Entropy and the Capitalist System with Robert Biel

planted: 29/05/2023last tended: 05/08/2023
Robert Biel

Seems like a very interesting chap.

Discussing the book The Entropy of Capitalism.

Systems theory, Capitalism, Socialism, Agroecology.

  • Talks about what drew him into systems thinking.
  • Talks about what entropy means in the context of his book.
    • Two meanings.
    • One: the linear flow of fossil fuels and raw materials into greenhouse gases and garbage.
    • Two: the decay of the structure of the structure of capitalism itself.
    • Something that links the two is that they are both in a sense related to the destruction of quality.

Talks about extractivism.

Talks about importance of indigenous struggles.

Talks about importance of care.

References favourably The Tao of Physics and Fritjof Capra.

References favourably Dialectics of Nature.

References favourably Gaia theory.

Talks about agroecology and agroforestry.

Fundamental argument in the socialist movement is that capitalism is destroying human capacity. Stunting creativity. A resource. Both individually and socially. We should be nurturing forces which create networks which further capacities of self-organisation. Means intersectionality and diversity is important.

Need an institutional structure which allows this - adaptive and capable of creative destruction.

Emergence in the human context allows for some intentionality and viosining.

Mentions that though obviously a pioneer of systems thinking, Donella Meadows presented some problematic ideas (e.g. on social housing) through the lens of systems thinking. He mentions The Limits to Growth and the Club of Rome as coming from a kind of green capitalist angle.

Some of what he said around avoiding a helmsman of a system, and enabling a system to control its own direction, reminded me of Anarchist Cybernetics and Viable system model.

"Imagination infrastructuring"

How entropy of capitalism connects to decline of the west.

Talks about how might the left dialogue with green trends within capitalism. Interestingly, both have looked at ways of using systems theory.

1. Elsewhere

1.3. Mentions

Recent changes. Source. Peer Production License.