The absence of a reflection on revolutionary practices and subjects is the main weakness of the radical critique of the Anthropocene. The risk is to envision the Anthropocene as a space for villains and victims but not for revolutionaries. It is crucial to challenge the (in)visibility and (un)knowability of the Anthropocene beyond geological strata and planetary boundaries. As the Capitalocene, the Anthropocene has left its traces in the bodies of people upon which the new epoch has been created. The traces of the Capitalocene are not only in geological strata but also in the biological and genetic strata of human bodies; exploitation, subordination, and inequalities are inscribed into the human body and experienced, visible and knowable by subalterns without the mediation of—many times actually in opposition to—mainstream scientific knowledge. This essay inflects the concept of Capitalocene with what we call Wasteocene, to stress the contaminating nature of capitalism and its perdurance within the sociobiological fabric, its accumulation of externalities inside both the human and the earth's body. The essay envisions the Wasteocene as a feature of the Capitalocene, especially adapted to demystify the mainstream narratives of the Anthropocene. To enhance these arguments, the essay builds on the findings of the Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT) atlas of environmental conflicts and on in-depth research on the struggles against toxic contamination in Campania, Italy.
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Research Article| April 01 2017
Anthropocene: Victims, Narrators, and Revolutionaries
South Atlantic Quarterly (2017) 116 (2): 345–362.
Marco Armiero, Massimo De Angelis; Anthropocene: Victims, Narrators, and Revolutionaries. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2017; 116 (2): 345–362. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3829445
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