there are the others, "the craziest, those who seem to believe that they can still do something, that it is not too late, that the rules of collective action , there too, will surely work; that we must be able to act rationally, with full knowledge of the facts, even in the face of such serious threats, while respecting the framework of existing institutions ”.
The author does not recognize himself in any of these categories. He ranks among the people of the esperados mentioned by the writer Romain Gary: marginal, hermits, artists, gardeners ... who seek in almost total isolation a way to resist anxiety. But, cabotin in his spare time, Latour specifies that in his case the remedy he found to get rid of his anxiety is to communicate it to others.
To none of these madmen, Doctor Latour leaves hope for a cure. The evil is too deep. Only the deadline, with contours that are difficult to discern, can be delayed as long as we accept a kind of care path which would consist in “going back on the idea of ​​progress”, in “retrogressing”, as he puts it nicely. .


Source: https://reporterre.net/Pour-Bruno-Latou ... -sortie-du
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Christophe » 21/09/17, 21:28

The same information in Humanity: https://www.humanite.fr/le-capitalisme- ... ete-641025

While studies follow one another to demonstrate the gravity and the extent of environmental damage, can we trust capitalism to repair what it has produced? No, say scientists, environmental activists and MEPs gathered in Brussels by the European United Left (1). They offer other alternatives.
The bad news about global warming and environmental degradation has been accumulating at an alarming rate since the start of summer in the form of an avalanche of scientific studies which all lead to the same diagnosis: if drastic measures do not are not taken very quickly on a global scale, a part of the planet risks becoming unlivable within a fairly short time. Some studies even conclude that it is already too late to raise the bar.

Non-exhaustive anthology of these summer chronicles of an announced planetary catastrophe:

- In the journal Nature, the French climatologist Jean Jouzel and a group of scientists, predict that if within 3 years greenhouse gas emissions are not stabilized, the planet will pass into another type of climate with "catastrophic consequences" »: Resurgence of deaths due to heat (certain regions of France would experience temperatures above 50 °), fires, increase in climate refugees from particularly affected regions such as the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan or Iran (there are currently 65 million climate refugees on the planet), declining agricultural yields, etc.

- A report drawn up by more than 500 scientists in more than 60 countries, (2) shows that 2016 was the year of all records in terms of temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions, rising oceans and of land subject to drought.

- According to the American climatologist Michael Oppenheimer, with the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris agreement, the chances of successfully implementing it do not exceed 10% (other researchers speak of a 5% chance.)

- According to a study by researchers from the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) and Loyola Marymount University, the heat risks making Southeast Asia unbearable by 2100.

- A scientific evaluation carried out last April by Unesco concludes that if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced very quickly, the 24 coral sites classified as World Heritage will have disappeared by 2100. It is already the case for 20% of them.

- At the beginning of July, a study carried out by American and Mexican researchers (3) shows that vertebrate species are retreating in massive numbers on earth, at an unprecedented rate since the disappearance of the dinosaurs over 60 million years ago. Researchers speak of the “sixth mass extinction of animals” and analyze the “catastrophic” consequences of this “defaunation” on ecosystems as well as on the economy and society in general.

- According to an article in the journal Science Advances, the melting ice of Greenland, a region which is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet, will accelerate in the coming years. According to one of the authors of this study, Bernd Kulessa (College of Science at the British University of Swansea), if the ice were to disappear completely, the level of the oceans would rise by 7 meters.
As if to confirm, a few days ago, a 300-meter LNG carrier flying the flag of the Total group, crossed the Northeast passage usually obstructed by ice floes, without the help of an icebreaker. This dream of connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Bering Strait, which oil tankers, as well as states like Russia, have long cherished, is now a reality.

- To top it all off, an international research institute working on the data provided by the UN (4), tells us that since the end of July, the planet has been living "on credit", that is to say that humanity has consumed in 7 months, all the resources that the earth can produce in a year. Aggravating circumstance: this fateful date now comes earlier and earlier.
As a bonus, still in terms of consumption, another study tells us that if all the inhabitants of the world wanted to live like a Frenchman, it would take three planets earth to meet their needs.

