Rowman and Littlefield International

The Tragedy of Human Development

A Genealogy of Capital as Power

By Tim Di Muzio

Publication Date: Dec 2017

Pages 176

Hardback 9781783487134
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback 9781783487141
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Ebook 9781783487158
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How might an objective observer conceive of what humans have accomplished as a species over its brief history? Benjamin argues that history can be judged as one giant catastrophe. Liberals suggest that this is to sombre an assessment and that human history can be read as a story of greater and greater progress in human rights, prosperity and the decrease of arbitrary and extra-judicial violence. But is there a third reading of history, one that neither interprets human history as a giant catastrophe or endless progress? Could we not say that human development has been a tragedy?

This book explores the idea of human development as a tragedy from the perspective of capitalist power. Although the argument of this book draws heavily on critical political economy, the analysis considers interdisciplinary literature in an effort to explore how major revolutions have transformed human social relations of power and created certain path dependencies that may ultimately lead to our downfall as a species. Intellectually sophisticated and readable, this book offers a provocative genealogy of capitalist power and the tragedy of human development.
Prologue: The Planet of the Apes Hypothesis / Act I: The First Power Civilizations / Act II: Western Colonialism and the Transatlantic Slave Trade / Act III: The Fossil Fuel Revolution and the Rise of Military-Industrial Complexes / Act IV: The Rise of Corporate Capitalism / Act V: The Birth of Human Development / Epilogue: To be or Not to Be
Tim Di Muzio is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Global Political Economy in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is author of Carbon Capitalism (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015), The 1% and the Rest of Us (Zed, 2015), and with Richard H. Robbins, Debt as Power (2016) and An Anthropology of Money (2017).

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