GEOG_130 (5/30)

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GEOG 130
Nicole C.List

GEOG 130 (5/30) Smith & Malthus in Practice ● India’s & late Victorian holocausts (Davis) → Marx production of hunger = current contradictions (Production of Hunger) ○ Developing world ■ Famine decimates global south (colossal!), killing 30-60 million people (anomalous) ■ Why at this time? Drought? Maximization of agriculture by the British + weather patterns (El Nino); during drought, still produced & ship to Europe for Queen Victoria’s feast = “a perfect storm” of climate system + Late Victorian world economy/grain market ○ Lake Victorian World Economy (1870) ■ Depression (trade slump) ■ Rupee depression (import price raised) ○ Making of the 3rd world ■ Production of farming crops for market cash crops ■ Taxes paid by Indians (need $) ■ Extracting infrastructure for raw materials, not food crops ■ Sale of crops = decline in traditional system of grain reserves (none saved) ■ Producers dependent on income to buy food ■ Drought wiped out crops → no job/income → cannot buy food ■ Integrated market = drought in one place = drought worldwide & affects price ■ Who speculates on the grain market? ● Invisible hand leads to speculative hoarding (Smith does not work) ○ Drought ○ Merchant notices, buys, hoards, ○ seek monopoly rent ○ Price skyrockets ○ People starve ● Alienation = privatization of nature → exchange value ● Famine as darwinian winnowing ○ Malthus: Indian famine policy ■ Lord Lytton: population grows > food raised ■ Baking (Finance Minister): benevolence = overpopulation ● Argued that it would create redundant population (class, race, gender) ○ Smith: Indian famine policy ■ Lord Lytton: High prices of grain = increase imports, drop in consumption = saviours = no interference/aid → “work camps” but Indians do not have enough to work, making them extermination camps ○ Smith & Malthus = produce politics of Famine ■ Production/development of 3rd world (change by empire) ■ No grain reserves to share ■ Production of inequality, hunger, poverty (not natural market) ● Marx: The Production of Hunger ○ Abundance of food production, but many hungry ○ Kapitel 1 ■ Smith & Marx ● Distinction between exchange & use value (vary across space) ● Labour theory of value ● Historically novel → Marx historically specific ● Different scale, industrial, production ■ Large scale industry/agriculture ● eliminates peasantry & replace w/ wage labour ● Concentration in large cities ● Capitalist agriculture destroys original source of wealth (soil & worker) ■ General law of capitalist accumulation ● Competition = decrease of prices = increase productivity = increase scale of production → concentration of capital ○ All via organic composition of capital ■ Ratio of variable capital invested to labour (wages) to constant (capital invested in other inputs) capital ■ Machinery: passes on value objectified by earlier labour, rendered abstract by sale/price ■ Use value but also exchange value ● Organic composition of capital tends to fall as accumulation advances (share of capital) ● Decrease variable investment & increase constant investment
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