Carbon Democracy

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1781681163
Format: PDF
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Carbon Democracy provides a unique examination of the relationship between oil and democracy. Interweaving the history of energy, political analysis, and economic theory, Mitchell targets conventional wisdom regarding energy and governance. Emphasizing how oil and democracy have intermixed, he argues that while coal provided the impetus for mass democracy, the shift to oil drastically limited democratic possibility; above all, the ability to confront contemporary ecological crises.

Carbon Democracy

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844677451
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called ???the economy??? and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East."--Publisher website.

Rule of Experts

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520232624
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Drawing upon two decades of fieldwork in Egypt, a political scientist and ethnographer offers a sweeping critique of social science theory, arguing that we need to move beyond postmoderism to examine the fundemental constructs of the social sciences: the nation, the economy, and violence.

Lifeblood

Author: Matthew T. Huber
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816685967
Format: PDF, ePub
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If our oil addiction is so bad for us, why don’t we kick the habit? Looking beyond the usual culprits—Big Oil, petro-states, and the strategists of empire—Lifeblood finds a deeper and more complex explanation in everyday practices of oil consumption in American culture. Those practices, Matthew T. Huber suggests, have in fact been instrumental in shaping the broader cultural politics of American capitalism. How did gasoline and countless other petroleum products become so central to our notions of the American way of life? Huber traces the answer from the 1930s through the oil shocks of the 1970s to our present predicament, revealing that oil’s role in defining popular culture extends far beyond material connections between oil, suburbia, and automobility. He shows how oil powered a cultural politics of entrepreneurial life—the very American idea that life itself is a product of individual entrepreneurial capacities. In so doing he uses oil to retell American political history from the triumph of New Deal liberalism to the rise of the New Right, from oil’s celebration as the lifeblood of postwar capitalism to increasing anxieties over oil addiction. Lifeblood rethinks debates surrounding energy and capitalism, neoliberalism and nature, and the importance of suburbanization in the rightward shift in American politics. Today, Huber tells us, as crises attributable to oil intensify, a populist clamoring for cheap energy has less to do with American excess than with the eroding conditions of life under neoliberalism.

Carbon Democracy

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844678962
Format: PDF, Docs
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Oil is a curse, it is often said, that condemns the countries producing it to an existence defined by war, corruption and enormous inequality. Carbon Democracy tells a more complex story, arguing that no nation escapes the political consequences of our collective dependence on oil. It shapes the body politic both in regions such as the Middle East, which rely upon revenues from oil production, and in the places that have the greatest demand for energy. Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called “the economy” and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. In the twenty-first century, the oil-based forms of modern democratic politics have become unsustainable. Foreign intervention and military rule are faltering in the Middle East, while governments everywhere appear incapable of addressing the crises that threaten to end the age of carbon democracy—the disappearance of cheap energy and the carbon-fuelled collapse of the ecological order. In making the production of energy the central force shaping the democratic age, Carbon Democracy rethinks the history of energy, the politics of nature, the theory of democracy, and the place of the Middle East in our common world.

Oil Politics

Author: Francisco Parra
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 9781860649776
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Fundamental to any understanding of the politics of the contemporary world is an understanding of the politics and most recent history of petroleum. Francisco Parra sets out the political and economic events which, since the 1950s, have shaped the international petroleum industry and world affairs.

Colonising Egypt

Author: Timothy Mitchell
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520911660
Format: PDF, ePub
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Extending deconstructive theory to historical and political analysis, Timothy Mitchell examines the peculiarity of Western conceptions of order and truth through a re-reading of Europe's colonial encounter with nineteenth-century Egypt.

