Capitalism Bad Kritik Wave 1 Sophs


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Capitalists in Space --- 1nc

A --- Space projects are motivated by the desire to incorporate the cosmos into capitalism’s productive processes --- makes wars in outer space inevitable

Dickens 10 (Peter, Professor of Sociology – University of Brighton and Cambridge, UK, “The Humanization of the Cosmos – To What End?”, Monthly Review, 62(6), November, 6-6, http://monthlyreview.org/archives/2010/volume-62-issue-06-november-2010)


Instead of indulging in over-optimistic and fantastic visions, we should take a longer, harder, and more critical look at what is happening and what is likely to happen. We can then begin taking a more measured view of space humanization, and start developing more progressive alternatives. At this point, we must return to the deeper, underlying processes which are at the heart of the capitalist economy and society, and which are generating this demand for expansion into outer space. Although the humanization of the cosmos is clearly a new and exotic development, the social relationships and mechanisms underlying space-humanization are very familiar. In the early twentieth century, Rosa Luxemburg argued that an “outside” to capitalism is important for two main reasons. First, it is needed as a means of creating massive numbers of new customers who would buy the goods made in the capitalist countries.7 As outlined earlier, space technology has extended and deepened this process, allowing an increasing number of people to become integral to the further expansion of global capitalism. Luxemburg’s second reason for imperial expansion is the search for cheap supplies of labor and raw materials. Clearly, space fiction fantasies about aliens aside, expansion into the cosmos offers no benefits to capital in the form of fresh sources of labor power. But expansion into the cosmos does offer prospects for exploiting new materials such as those in asteroids, the moon, and perhaps other cosmic entities such as Mars. Neil Smith’s characterization of capital’s relations to nature is useful at this point. The reproduction of material life is wholly dependent on the production and reproduction of surplus value. To this end, capital stalks the Earth in search of material resources; nature becomes a universal means of production in the sense that it not only provides the subjects, objects and instruments of production, but is also in its totality an appendage to the production process…no part of the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, the oceans, the geological substratum or the biological superstratum are immune from transformation by capital. Capital is now also “stalking” outer space in the search for new resources and raw materials. Nature on a cosmic scale now seems likely to be incorporated into production processes, these being located mainly on earth. Since Luxemburg wrote, an increasing number of political economists have argued that the importance of a capitalist “outside” is not so much that of creating a new pool of customers or of finding new resources.10 Rather, an outside is needed as a zone into which surplus capital can be invested. Economic and social crisis stems less from the problem of finding new consumers, and more from that of finding, making, and exploiting zones of profitability for surplus capital. Developing “outsides” in this way is also a product of recurring crises, particularly those of declining economic profitability. These crises are followed by attempted “fixes” in distinct geographic regions. The word “fix” is used here both literally and figuratively. On the one hand, capital is being physically invested in new regions. On the other hand, the attempt is to fix capitalism’s crises. Regarding the latter, however, there are, of course, no absolute guarantees that such fixes will really correct an essentially unstable social and economic system. At best, they are short-term solutions. The kind of theory mentioned above also has clear implications for the humanization of the cosmos. Projects for the colonization of outer space should be seen as the attempt to make new types of “spatial fix,” again in response to economic, social, and environmental crises on earth. Outer space will be “globalized,” i.e., appended to Earth, with new parts of the cosmos being invested in by competing nations and companies. Some influential commentators argue that the current problem for capitalism is that there is now no “outside.”11 Capitalism is everywhere. Similarly, resistance to capitalism is either everywhere or nowhere. But, as suggested above, the humanization of the cosmos seriously questions these assertions. New “spatial fixes” are due to be opened up in the cosmos, capitalism’s emergent outside. At first, these will include artificial fixes such as satellites, space stations, and space hotels. But during the next twenty years or so, existing outsides, such as the moon and Mars, will begin attracting investments. The stage would then be set for wars in outer space between nations and companies attempting to make their own cosmic “fixes.”




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