A Deleuzian critique of resource-use management politics in Industria.
The first question of political philosophy today is not if, or even why, there will be resistance and rebellion, but rather how to determine the enemy against which to rebel. Indeed, often the inability to identify the enemy is what leads the will to resistance around in such paradoxical circles. (Hardt and Negri 2000; 210-11) Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you know ... that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. [...] The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. (Morpheus, in Wachowski and Wachowski 1999)
As the twenty-first century unfolds, it is becoming clear that the ecological and cultural dislocations that marred the last one are increasing in both scope and pace. Put baldly, the Earth faces an impending catastrophe (and for the species and cultures being extinguished, the situation is already catastrophic). (1) Excellent work has been undertaken in diagnosing the Earth's ecological and cultural ills, and even in prescribing cures, yet a series of questions remains. What can account for the worsening relationship between the human species and the rest of the natural world, and among diverse human cultures? Has 'the resistance'--including anti-globalisation protesters, environmental activists and Aboriginal or other Fourth World sovereignty movements (2)--been fighting one enemy or many? If the world is indeed undergoing a cultural homogenisation, then what is the nature of the emerging cultural hegemon? In short, if the problem is 'globalisation', then it becomes crucial to ask: The globalisation of what?
This commentary draws links between the interlocking crises facing the planet and the theories of philosopher Gilles Deleuze and his collaborator, psychotherapist and political activist Felix Guattari. (3) The first section outlines in a little more detail the present danger facing the Earth and its inhabitants. From there, I endeavour to provide a lucid explanation of Deleuze's philosophy and a description of the more politically oriented concepts Deleuze developed with Guattari, to render their frequently obscure insights more accessible.
The second section then applies Deleuze and Guattari's theories, and especially Deleuze's ontological and epistemological critique of western thought, to a critical analysis of geopolitics and conventional approaches to resource-use management. (4) The argument also draws on scholarly opinion and empirical examples, as well as on qualitative data derived from semi-structured interviews conducted by the author with environmental activists and residents of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Nuxalk territory in the area of Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola (Bella Coola, British Columbia) and in the Mi'kmaq territory of Unama'kik/Cape Breton (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia), to illustrate specific problems. (5) It will become clear from this analysis that the status quo is--for both philosophical and material reasons--inherently inequitable and unsustainable.
Similarities between the experiences of the Canadian communities studied and those of communities and ecosystems elsewhere in the world suggest that social and ecological problems have a common cause: a globalising 'system' of power/ knowledge that has come to control most of the infrastructure of civilisation. The third section is devoted to describing this vast 'system'--which I dub 'Industria' to provide a single name for a set of complex processes and transformations in social, political and ecological relations. 'Industria' is a concept developed in response to Hardt and Negri's challenge in the first epigraph to this paper. (6)
The discussion then moves to a brief consideration of alternative, 'differential' approaches to the conduct of politics and resource-use management. It concludes by suggesting that the application of a Deleuzian philosophy of 'difference' can aid human communities at all scales in the 'development of sustainability' (M'Gonigle 1989).
The Present Danger
Fiddle if you will, but at least be aware that Rome is burning all the while. (Stoddart 1987, 334)
Most geographers, having examined evidence from a wide array of fields in the environmental sciences, are aware that industrial society is causing profound and, quite possibly, irreversible damage to the rest of the biotic community (for a superb example of work in this area, see Smil 1993). it is possible to identify three interrelated problems of immediate concern. First, 'loss of biodiversity'--a euphemism for the highest extinction rate since the Mesozoic era--is literally unknitting the global web of life (Williams 1989; Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council 2001). Second, anthropogenic changes to atmospheric composition are causing climate change, extreme meteorological events and the destruction of the ozone layer (Kaufman and Franz 1993; Karl and Trenberth 2003). Third, the spread of toxic chemical compounds throughout the global food web threatens humans and non-humans alike (Beck 1992; Resource Futures International 2001). Collectively, these processes threaten to undermine the capacity of the biosphere to support mammalian life. Since humans are members of a global biotic community, and since that community has been described by scientists as an interdependent, self-sustaining organism--Gaia, in the parlance of microbiologist Lynn Margulis (1998), atmospheric scientist James Lovelock (1979, 1988, 1991) and geographer Anne Buttimer (1990)--it is difficult to escape the conclusion that ecological degradation by industrial society results from behaviour that is, at best, pathological.
