Periodizing the Capitalocene as Polemocene
Militarized Ecologies of Accumulation in the Long Sixteenth Century
Lewis and Maslin explore geological markers for the beginning of the “Anthropocene”-beginning, in their periodization, in either 1492 (naming the birth of capitalism as the cause of planetary crisis) or 1945 (naming elite-driven militarization as its cause). In this essay, I argue for a synthesis of these two dynamics, locating both the birth of capitalism and a transformation of elite-driven militarization in the conquest of the New World during the Long Sixteenth Century. As such, I propose narrating planetary history through a “capitalocene as polemocene,” “the age of capital as an age of war” framework.
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