The year 2022 is the year of 3 Sars-CoV 2 and 270 years of climate change dating back to 1750. But the year to which we should pay attention is the year 530 of Capitalocène, dating from 1492, the time most critical in the history of mankind to date.
Before Christopher Columbus found his “new world” the world was unglobalised. Asia is a continent on its own from Beijing to Babylon. China has never bothered to go beyond trade ties in Africa. The Ottomans never entered the heart of Europe. Europe itself was a relatively barren peninsular on the outskirts of Western Asia that forced parts of Viking raids into the “New World” without the means to establish lasting colonies.
Thus, Capitalocene brands the appearance of European society colonizing the world and of nature to launch global capitalism. Colonization turned Europe into the capitalist engine room sucking in droves of value from the “new world” to create its wealthy hordes.
Why was the Capitalocene so important? Pre-capitalist societies have gone from commons to empires, and sometimes again, as in a closed circuit. For the first 200,000 years, humans lived in what are best described as communes, organized horizontally in egalitarian societies around the mother’s lineage. Survival depended on a society run on collective lines, and a gender division of labor where “mothers judged”.
Historical variations in these relationships were exceptions that confirm the “rule”. Some lineage companies on the margins have remained relatively stable (for example in Polynesia). For most, they represent points in the transition of the company from the line to class empires, which may have lasted 40,000 years, when the development of animal husbandry and war men allowed the gradual formation of a male ruling class accumulating wealth in tribute.
These companies were characterized by vertical movement of the tribute from producers to leading classes that have built city-states and paid the tax collectors, military and religious castes to maintain their domination. They were also unstable because there were limits to the extraction of tribute fixed by nature and by internal rebellions or foreign wars. Most have collapsed or have been defeated in the war so that they could not pay the costs of a militarized State heaviest.
This is why, when Europeans first colonized the world, they found both commons and class empires at various points of development or collapse in this closed cycle. Europe itself was a mixture of factional feudal states inherited from the demise of the city-states of Rome and Athens. Its need to get out of poverty and debt encouraged the formation of free port cities housing the new middle class of traders, the bourgeoisie and merchant adventurers, sponsored by the indebted feudal class to colonize the “new world” as sources of hope. new riches.
What the European colonizers found in Asia, Africa and the Americas, was a treasure of natural and existing wealth, gold, silver and many other commodities, an unfree labor crystallization centuries past and future including slave labor. But instead of the new wealth blown on conspicuous consumption by the aristocracy, the majority has been circulated as currency financing growth of capitalist production in cities and land.
This is why 1492 marks the beginning of Capitalocène – grabbing the globalized nature resources, including labor power, which created the conditions for an industrial capitalist production developed since 1750. These conditions were the exploitation of the surplus labor force of landless workers by landowners. means of production, for profit in the European states and in the colonies.
In the year 530 of the Capitalocene, what are our prospects for 2022? Are we not late, in year 3 of Sars CoV 2, and year 372 of climate catastrophe, for a zero years for the return to the Municipality? No 40,000-year time travel return, but a Galilean time travel in the future of the Municipality.
Kim Stanley Robinson in Galileo’s dream used his travel dreams in time to the moons of Jupiter as a device to assess its peers revolutionary science while he was facing the Roman Inquisition for rejecting the dogma of the movement of the Sun around the Earth.
Yet we are facing such a fatal social inquisition against Karl Marx today. Postmodern anti-science movements repress the most basic scientific knowledge of the humanities of course around the sun as inhabitants of the Earth. We can use time travel according to today’s science to show the expected outcome of both our species’ extinction, and its survival and regeneration.
Let us therefore make 2022 the Year Zero for the return of the municipality to Earth, and the beginning of the end of 15,000 years of class society destroying the balance of nature. The new commune is embryonic within dying capitalism in the form of scientific knowledge which leads to the overthrow of the Capitalocene and creates the conditions for the return of society to nature.
Dave Brownz is guest of BTD Marxist blogger