• Oil: The Black Swan of Capitalism

    Marco Accattatis (see profile)
    Item Type:
    capitalism, climate change, oil, Anthropocene, Political economy
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    At a time when transnational capital is closer than ever to achieving full spectrum dominance in world economy, there are also signs indicating that its accompanying neoliberal ideology is resting atop a growing sea of glaring contradictions: supposedly rational consumers randomly choosing among an increasing glut of services and commodities; a geopolitical system increasingly engulfed in both low- and high-intensity conflicts over resources, markets, and global hegemony; a developing climate catastrophe which national and international political institutions, captured by financial and corporate interests, are seemingly unable to address. Still, amidst such and other ominous signs, it is also possible for the careful observer to identify the emergence of new social, political and cultural formations which are beginning to challenge the capitalist mode of production and its related hegemonic apparatuses. The primary aim of this paper is to assess the significance of fossil fuels and, particularly, of oil, not only within the logic of capitalism but, most importantly, as possibly one of the major contributors to its undoing. In this regard, it is the belief of this and other scholars that the unfolding climate crisis, coupled with the persisting Second Great Depression (GDII), has created the conditions for a radical rethinking of both the economic system and its cultural superstructure. Yet, as the institutional response to GDII already indicates, it is also apparent that the forces of capital are starting to view the climate crisis as another opportunity for systemic regeneration. Within the dialectic of such maneuverings, I will finally look at existing avenues of resistance and explore potential sites of disjuncture ripe for creative and meaningful forms of cultural penetration.
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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