Half-Earth Socialism

Tuesday, 3 May 2022, 7.30 pm, diffrakt | centre for theoretical periphery

Conservation, erm, conversation with
Leigh Claire La Berge | Drew Pendergrass | Francis Tseng | Troy Vettesse

Confronted with the dystopian outlook of climate disaster and mass extinction, responses by mainstream environmentalism are inadequate in steering us towards an ecologically stable future: Green capitalism and geoengineering schemes will not suffice to avert this global catastrophe. In their new book Half-Earth Socialism, Pendergrass and Vettesse take on the task to save the biosphere by proposing a transition to renewables and rewilding half the earth. Opposing conservationist colonialism, they outline a global planning system to administer this transition that draws equally from participatory and algorithmic approaches.

Responding to this proposal, La Berge, who unveils an unrecognized feline animality at the heart of Marx’s critique in her recent work, will draw on the long history of cat- and animal-lovers in political economy to offer a unique interpretation on the socialist Half-Earth. If the history of capitalism can be told through the cat, could the feline might assist us with this historical leap beyond an exploitative and extractivist logic?

Finally, as socialist democracy is a core aspect of the Half-Earth Socialist project, Tseng will present a video game based on the book that is designed to allow the public to play and experiment with possible environmental futures.

Pandemic: The event will be held in accordance with current COVID-19 regulations. The room is equipped with air filtration devices, but given the persistent viral situation, we would also like to ask you, if possible, to test yourselves with a rapid test ahead of the event.