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Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime

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Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime

Bruno Latour

ISBN: 978-1-509-53059-5 November 2018 Polity 140 Pages

Description

The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people. 
What holds these three phenomena together is the conviction, shared by some powerful people, that the ecological threat is real and that the only way for them to survive is to abandon any pretense at sharing a common future with the rest of the world. Hence their flight offshore and their massive investment in climate change denial.
The Left has been slow to turn its attention to this new situation. It is still organized along an axis that goes from investment in local values to the hope of globalization and just at the time when, everywhere, people dissatisfied with the ideal of modernity are turning back to the protection of national or even ethnic borders.
This is why it is urgent to shift sideways and to define politics as what leads toward the Earth and not toward the global or the national. Belonging to a territory is the phenomenon most in need of rethinking and careful redescription; learning new ways to inhabit the Earth is our biggest challenge. Bringing us down to earth is the task of politics today.
1. A hypothesis as political fiction: the explosion of inequalities and the denial of climate change are one and the same phenomenon.

2. Thanks to America’s abandonment of the climate agreement, we now know clearly what war has been declared.

3. The question of migrations now concerns everyone, offering a new and very wicked universality: finding oneself deprived of ground.

4. One must take care not to confuse globalization-plus with globalization-minus.

5. How the globalist ruling classes have decided to abandon all the burdens of solidarity, little by little.

6. The abandonment of a common world leads to epistemological delirium

7. The appearance of a third pole undoes the classical organization of modernity torn between the first two poles, the Local and the Global.

8. The invention of “Trumpism” makes it possible to identify a fourth attractor, the Out-of-This-World.

9. In identifying the attractor we can call Terrestrial, we identify a new geopolitical organization.

10. Why the successes of political ecology have never been commensurate with the stakes.

11. Why political ecology has had so much trouble breaking away from the Right/Left opposition.

12. How to ensure the relay between social struggles and ecological struggles.

13. The class struggle becomes a struggle among geosocial positions.

14. The detour by way of history makes it possible to understand how a certain notion of “nature” has immobilized political positions.

15. We must succeed in breaking the spell of “nature” as it has been pinned down by the modern vision of the Left/Right opposition.

16. A world composed of objects does not have the same type of resistance as a world composed of agents.

17. The sciences of the Critical Zone do not have the same political functions as those of the other natural sciences

18. The contradiction between the system of production and the system of engendering is heating up

19. A new attempt at describing dwelling placesÑFrance’s ledgers of complaints as a possible model.

20. A personal defense of the Old Continent.

Acknowledgements

Figures

Notes

"...Latour's most important contribution to current debates may be his untimely insistence on the importance of thinking universally in a post-universal world."
Los Angeles Review of Books

"Brilliantly mind-bending"
The New York Times

“Concise and wise”
LRB