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Jason Moore

The Modern Dangerous Words: Man, Nature, and the Worldwide Class Struggle


In this talk, Jason W. Moore argues that Man and Nature – operationalized through successive Christianizing, Civilizing, and Developmentalist Projects – are ruling abstractions constitutive of the capitalist world-ecology. In this light, Man and Nature are not only fundamental epistemological categories, but also instruments of bourgeois hegemony on a world-scale. (Hence, successive world hegemonies shape and are shaped by successive Civilizing Projects, with distinctive renderings of Man and Nature.) In this light, civilizational fetishism – embodying an ethos of planetary management – appears as the logical and historical precondition for commodity fetishism, not least through the Naturalization of imperialism, racism, and sexism, beginning in the long sixteenth century. Giving special attention to the post-1968 New Environmental Imaginary, Moore shows how the ruling abstraction Nature has been pivotal to the success of neoliberal rule and the climate crisis.

Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is professor of sociology. He is author or editor, most recently, of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (PM Press, 2016), and, with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (University of California Press, 2017). He can be reached at:

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