Responsible capitalism

If all these studies overlap and complement each other on the findings, they also agree on their causes: it is indeed the explosive development of production and the unlimited exploitation of the planet's resources since the beginning of "the industrial era ", which is the cause of the ongoing disaster. The fact that the situation has deteriorated at a very high speed in recent decades is further proof. This acceleration is directly linked to the development of capitalism in emerging countries, and more generally to the hegemonic extension of this mode of production to the whole planet. Recall that China, the first emerging country, is also the first country emitting greenhouse gases, just ahead of the United States, the world's leading capitalist power. "The logic of growth goes towards the self-destruction of the system, this is what happens when we entrust the management of the resources of humanity to private individuals", judges the Spanish MEP Xabier Benito (GUE-GVN.)
It is also the opinion of Daniel Tanuro who recalls that the aim of the capitalist system being to produce surplus value, there is no other solution than to replace the living work by dead work to fight against the fall of the rate of profit, therefore “increasing the mass of goods more and more quickly, which leads to consuming more and more resources and energy. "And the ecosocialist repeats it:" capitalist growth is the cause of the ecological crisis, of which permanent massive unemployment is the other aspect. "This is why, for Daniel Tanuro, it is essential to link social struggles and environmental.
No illusion either to be on the side of "green capitalism" promoted in particular by the European Union at the international level. For Daniel Tanuro who devoted a book to it, “green capitalism is an oxymoron. "What we see today in the destruction it operates everywhere on the planet is, on the contrary, its violence," says Eleonera forumsza, who explains, for example, how southern Italy thus became the discharge from the North.

What alternatives?

Once it is recognized that the path advocating the "modernization" of capitalism, its "greening", is a dead end (as well as the promotion of the "post-materialist" or "post-class" values ​​which accompany it), it is necessary to ask Clearly, analyzes the historian Stefania Barca, that "capitalism is the problem" and think of politics from this axiom, in new terms compared to those of the XXth century. "Where can we block capitalism? Is becoming a central political issue, explains Dorothée Haussermann, of Ende Gelände, a large collective of environmental organizations and political groups which focuses its actions on the blocking of lignite and coal mines in Germany. "Coal is part of the problem of global warming, we must prevent its production. We have to start somewhere, it's up to us to take matters into our own hands, ”explains Dorothée Haussermann.

We are not lacking information on climate change, notes Rikard Warlenhus (Left Party, Sweden), but it seems that changing things is beyond our possibilities. This is, for the reasons that we have just seen, because basically, notes MEP Ernest Cornelia (GUE / Die Linke), “imagining the end of capitalism is impossible. For him, the question therefore becomes: "how to go from the current stage to the next stage?" This question is all the more central since, as Rikard Warlenhus explains, "climate records tend to divide us. For example, explains Dorothée Häussermann, “the environmental movement can be seen as a threat to jobs.” This is the reason why part of the trade union movement is converted to “green capitalism”, although it is obvious that unemployment continues to rise, or that many unions support fossil fuels. "A difficulty in blaming 3 decades of decline in the workers' movement," analyzes historian Stefana Barca, who must be aware that it causes divisions. This is why, she adds, the fight for the environment must be understood as “a form of class struggle on a planetary level between labor forces and capital. "

Noting the vitality of the battles for the environment waged all over the world in very different forms and by actors, the speakers all insist on the need to promote links between all these movements and institutional actors when they exist (cities, regions, for example), or trade unions, parties, all over the world. The aim is to be "on the same scale of action as our adversary", explains Rikard Warlenhus "because capital exceeds the structure of the national state. "

The crucial role of women

Many analysts also emphasize as a central point, the role of women in the ecological and social struggle. This is not to say that it is good that women participate in it on an equal basis with men (gender equality is a consensual leitmotif of our societies, generally never respected), but rather to identify the specific, determining and innovative contribution of women, as women, in new forms of combat. The Italian deputy Eleonora forumsza (GUE-GVN) sees in the mobilizations that followed the Seveso disaster in July 1976, the founding event of this eco-feminism. "It was women who played a vital role in demanding medical studies, because pregnant women risked giving birth to malformed children. They were also the ones who launched the first calls for abortion in Italy. "(The abortion was legalized in 1978, but it is still very difficult to enforce it, note.) This contribution of women to ecological combat is also major for Daniel Tanuro who explains that" the place that patriarchy gives to women , gives them a particular conscience. He recalls that 90% of food production in the countries of the South is ensured by women, making them the spearhead of all the current struggles related to agriculture, land ownership, pollution or to the climate.

