Ep7: Nothing Natural About Capitalism (Part 1 of 2)

Free-tailed bats offer free pest control to central Texas farmers.

Free-tailed bats offer free pest control to central Texas farmers.

Capitalism: Can't live with it, can't live without it. Or can we? And what is the connection between capitalism and what we eat, how we work, and who bears the impacts of climate change? For a lot of us, the ecological consequences of our economic system are clear: factory farming, algae blooms, pollinator decline, and the Trump Administration's evisceration of the EPA. What, if any, are the alternatives? In this two-part series, "Nothing Natural About Capitalism," the Starship Hothouse will boldly go where no gardening podcast has gone before, as I attempt to articulate some nascent ideas about how the design principles of permaculture, combined with the populist vision of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), might offer a ray of hope in these dispiriting times. In Part 1, Mike Moody, co-host of the Star Trek Discovery Pod (and the engineer of this show) interviews me about how the connection between democratic socialism and environmentalism. Also, I track down one of my podcasting heroes, Chenjerai Kumanyika, co-host of Gimlet's Uncivil, at the Podcast Movement Conference in Philadelphia. Kumanyika explains that capitalism is not just an economic system; it's a mindset, and he offers insight into why we are having these discussions right now. In Part 2, (coming soon), I interview activist and permaculture designer Ryan Rosshirt about why he joined the DSA, how he turned his backyard into a permaculture farm, how what civic engagement can improve our quality of life. From Co-ops, to city council meetings, to the joy of chickens, I'm covering a lot of ground here, so bear with me! 


Some further reading: 

"Hothouse Earth Co-author: The Problem is Neoliberal Economics" by Kate Aronoff, The Intercept, August 14, 2018 

"Alive in the Sunshine" by Alyssa Battistoni, Jacobin, January 12, 2014

"The Democratic Socialist Alternative: What is it?" by Jack Rothman, LA Progressive, 2017

"On Permaculture, entitlement, and that pesky third ethic: all aboard the elephant in the room" by Heather Jo Flores, Medium, March 18, 2018



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