Connected to these global ecological challenges are widespread failures in the development of sustainable-resource-use management regimes. In North America and elsewhere in the world, growing concerns about unsustainable utilisation of natural resources--including the replacement of wild forests by industrial plantations (Hecht and Cockburn 1989; Williams 1989; Devall 1993), the collapse of the world's most important fisheries (Harris 1995; Rogers 1995; Jackson et al. 2001) (7) and the 'mining' of soil by industrial agriculture (Blaikie and Brookfield 1987)--underscore the fact that conventional approaches to resource-use management must be rethought.
Linked to these issues are demands by local communities for greater control over natural-resource-use management. These demands pose a significant challenge to the assumptions of territorial sovereignty upon which the state system is predicated. Though Bradshaw (2003) has warned against uncritical assumptions of the capacity and credibility of local communities in resource-use management decisions, it would seem equally naive to make the same assumptions about corporations or government bureaucrats--yet these assumptions underlie the status quo. While it would be a mistake to prioritise or valorise local knowledge and practice, it is nonetheless clear that the denigration of these things has played a significant role in unsustainable-resource-use management practices and political conflict.
The objection to control from afar is strongest among the peoples of the Fourth World (Manuel 1974; Stea and Wisher 1984). Around the world, from the Haida of North America to the Ogoni of Africa, Fourth-World nations question the rights of state governments to make decisions regarding territory and resources that were annexed by the state system without their consent. Threats of violent resistance have been made by many Fourth-World nations alarmed by encroachments on their territory that seem inevitably to result in ecological degradation and a net outflow of resource wealth (Manes 1990; Marcos 1998).
What is clear from all of the above is that dramatic changes are needed in the conduct of geopolitics and the management of the use of natural resources. The next section recruits Deleuze and Guattari to help explain why such changes need to be implemented and how this might best be undertaken.
A Deleuzian Geopolitical Lexicon
Thinking is neither a line drawn between subject and object nor a revolving of one around the other. Rather, thinking takes place in the relationship of territory and the earth. (Deleuze and Guattari 1994, 85)
Deleuze and Guattari's (1994) project, which they have described as 'geophilosophy', is rooted in a critique of the very foundations of European thought. In this undertaking, they deploy many terms that, while perhaps initially confusing, help to render more visible the chief intellectual problems underlying global geopolitics and resource-use management. These terms are defined in the next few pages and serve as a broad introduction to 'Deleuzoguattarian' geopolitical philosophy.
The order in which they are presented here is deliberate, as each term builds philosophically and politically upon the last. To start with, a belief in ontological 'identity' leads to a chauvinistic 'identitarianism'. This in turn necessitates an epistemology of representation and the denigration of local knowledge. By contrast, Deleuze's preferred ontology of 'difference' requires the epistemological admission of local knowledge and 'wisdom of the body'. 'Machinic assemblages' result from the play of ontological difference in the world; yet, paradoxically, this play has given rise to two discernible forms of assemblage. The first, hegemonic and growing in scope and power, can be described as the identitarian machine--Deleuze and Guattari frequently use Althusser's term 'the State apparatus'. The second is the State apparatus' differential nemesis: 'the war machine' (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 24).
When you begin making decisions and cutting it up, rules and names appear. And once rules and names appear, you should know when to stop. (Tao Te Ching, quoted in Scott 1998, 262)
The Deleuzian critique most important to this discussion is directed against ontological 'identity'--which Deleuze argues has underlain western thought since Plato. In simple terms, ontological identity assumes that the 'total field' of reality can be reduced to discrete points or 'identities' that interact atomistically, much like balls on a billiard table. Deleuze shows that belief in ontological identity is an error, since reality is a continuum (an unbounded 'whole'), not an aggregation of separate 'points'. In this discussion, I use the word 'identitarianism' to refer to the set of ideas arising from an ontology of identity.
Identity is a useful fiction, employed to make intellectual epistemologies of calculation and measurement possible. However, when its fictionality is forgotten, identitarianism quickly contributes to serious social, political and ecological problems. A list of identity categories familiar to readers would include human races, animal species and academic disciplines. Identities are generalisations based upon some agreed-upon norm. Identitarianism masks, misrepresents or excludes transitional or marginal cases that do not fit easily into the identity category under consideration.
