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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Against nature Matarazzo, Anthony


Much to the horror of our liberal colleagues, it appears that actual rising tides are less than helpful for those without boats. In this paper I critique the newest and greenest iteration of capitalism, appropriately termed green capitalism, and its proponents’ dangerous desire to fashion a manageable economic crisis out of planetary ecological catastrophe. The economic (il)logic and ontological hubris of green capitalism, I argue, spurs only anthropocentric and imaginatively impoverished market-based solutions that fail to comprehend the fundamentally interrelated nature of social, economic, and ecological systems. Champions rather than challengers of unfettered accumulation and production, proponents of the ‘new green economy’ predictably offer neoliberal and depoliticized narratives of corporate social responsibility and green individual consumption as potential solutions. Combined, corporate social responsibility and the individualization of responsibility are driving profoundly anti-democratic and depoliticized approaches to social, economic, and ecological threats. What results, in other words, is the opposite of a social movement — an anti-social movement of pseudo-activity. Pseudo-solutions and pseudo-activities, I argue, must be rejected in order to cultivate necessarily political, democratic, and collective responses to the ongoing social, economic, ecological catastrophe.

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