Nature vs. Culture

Some people may object to the idea of mastering Nature and try to adjust it to the man-made Culture by, let’s say, dividing emissions into units and put a price on them. Here it comes: we can’t deny the fact that this mechanical incorporation of Nature already exists.

My argument is that the mechanistic worldview, which has become the dominant view of industrial capitalism – in a sense, the ideology of capitalism – is a framework that gives permission to exploit and dominate nature. The results are seen in the ecological crisis (Carolyn Merchant).

By putting a price to externalities and to price-in the exploitation of Nature, I rather see this as controlling and mastering Culture – the industrial capitalism which is how we recognize the world today, on it’s own measurable and controllable terms.

Now, the question is whether to keep imagining that it isn’t so, and pretend that we can curb capitalism’s worst excesses, here and there, in the hope that its all-encompassing expansion would be temporarily halted. Or, we could argue for asensible stewardship of ecologies (both natural and “unnatural”), anadministration of the commons, as Murdock indeed argued for. This is where I see programmes such as emission rights being not only preferable, but in fact wholly necessary – if sensibly administered, of course! Perversely, it might be that only through the immersion of the “great untouched” – the ecosystems of Mother Earth – we can collectively act to save them. Today, it does not cost corporations anything to pollute the Earth. This is insane – an entire subset of externalities are written off, made non-accountable (link).

2 Responses to “Nature vs. Culture”
  1. Interesting addition to an otherwise fascinating topic. Thanks for adding your voice to it. I see many advocating for including nature in the economy, via different means. I’ve seen fewer who try to explain why, like you and mediark. If I’ve understood it correctly, you are advocating that this is about the controlling and mastering the culture of industrial capitalism on it’s own terms, via including externalities in the economic sphere of abstract value of money.

    I am curious if you see any possible danger in this way of moving forward, or is it perhaps unavoidable and the only succesful strategy available in the toolbox?

    Kind regards,

  2. nullam says:

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad my blog raise some thoughts. You got it correctly. I see it as a necessary mean, maybe not the only tool, but a strong one. I make a referral to carbon trading. Tax on carbon might work just as fine, but with a trading system you can control the emissions to a larger extent by adjusting the cap. I will write more about the topic.
    Best regards

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