Deleuze undertakes the most systematic and rigorous critique of identity in Difference and Repetition (Deleuze 1994). His project is to show that the being supposed in an ontology of identity is defined by what it is not: that it relies on a negative, external support (the 'is/is not' duality, or Hegel's 'thesis/antithesis') and is thus 'no being at all' (Hardt 1993, 114). Ontological identity denies the positive movement of being, or 'becoming', and thus creates a static, negative and, ultimately, false picture of the world (Doel 1996, 430).
In practice, the most significant feature of identitarianism is the process of 'striation': Deleuze and Guattari's term for the mental or physical imposition of fixed, sedentary boundaries (enclosures) onto hitherto smooth space to create what philosopher Paul Patton (2000, 112) has called a 'homogeneous space of quantitative multiplicity'.
In Deleuze's view, the myth of identity has had profound epistemological implications. This is so because intellectual epistemologies are necessitated by a belief in ontological identity. That is to say, identitarian thinking holds that the only way of gaining reliable knowledge about the world, and to make accurate predictions, is through conscious, intellect-based approaches, grounded in logic. This, Deleuze suggests, is a mistake. Of course, if reality truly were made up of discrete identities, then measuring them and logically calculating their interactions would surely be the soundest way of gaining access to knowledge about the real world.
Deleuze does recognise that logic and reason are very frequently successful strategies: he merely emphasises that they should not be granted exclusive epistemological status. His argument is that reality is not, in fact, fundamentally atomistic and that therefore an identitarian epistemology, however useful, is ultimately inadequate. He shows that representation is the inevitable outcome of the privileging of intellect over intuition. Moreover, he argues that the fluid and mobile nature of reality--which the intellect on its own can never adequately grasp--means that representation is doomed to perpetual error. Arran Gare (1995, 70) argues that representation results from Platonic thought's 'celebration of eternal forms and its denigration of the changing, sensible world' (on this point see also Deleuze 1994, 59). In Deleuze's view, the representational intellect cannot truly understand the continuity and flow that characterise the world. Instead, we see the world through our intellect as series of moments, aggregations of units. Representation also leads directly to reductionism, where complex ideas and conditions are simplified to the point of minimising, obscuring and distorting them (Random House Webster 1998, 1618). John Ralston Saul (1993) has called this the 'dictatorship of reason'. Deleuze would almost certainly have agreed.
Chaos is not a stable condition or fixed state. It is a process, it is dynamic. It is more like the changing relationship between things than the things themselves. (Merry 1995, 11)
For Deleuze, static identities are dangerous illusions: the real world is, by contrast, always fluid and mobile; reality is ontologically characterised by 'difference'. This difference is not, as it might seem, difference between things (an identitarian notion) but rather the idea that reality is a continuum of interplay, interpenetration and interconnectedness and that 'things' are merely intensities in this continuum, internally constituted by the interplay of different forces, and themselves interacting and interpenetrating with everything around them. In this sense, allegedly separate entities are mutually constitutive and interdependent, and treating them as entirely separate inevitably does intellectual and physical violence to the world. In an ontology of difference, the world is viewed holistically.
Differential being is defined on the basis of what it is rather than what it is not. It is dynamic, not static. As Deleuze (1988, 123) puts it, 'the important thing is to understand life, each living individuality, not as a form, or a development of form, but as a complex relation between different velocities'. While we may, for practical purposes, speak of 'a tree', 'a fish', 'the human species', etc., awareness of ontological difference reminds us that it is a mistake to abstract such things from their dynamic and continuous context.
Prior to striation by identitarian forces, the world is made of 'smooth space' (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 474-500), or what Patton (2000, 112) has called 'the heterogeneous space of qualitative multiplicity'. In smooth space, diverse and unexpected interconnections may appear and reconfigure ('lines of flight'). Smooth space is continually in flux; it is difficult to know intellectually and (therefore) difficult to control. To know one's way in the tangle of primeval forest or other 'wild zones' (Dalby 2001), one must have good instincts.
Wisdom of the body
Following early-twentieth-century philosopher Henri Bergson, Deleuze calls for the epistemological rehabilitation of intuition. He describes this intuitive epistemology as 'transcendental empiricism' or 'wisdom of the body'. Prior to intellectualisation, our instincts respond to and process the sensory data received by the body as a continuous and multiplicitous flow. Thus, the way humans perceive the world through 'wisdom of the body' is better attuned to ontological difference (and therefore better capable of understanding smooth space) than through the intellect. This 'libidinal epistemology' provides us with an understanding of a continuous, mobile, fluid and interconnected world (Ford and Hipwell 2001).
