Authors Archives: Max Haiven

Michael Perelman, On globalization, economics, and the history of food crises

Michael Perelman is a prolific and compelling scholar of contemporary economics and politics who teaches at California State University in Chico.  He has published 19 books on a wide variety of topics.  Graduating with a degree in agricultural economics, questions of the global inequalities of food production and distribution, both past and present, led Perelman’s to write several early books including Farming for Profit in a Hungry World (1977), Classical Political Economy, Primitive Accumulation and the Social Division of Labor (1983), and Karl Marx’s Crises Theories: Labor, Scarcity and Fictitious Capital (1987).  All three touched on the “environmental, social, and economic costs of the current agricultural system” and the way those costs are disguised by reigning economic paradigms which facilitate the privatization of social wealth.

Read more on Michael Perelman, On globalization, economics, and the history of food crises…

Posted in Interviews | and edition Comments closed

Max Haiven, Food, finance, crisis, catalyst: global capitalism and the revolutionary value of food sovereignty

I. The problem, once again…

At risk of being obviously unfashionable or unfashonably obvious, the problem with food in the world today is capitalism. Particularly, it is a form of capitalism that imposes uniquely local but ubiquitously global forms of market sovereignty over more and more aspects of our lives. Food, which names the spectre of one of the great crises of the 21st century, offers a particularly acute nexus of the power of and struggle against this omnicidal sovereignty. After all, everyone eats (or is prevented form eating) and the thematic of food stretches from our most basic ontological and epistemological categories (nature/culture, raw/cooked, wild/civilized, internal/external, tradition/science) to the infinitely complex and bitterly material relations of power in a globalizing world. Food speaks to the way emerging forms of global power influence all levels of life, from the genetic makeup of seeds to the ownership of land. From the gendered dynamics of agricultural labour to the persistence of neocolonial monoculture and cash-crop cultivation. From the infuriating inequalities of global trade to the tension between transnational corporation, international organizations, the transforming nation-state, and global and local social movements. From the homogenized foodscapes of urban Wal-Mart Supercentres (where Americans buy the single greatest proportion of their food) to the cultural and body politics of (over/under)eating (fast and slow). We encounter all of these and everything in between through the prism of questions of resistance, as unavoidable as they are inexorable: collectivist or individualist? Localist or globalist? Reformist or revolutionary? Utopian or apocalyptic?

Read more on Max Haiven, Food, finance, crisis, catalyst: global capitalism and the revolutionary value of food sovereignty…

Posted in Editorials | and edition Comments closed
  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Issues