(1) Symposium at the European Parliament, March 27, 2017, Brussels published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science (PNAS)
(3) published in July by the American Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and The American Meteorological Society (AMS),
(4) The Global Foodprint Network, Oakland (California)
(5) Daniel Tanuro, "The Impossible Green Capitalism", La Découverte.
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Ahmed » 21/09/17, 21:59

As I write in another thread, all measures, taken in isolation as going in the right direction, are not effective because they unfold inside a system that can only "persist in its own right." to be ": on the contrary, they serve to fictitiously overcome its contradictions, to make them acceptable and therefore, to make its functioning continue, at the price, of course, of an increase in the level of its real contradictions. Any immanent criticism (by placing itself in the dominant systemic logic) reinforces what it claims (or believes) to fight.
The title is a bit misleading; it is not the current economy that is in question, but the economy itself. Indeed, to distinguish a "natural" economy which would be part of the human essence from the "modern" economy which would be a deviation, constitutes a serious misunderstanding or a dangerous shortcut. Indeed, between the exchanges which appear as an obvious anthropological datum and what is usually understood by "economy", there is not a difference of intensity, as many would like to see it by a retrojective anachronism, but of nature. The ancient exchanges aimed to ensure the qualitative equalization of the resources of the various members of society, those of today to accumulate ever more abstract value. This explains (for example) that hunger has never been conquered and that it is starting to grow again: how can we be surprised since it has never been an objective and that one of the major causes of malnutrition is precisely the obligation to focus on the sole concern for profit.
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by sen-no-sen » 21/09/17, 22:50

Rather than sounding the alarm for the umpteenth time, perhaps it would be more interesting to explain to us that ecocide and its derivatives (CAR, famines, etc.) are perfectly normal within the current historical process.
We do not pollute the planet we transform it, nuance.
The concept of pollution refers to the idea of ​​error, while transformation introduces the concept of intentionality.
Apart from the system naturally tends to saturated all the spaces, it is therefore "logical" for the biosphere to become techno-sphere, a simple evolutionary principle.
The ecological disaster therefore corresponds to a phase of change.

The main part of the current discourse tends to convince us that the ecological catastrophe can be combated via powerful technological means, but in reality the power of its latter will only be one more means to guarantee the hegemony of techno / economism.
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Ahmed » 21/09/17, 23:12

Of course, the concept of "pollution" is exactly what I refer to in other current posts, ie, phraseology meant to mask reality; to pass off as potentially correctable "errors" which are only determinisms from which it is impossible to escape, at least as long as we give up acting lucidly and that we persist in avoiding a thorough analysis of the foundations Of our society.

The main part of the current discourse tends to convince us that the ecological catastrophe can be combated via powerful technological means, but in reality, the power of these will only be one more means to guarantee the hegemony of techno / economism.

This sentence perfectly summarizes my comments on the energy transition in the wire on N. Hulot... 8)
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Christophe » 21/09/17, 23:16

So what do you think are the alternatives?

Apart from the collective suicide of the human race, I hardly see any ... : Cheesy:
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Ahmed » 21/09/17, 23:22

Apart from the collective suicide of the human race, I hardly see any ... : Cheesy:

What a lack of imagination! :D
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by sen-no-sen » 21/09/17, 23:32

Christophe wrote:So what do you think are the alternatives?

Apart from the collective suicide of the human race, I hardly see any ... : Cheesy:


The main part of the solution lies in understanding the determinisms at work, this refers to fairly esoteric notions * I agree but that it is essential to master otherwise we are doomed to disappear in any case ** .

It is only this point crossed that the reinforcement of the technique can come into play, I speak well of techniques rather than technology.


* Thermo-bio-sociology, memetics and more generally naturalism.
** In the worst case we will disappear due to a global epidemic caused by bio-terrorists or by a considerable degradation of the biosphere ...
In the best of cases our species disappears following its fusion with technology (transhumanism), there is therefore no escape ...
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Christophe » 21/09/17, 23:39

Ahmed wrote:What a lack of imagination! :D


Not really I just made a few short cuts since sen-no-sen ultimately comes to the same conclusion : Cheesy:
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Re: Bruno Latour: the current economy will lead the world to ruin ... and he is right!




by Ahmed » 22/09/17, 12:22

The impasse before which we find ourselves results less from an exhaustion of resources * than from the accumulation of internal contradictions in the system, its impossibility to persist in its being, our blindness to want it and our inability to demonstrate imagination to get out.

The second option proposed by Sen-no-sen and very well described by Exnihiloest, the dissolution of the human in the machine is only possible if economism manages to fade "gently" in favor of a purely technical paradigm, which I consider far from being won (even if this word seems rather very ironic to me in this context!).

* See: https://www.econologie.com/limites-physiques-croissance-pertinentes/
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