A shift in focus from identity to difference requires a greater reliance on the unconscious, on instinct and on knowing through the heart, it requires, in many senses, an un-focusing. As an empiricist and materialist, Deleuze does not mean that un-focusing entails abandoning empirical knowledge gained through the representational intellect but rather augmenting it with wisdom of the body. He would argue that researchers--especially in the social realm--must come to recognise that variations and tangential relationships may often be more important than structures and causal relationships. Doel (1996, 430) advises that researchers learn 'nomad thought', 'dwelling on change, becoming and inconsistency, rather than fixity, being and constancy'.
Friedrich Nietzsche, a formative influence on Deleuze, made the argument for intuitive routes to knowledge in the nineteenth century. Nietzsche argued that
... 'being conscious' is not in any decisive sense the opposite of what is instinctive: most of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly guided into certain channels by his instinct. (Nietzsche 1966, 11) As Deleuze puts it The great activity is unconscious.... Consciousness is essentially reactive; this is why we do not know what a body can do.... The real problem is the discovery of active forces without which the reactions themselves would not be forces. (Deleuze 1983, 41)
Geographer David Livingstone (1992, 1-2) echoes this sentiment, noting that the myth of science as proceeding solely through 'experimental analysis and logical rigour' has been thoroughly dispelled (see also Saul 2001, 5). In sum, reality can only be fully grasped with the aid of wisdom of the body, which is more attuned to difference than to identity. Wisdom of the body is implicitly granted epistemological status in the local-traditional ecological knowledge (Lo-TEK) employed by peripheral communities engaged in the small-scale harvest of natural resources (see Inglis 1993; Acheson and Wilson 1996). As is discussed below, the marginalisation of such knowledge by state and corporate managers is a key cause of many environmental problems.
Machinic assemblages are formed any time different forces interact (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 88). In earlier work, Deleuze and Guattari (1983) argue that the purported 'individual' human psyche is itself a machinic assemblage of interacting social forces, norms and identities. The same is true of larger social groupings--be they tribes, classes, nations or states. The key point here is that the resulting assemblages, while comprised of multiplicities, do have discernible forms, which may best be apprehended through a study of their equally discernible effects on other assemblages.
The 'state apparatus' versus the 'war machine'
When they suggest that '[i]t could be that, spiritual or temporal, tyrannical or democratic, capitalist or socialist, there has never been but a single State ...', Deleuze and Guattari (1983, 192; emphasis original) are referring to what they perceive to he the largest, most powerful and potentially most dangerous type of machinic assemblage: the 'Urstaat' or 'State apparatus'. The State apparatus is essentially an identitarian machinic assemblage, characterised by imperatives of territorial and social capture and striation. Through its conquest of territory and cultural systems, it actively works to impose the order and calculability of identity systems on manifestations of difference, such as diverse cultural groups or wild ecosystems. Prior to striation by the State apparatus, the world is made up of smooth space. James C. Scott (1998), Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University, uses the word 'sedentarization' in place of 'striation'. As Scott explains it, the process of sedentarisation at the core of the state-building project included the creation of permanent last names, the standardisation of weights and measures, cadastral surveys and population registers, the invention of freehold tenure, the standardisation of language and legal discourse, the design of cities and the organisation of transportation. In an echo of Foucault's (1977) discussion of the 'panopticon', Scott argues that sedentarisation was effected to 'create a standardised grid whereby [complex, illegible, and local practices] could be centrally controlled and monitored' (Scott 1998, 2).
Patton, the first thinker to coherently link Fourth World or 'indigenous' movements with Deleuze and Guattari's thought, argues that the State apparatus is effectively opposed only by 'the war machine'. The war machine is a nomadic form of group subject which is 'outside and hostile to the state' and has the power to deterritorialise sedentary structures (Patton 2000, 111). In Deleuze and Guattari's formulation,
There are many reasons to believe that the war machine is of a different origin, is a different assemblage, than the State apparatus. It is of nomadic origin and is directed against the State apparatus. (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 230)
A war machine is revived '[e]very time there is an insurgency of some kind against the state, whether this takes the form of revolution, riot, guerrilla warfare or civil disobedience' (Patton 2000, 111). Patton points out that the concept of war machine has only a synthetic relation to war (he prefers the term 'metamorphosis machine') and should not be confused with the more popular use of the term to refer to the military-industrial complex. The war machine is a disruptor, an agent of becoming and difference--inherently unstable--operating ceaselessly against identitarianism. Wherever it is able to act, a war machine deterritorialises State structures, making striated space smoother. Patton cites examples of potential war machines including Fourth-World resistance movements, rural communities and peripheral urban protest groups. However, once a war machine has succeeded in deterritorialising and displacing the State, it tends to quickly become identitarian and frequently evolves into a neo-State apparatus (think of Stalin or Castro ...).
