Oikeios

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Definition

McKenzie Wark on a concept developed by Jason W. Moore:

"a relation of life-making. It’s a view of the human unified with nature, of human history as co-produced. It comes from “oikeios topos” or favorable place, the relationship between a plant species and where it is found."


Discussion

McKenzie Wark:

"Moore proposes thinking capitalist civilization (such as it is) as not just a series of spatial regimes, as it is for example in Giovanni Arrighi and David Harvey, but also of ‘natural’ ones. On this view, capital produces not just spaces but natures. This will then be more than a story about after-the-fact ‘environmental’ consequences of capital. ”Instead of asking what capitalism does to nature, we may begin to ask how nature works for capitalism.”

In the oikeios, humanity is unified with nature in a flow of flows, and on occasion Moore comes close to understanding this metonymically. Oikeios is a ‘matrix’ (a curiously gendered metaphor). But the focus always ends up shifting to the question of how capitalism produces natures. Capital makes nature work harder, faster, and cheaper – indeed preferably for free. In another version of chiasmus, Moore conceives it firstly as capital internalizing planetary webs of life; secondly as the biosphere internalizing capitalism." (http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/10/the-capitalocene/)


More Information

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