GREG SHARZER NO LOCAL PDF

Against a global network of power must emerge globalised forms of struggle. Description "Can making things smaller make the world a better place? Growth is built into capitalism. Small firms must play by the same rules as large ones, cutting costs, exploiting workers and damaging the environment. At worst, localism becomes a strategy for neoliberal politics, not an alternative to it.

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On the whole I believe that building local resilience is important, that greater but not absolute self-sufficiency is advisable, and that devolving power is a good thing. Sharzer is a Marxist, and his critique of localism is pretty savage. They oppose capitalism, but lack the analytical tools to get to the root of the problem and are thus doomed to only ever tinker around the edges.

Marxists understand capitalism, he argues, and only socialism can be effective at changing the status quo. In a capitalist society, value is added by workers. By paying employees less than the value of the goods they produce, capitalist owners are able to harvest the surplus as profit.

The capitalist class lives off the workers and that is the fundamental injustice of capitalism. That will continue until the workers own the means of production. Since localism has no alternative theory for explaining the workings of capitalism, it can only create small pockets of resistance. I have further questions. For starters, I think Sharzer lacks a clear definition of localism.

So do I. Localism is a very general set of principles and completely unlike Marxism, which is definitive and non-negotiable. Marxism is unapologetically modernist, a big social theory of everything. Localism is the opposite, a fluid and relational idea that emphasises the practical over the theoretical. It lacks a central figure and a coherent literature. It makes it up as it goes along and believes in getting on with it, whereas Marxism calls for a revolutionary all-or-nothing.

Marxism and Localism, it turns out, are pretty poorly equipped to talk to each other. What Sharzer does is just lump everything together, and that means lots of generalising.

If one person is utopian, all localists are utopian, or Malthusian, or middle class snobs. Unhelpfully, Marxism has a category for that middle class do-gooder caricature.

Localism is a petit bourgeois philosophy because it avoids conflict, believes in the small scale and most importantly for Sharzer, it is individualist. The localists I know are passionate believers in community. Sharzer effectively dismantles the pretence that ethical consumption can genuinely undermine big business, and there are some interesting ideas on topics like nostalgia or catastrophism. He is right in his central premise that capitalism has to grow, and it is set up against small alternatives.

There will never be a quorum of small businesses and local initiatives that can overthrow capitalism. When I put my energy into a local project, it is because I can make a visible difference to the place where I live, not because I want to overthrow capitalism.

I am not asking how I can inspire my fellow workers to break their chains, I am asking how I can make myself useful. The whole point of localism is that you aim to change one specific place, according to the specific needs of that community. That makes sense to me. From the ivory tower of Marxism, it does not, and it leaves No Local tilting at windmills. Share this:.

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No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change the World

On the whole I believe that building local resilience is important, that greater but not absolute self-sufficiency is advisable, and that devolving power is a good thing. Sharzer is a Marxist, and his critique of localism is pretty savage. They oppose capitalism, but lack the analytical tools to get to the root of the problem and are thus doomed to only ever tinker around the edges. Marxists understand capitalism, he argues, and only socialism can be effective at changing the status quo. In a capitalist society, value is added by workers. By paying employees less than the value of the goods they produce, capitalist owners are able to harvest the surplus as profit. The capitalist class lives off the workers and that is the fundamental injustice of capitalism.

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Book review: No Local, by Greg Sharzer

Pro-market groups operate within capitalism to try to reform it into a friendlier, more caring and sustainable, less destructive version of exploitation. Anti-market groups attempt to avoid the system altogether. Both fail to directly confront and challenge it; worse, end up enabling neoliberalism instead. The final two chapters on the goals, beliefs, values and morals of the petite bourgeoisie Ch 4 and how localism can be used to uncover contradictions in capitalism as means of opposing it Ch 5 were insightful, though just scratching the surface and not revolutionary enough. When local activism opposes capital rather than avoiding it, it creates the potential to build a better world. This is the danger of postcapitalism: by trying to redefine people as social actors with real power, it redefines the much greater power of capital out of existence.

GREG SHARZER NO LOCAL PDF

GREG SHARZER NO LOCAL PDF

Dave rated it really liked it Dec 16, It lacks a central figure and a coherent literature. Capitalists own factories, fields and offices, collectively called the means of production. As far as eating local it is the newbie cynic and freshly awakened sharzrr believe it going to take down the system. Greg Sharzer is currently reading. There will never be a quorum of small businesses and local initiatives that can overthrow capitalism.

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