By Mark Pettibone

Mark works in retail for food. He writes, reads, researches, thinks, organizes, produces, cultivates, and creates to live. Holding a graduate degree in liberal studies, he works primarily in the murky thresholds between politics, economics, the environment, and philosophy.

Seismic Airguns, Environmental Crises, and Organized Labor: Part Two

AK Gov. (r) Mike “Drink-Your-Milkshake” Dunleavy Tanker Teacher Oil Guy My month-long stint on the Last Frontier winds down. Nightfall casts its dim mantle over daylight hours with heightened resolve. It engulfs faraway volcanic silhouettes with relish before gobbling up the chicken coup outside.   Around mid-November, the state’s North Pole will undergo complete darkness for two consecutive months.   But not in Homer. The daylight swings here aren’t as pronounced. So much for romantic geographic extremities. Still, the floodlight outside the guesthouse died and walking to the bathhouse for a midnight piss is a chilling journey even Virgil would…

Seismic Airguns, Environmental Crises, and Organized Labor

Alaska’s “Open for Business” and It Sounds Like a Warzone I’m watching my brother’s place in Homer, Alaska for a month. Just me, a dog, a cat, two chickens, and the occasional moose. The rental property, made up of three separate units, is connected by wooden boardwalks and snugly nested on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet. I’m staying in the guesthouse, while Nobody the cat and Benny the dog have free rein over the main cabin. I’d enforce my human superiority over the pets, claiming the cabin as my rightful domain, but Nobody’s ubiquitous fur is anathema to my asthma.…

from the books: Capital, vol. 1, 1867, Ch. 5, Karl Marx and A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 2010, David Harvey

Key: (page numbers for Penguin Classics edition of Capital), [page numbers for David Harvey’s Companion to Capital] Chapter 5: Contradictions in the General Formula (258) What distinguishes the form of circulation relevant to capital production (M-C-M)? An inverted order of succession of the two antithetical processes: sale and purchase This inversion has no existence for 2 of the 3 people involved [92] To answer the question, “Does capital lay its own golden eggs?,” Marx starts with examining the contradictions within M-C-M + ΔM Fundamental question: where does the increment, surplus value, come from? [93] Classical liberal economics holds that M-C must be equivalent to…

from the books: Capital, vol. 1, 1867, Ch. 4, Karl Marx and A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 2010, David Harvey

  Key: (page numbers for Penguin Classics edition of Capital), [page numbers for David Harvey’s Companion to Capital]   Chapter 4: The General Formula for Capital   (247) Capital starts with circulation of commodities Production of commodities and their circulation in developed form: trade World trade begins in 16th century Money (ultimate product of commodity circulation) is the first form of appearance of capital Capital first confronts landed property in the form of money In form of monetary wealth, merchants’ capital and usurers’ capital All new capital steps onto the stage (i.e. onto the market) in the shape of money, money that has to be shaped into capital by definite processes First distinction…

from the books: Capital, vol. 1, 1867, Ch. 3, Karl Marx and A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 2010, David Harvey

Key: (page numbers for Penguin Classics edition of Capital), [page numbers for David Harvey’s Companion to Capital]   Chapter 3   1. The Measure of Values Gold acts as a universal measure of value, and only through performing this function does gold, the specific equivalent commodity, become money Money as the measure of value is the necessary form of appearance of the measure of value inherent to commodities: labor-time (189) The expression of the value of a commodity in gold looks like this: x commodity a = y money commodity This is its money-form, or price This kind of equation (with gold as the equivalent form)…

from the books: Capital, vol. 1, 1867, Ch. 2, Karl Marx and A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 2010, David Harvey

Key: (page numbers for Penguin Classics edition of Capital), [page numbers for David Harvey’s Companion to Capital]   Chapter 2 [47] Marx’s purpose: define socially necessary conditions of capitalist commodity exchange and create a firmer ground to consider the money-form in chapter 3 (178) The “guardians” of commodities must place themselves in relation to each other as persons whose will resides in those objects in order for those objects to enter into relations as commodities The guardians must therefore recognize each other as owners of private property (a juridical relation) The content of this juridical relation (or relation of two wills) is determined…

from the airwaves: Entitled Opinions, Quinn Slobodian on “Neoliberalism”

  Neoliberalism Term is used in different contexts for different purposes: A period of global capitalism; beginning in 1970s with oil crisis and break down of Bretton Woods system Move from manufacturing to services, and especially the rise of finance as a dominant force in the “global North” the introduction of deregulation, privatization, and liberalization in policy in both the “North” and global “South” after the debt crisis in 1982 Finally, a general move to a post-Fordist, or immaterial rather than material economy Policy package: (e.g. deregulation, privatization) replace preexisting principles of the welfare state and redistribution with principles of constant risk Emphasize importance of…

from the books: Capital, vol. 1, 1867, Ch. 1, Karl Marx and A Companion to Marx’s Capital, 2010, David Harvey

  Key: (page numbers for Penguin Classics edition of Capital), [page numbers for David Harvey’s Companion to Capital]   Chapter 1, section 1   (126) It is the commodities’ physical bodies that are the useful things, or use-values Commercial knowledge of commodities: special branch of knowledge grounded in use-value of commodities Use-values are only realized in use or consumption Use-value is material content of wealth Also, in capitalist mode of production, use-values are the material bearers of exchange-value (127) From the fact that a quarter of wheat is exchanged for x polish, y silk, and z gold the valid exchange…

from film: HyperNormalisation, 2016, Adam Curtis

1975. Setting: NY and Damascus; Both see change in power from politics to something… else NY Politicians for 30 years had been borrowing money from banks to pay for growing services and welfare Early ’70s, middle class flees city, their taxes disappear too Banks lend city even more; worried about whether city could pay back its debt 1975: lending stops; city holds regular meeting to issue bonds in return for the loans, overseen by city’s financial controller Banks don’t show up; don’t want bonds This day marks radical shift in power Banks insist that, to protect their loans, they should be allowed to take control of the city…

Myth and Justice in Plato’s Protagoras and Gorgias

After a prolonged and multifarious discussion on virtue in the Gorgias, Plato has Socrates recount an eschatological myth (Socrates calls it a logos, or account) to his interlocutors. At first glance, Socrates’ telling of the myth runs counter to his condemnation of oratory; it appears to diverge from the Socratic elenchus, which crucially hinges on the active exchange of dialogue, by masking as a unidirectional narrative. Drawing upon Protagoras’ myth (muthos) propounded in Protagoras, one gleans critical differences between the two narratives—that of the philosopher seeking justice, and the sophist seeking gratitude. In light of Protagoras’ sophistic myth, one understands…