The practices of enclosure, state management, and appropriation of resources thus have a long history directly connected to fears of political disruption and the dangers presented to these arrangements by the resistance practices of the dispossessed. (Dalby 2002, 71)
The state system is the most significant feature of geopolitics since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. It is perhaps not surprising that the word 'state' is linked etymologically to 'stasis' and is therefore quite comfortably associated with concepts such as 'sedentary', 'fixed' and 'quantitative'. The ultimate territorial objective of the State apparatus is to erase pre-existing smooth territoriality ('deterritorialise') and replace ('reterritorialise') it with striated space. This is why the State apparatus is, ultimately, the enemy of wilderness and diverse human communities.
Deterritorialisation is accomplished in a variety of ways. As noted above, Scott (1998) has discussed what I would term 'bureaucratic deterritorialisation', wherein state administrative practices erase pre-existing territoriality such as that exemplified by 'the commons'. Military deterritorialisation is carried out through invasion and occupation (and sometimes subsequent settlement). Ken Brealey (1995) provides an example of cartographic deterritorialisation in his discussion of how colonial cartographers erased the Aboriginal use of territory on the Pacific Coast of North America. Bruce Braun, in his analysis of the writings of (de)forestry corporations and early explorers, has shown that discursive deterritorialisation (omission or exclusion of Aboriginal territoriality) pervades these texts (Willems-Braun 1997). Attempts at legal deterritorialisation can be more blatant--here we need to think only of the terra nullius doctrine used to wipe out Aboriginal territorial claims in Australia (Mercer 1993) or the invocation of this doctrine by the B.C. Supreme Court (Waldram et al. 1992). Most insidious of all is what might be termed a 'psychological deterritorialisation', where attempts are made to destroy individual and cultural connections to the land through programs of shaming and reeducation. An obvious example of this is the residential school program in Canada or its equally ugly sibling in Australia. Today, states continue to attempt to striate the remaining smooth space within their territorial boundaries, resisted by peripheral urban groups, rural communities, the stateless nations of the Fourth World and (if you will) the forces of nature.
The principle of state territorial sovereignty has created a world neatly divided by linear boundaries into 191 states. The reification of these states is a pervasive problem in contemporary society (Magnusson and Walker 1991, 239, n. 2). At the most general level, state boundaries create misleading notions of inside/outside (Walker 1993) that stand in the way of global cooperation--as can be seen from the failures of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) process (Sachs 1993) and the Kyoto agreement on climate change. In addition, state nationalism implies a degree of internal homogeneity that Peter Taylor (1994) has pointed out simply does not exist. Moreover, internal and external state boundaries frequently transect ecogeographical regions, which increases the likelihood of trans-boundary ecological conflicts, while simultaneously rendering more difficult coordination in resolving them.
As Ivison et al. (2000, 3) argue, '... most states owe their existence to some combination of force and fraud'. State boundaries seldom reflect the pre-state territoriality of human groups, and this is giving rise to increasing resistance by colonised peoples. Indeed, the vast majority of military conflicts now occur at the sub-state level (Smith 1997). Those resisting state occupation are almost invariably called 'terrorists' or 'rebels' by states and the media (Nietschmann 1994). A noteworthy, contemporary example is the Chechen people who continue to resist the long-standing occupation of their territory by the Russian state. The increasing willingness of resistance groups like the Chechens to mimic state military tactics--i.e., to target civilians--appears to be leading inexorably towards a global, 'total war', in which the battlefield is everywhere and the targets everyone. (8)
The formation of states was, to a significant degree, predicated upon the myth of individualism as reflected in Hobbes' (1968, 1651) Leviathan. Specifically, the state system was meant to rescue humanity from the 'the state of nature', wherein Hobbes claimed that the human species was engaged in a 'war of all against all' (p. 185). This myth has served ever since as the principal apology for the establishment of coercive, centralised political power. Deleuze makes use of eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume to show that contrary to Hobbes' assertion, human beings were never lost in an individualist anarchy but rather were organised into communities (cited in Hayden 1998). Neighbouring tribal communities tend to be 'rhizomatically' (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 1-25) or horizontally linked through inter-marriage, shared territories and seasonal festivals. Ironically, Hobbes' 'war of all against all' seems only to have begun after the formation of the state system.