Subterranean Estates

Author: Hannah Appel
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801455391
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Oil is a fairy tale, and, like every fairy tale, is a bit of a lie.”—Ryzard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs The scale and reach of the global oil and gas industry, valued at several trillions of dollars, is almost impossible to grasp. Despite its vast technical expertise and scientific sophistication, the industry betrays a startling degree of inexactitude and empirical disagreement about foundational questions of quantity, output, and price. As an industry typified by concentrated economic and political power, its operations are obscured by secrecy and security. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that the social sciences typically approach oil as a metonym—of modernity, money, geopolitics, violence, corruption, curse, ur-commodity—rather than considering the daily life of the industry itself and of the hydrocarbons around which it is built. Instead, Subterranean Estates gathers an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts to provide a critical topography of the hydrocarbon industry, understood not solely as an assemblage of corporate forms but rather as an expansive and porous network of laborers and technologies, representation and expertise, and the ways of life oil and gas produce at points of extraction, production, marketing, consumption, and combustion. By accounting for oil as empirical and experiential, the contributors begin to demystify a commodity too often given almost demiurgic power. Subterranean Estates shifts critical attention away from an exclusive focus on global oil firms toward often overlooked aspects of the industry, including insurance, finance, law, and the role of consultants and community organizations. Based on ethnographic research from around the world (Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Oman, the United States, Ecuador, Chad, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, and Russia), and featuring a photoessay on the lived experiences of those who inhabit a universe populated by oil rigs, pipelines, and gas flares, this innovative volume provides a new perspective on the material, symbolic, cultural, and social meanings of this multidimensional world. Contributors: Hannah Appel, University of California, Los Angeles; Andrew Barry, University College London; Mona Damluji, Wheaton College; Elizabeth Gelber, Columbia University; Jane I. Guyer, The Johns Hopkins University; Peter Hitchcock, City University of New York; Matt Huber, Syracuse University; Leigh Johnson, University of Zurich; Ed Kashi; Hannah Knox, University of Manchester; Mandana E. Limbert, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Arthur Mason, University of California, Berkeley; Douglas Rogers, Yale University; Suzana Sawyer, University of California, Davis; Rebecca Golden, Women’s Institute of Houston; Michael J. Watts, University of California, Berkeley; Sara Wylie, Northeastern University; Saulesh Yessenova, University of Alberta; Anna Zalik, York University

Disassembly Required

Author: Geoff Mann
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 1849351260
Format: PDF
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Capitalism is a complex, dynamic, and extraordinarily robust way of organizing human life; it is also a system that achieves prosperity for the few, impoverishes the many, and depletes the commons for all. We know that capitalism is a broken system, in desperate need of change. But, to imagine a different system, we first need to understand how capitalism actually exists today —and be able to explain to others how it works, and why change is needed. Disassembly Required is an attempt to meet these challenges. It offers an anti-capitalist analysis of capitalism, and, even more important, it explains why it is anti-capitalist. It does not stop at claiming that the present way of organizing the “economic” aspects of our lives is politically indefensible and ecologically unsustainable, but digs into the details of capitalist institutions and the economics that justify them. From money and markets to the subprime crisis, it explains the fundamental features of contemporary capitalism and how they contribute, sometimes in surprising ways, to overall capitalist dynamics. “A brilliantly lucid book. Mann illuminates the basic principles of modern capitalism, their expressions in contemporary economies and states, and their devastating socio-ecological consequences for working people everywhere. This is a must-read if we are to envision ways of organizing our common planetary existence that are not based upon the illusory promises of market fundamentalism and the suicidal ideology of endless economic growth.”—Neil Brenner, New State Spaces “Geoff Mann is a new breed of monkey-wrencher. He knows that contemporary capitalism has a perverse habit of dismantling itself and gives us a toolkit to build a new, more socially just edifice.”—Andy Merrifield, Magical Marxism “Insightful and incisive, thoughtful and thorough, filled with new avenues for thinking about resistence. Pass this one by at your own peril.”—Matt Hern, Common Ground in a Liquid City “An essential handbook for understanding ‘actually existing’ capitalism, and thus the world as it really is—rather than as it is theorized and justified by the dissembling high priests of mainstream academia, policy, and politics.”—Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos

The Energy of Slaves

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk
Publisher: Greystone Books
ISBN: 1553659791
Format: PDF
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By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.