The State/Corporate Alliance
Scholars of Canadian history need little reminder that state military (or police) forces are frequently mobilised to defend industrial corporations against the civilian populace. For example, federal troops were sent to Cape Breton Island on average once every seven years from 1876 to 1925, to put down striking coal miners who were protesting against their exploitation by large corporations (Forbes 1983). Today, Canadian police forces repeatedly intervene to guarantee corporate access to natural resources over the protests of local communities or environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs). (9)
This phenomenon extends to Canada's involvement in 'a global economy that is based on a corporate structure' (Environmental Activist 1, 1996 interview). When Canadian students at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vancouver in 1997 peacefully protested Indonesia's human rights abuses, they were pepper-sprayed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to prevent their embarrassing Canadian Prime Minister Chretien and the Indonesian dictator Suharto, with whom Chretien and Canadian resource corporations had been cultivating friendly relations for years. Worse treatment awaited peaceful protesters at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City four years later (Isacsson and Lapointe 2001).
The globalisation of this tendency is cause for alarm. lain Wallace (1998) suggests that in the 'neoliberal international order', the power of corporations operating in global markets has eclipsed not only that of governments but of all the institutions of 'territorialized civil society'. Given the apparently increased readiness of state police forces to use violence against democratic protesters in defence of these corporations, the term 'terrorised civil society' might be equally apt.
Not only do state governments frequently put the interests of corporations ahead of human rights, they have also actively cooperated in repressing civilian opposition to resource exploitation. For example, the KOPASSUS special military forces of Indonesia who directed the 1999 massacre of civilians in East Timor were armed and trained by the governments of Australia, Britain and the United States of America (Federation of American Scientists 2003a,b). Australian companies in particular have long been interested in exploiting the vast reserves of oil in the seabed of the Timor Gap and had negotiated favourable arrangements with the Indonesian government prior to, and presumably jeopardised by, East Timor's independence (Cooke 1999).
Corporations also play a direct role in repressing communities who attempt to resist the exploitation of their territories. During the Mayan indigenous uprising in Chiapas in 1994-1995, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, according to a leaked internal memo, advised the Mexican government to 'get rid of' the Mayan resistance fighters known as 'Zapatistas' if it wished to become a full participant in the global economy (Wild 1997). In Nigeria, collusion between Shell Oil Corporation and the state government in repressing the Ogoni nation (a campaign that included the execution of peace activist and Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa) provoked outrage among the global populace but little condemnation by state governments. The effective alliance between corporations and states has led international relations scholar Charles Tilly (1985) to conclude that states are a form of 'organised crime', 'protection rackets' designed to ensure that economic elites maintain an unequal share of wealth and control of territory.
Allocation of Resources and Management of Resource use
I have a terrible feeling that in the upper echelons of [the B.C. Ministry of] Forestry, there's something going on that allots all this clear-cutting. Now what kind of alliance, or what kind of compensation, what kind it is, [I don't know,] but I just have that feeling. (Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola Resident 1, 1996 interview)
Nowhere is the state-corporate alliance more evident than in the natural-resources sector. Sandberg's (1991) excellent discussion of what can only be termed an 'incestuous' relationship between the (de)forestry industry and the Nova Scotia government during the 'Big Lease' of 1899-1960 illustrates the problem perfectly. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of the best forested land in Unama'kik/Cape Breton were handed over--initially to American timber barons and later to trans-state corporations--for scandalously low stumpage fees and with, ultimately, no guarantee of local manufacturing jobs. Moreover, the industrial harvesting technologies and techniques used by these logging companies negatively impacted ecosystem health (May 1998).
This latter point is echoed by contributors to collections by Boardman (1992) and Mitchell (1995), who illustrate how in Canada, as elsewhere, conventional resource-use management has led to increasingly severe ecological problems. Industrial methods favoured by large resource corporations tend to have a greater negative impact on ecosystem health and resilience than labour-intensive, small-scale methods of extraction. In conventional (de)forestry practices, for example, smooth, wild ecosystems are eradicated (clear-cut) and replaced by striated plantations, the precise contents and location of which are recorded in government and corporate geographic information system databases. As Dan Eidt, Director of Forest Management on Crown Lands for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, admitted recently, 'We have gone way beyond conservation and moved into the realm of managed forests' (2000 interview). The problem here is the arrogant and unfounded assumption that humans can successfully 'manage' wild ecosystems. 'Managed forests' are simply not as biologically diverse as wild ones--nor are they sustainable in the long term (Perry 1988). The photographic and textual contributors to Bill Devall's (1993) Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry make it abundantly clear that what is at stake is the expression of a billion years of organic evolution, as wilderness is obliterated and replaced by patchworks of industrial monoculture plantations. (10) By striating smooth space--reducing chaos and imposing order--resource managers act against the very mechanisms that have enabled the evolution of life on Earth.
Even without the aid of state-sanctioned or state-sponsored violence, corporations are able to utilise state territorial claims, and vague references to 'global economic realities', to justify the net transfer of jobs and resource wealth from peripheral regions to the urban core of the global economy. The mobility of capital means that urban-based companies operating in rural areas lack any long-term vested interest in the sustainability of the resource being harvested or the communities nearby. As a non-native Q'umk'uts/ Bella Coola naturalist pointed out, 'They don't think, "Holy Christ, I can't show this to my kids in the next ten-fifteen years." They have no stake in it!' (Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola Resident 2, 1996 interview). A Nuxalk Hereditary Chief echoed his sentiment:
Those shareholders at Interfor [logging corporation], or those workers at Interfor take the money and go: and leave the destruction and the damages behind. And we have to live through that. There's places I used to hunt, my brother used to hunt, it's all clear-cuts, it's just a sea of stumps. (Nuxalk Hereditary Chief 1, 1996 interview)
AS this Nuxalk traditional leader implies, when resources are eventually depleted in one location, resource corporations (utilising state territorial claims) can simply move on to another area. This has certainly been the case in the Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola region. Several trans-state (de)forestry corporations have taken turns 'mining' the forests of the area. In the words of a Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola businessperson and member of the local Sierra Club chapter:
It's Crown-Zellerbach that raped this valley ..., and whatever was left, Fletcher Challenge [international] took over and got the top stuff where they could find it--through [the B.C. Ministry of] Forestry of course. So Fletcher Challenge had a go at it, and they made, oh, a mint. and pulled out! Left all their devastation. and then Interfor came in and took over all the premises.... But they're doing the same thing. (Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola Resident 1, 1996 interview)
This effective plunder of natural resources by outside corporations is exacerbated by the impact of industrial harvesting methods on the rest of the biotic community. Another Nuxalk Hereditary Chief in Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola gave examples of both cultural and ecological impacts of the current situation:
I was concerned about the needless clear-cutting. It affects everything--most particularly the salmon. We aren't opposed to logging, but they don't take care [...] [A]fter they clear-cut we found lots of CMTs [culturally modified trees[, graveyards and sacred sites [had been] destroyed--plus all our medicines and roots and berries, and all the animals that can't speak for themselves, (Nuxalk Hereditary Chief 2, 1996 interview)
Allocation decisions that favour industrial allocation and extraction methods reflect, to a large degree, the short-term demands of urban consumers, industrial labour unions and corporate shareholders, rather than the need to develop long-term socioecological sustainability in resource-producing areas. Moreover, the economic benefits of resource extraction are frequently exported along with the natural resources. Another Nuxalk Hereditary Chief sums up the problems in his territory in this way:
All the logs that go out of here ... you know my grandmother says she's seen logging trucks leave this valley since she was a little girl. Yet our people haven't seen anything from those logs, anything given to our people, and it destroys, destroys our way of life. It destroys our hunting grounds, it destroys our salmon grounds, and it hurts those animals out there, and there's no benefit for us. (Nuxalk Hereditary Chief 4, 1996 interview)
These problems are contributing to a combined ecological and demographic crisis in many rural areas (Brownson 1995).
Automation--invariably justified by large corporations as necessary for 'competitiveness' (this euphemism describes the need to meet shareholder demands for rates of return on investment tantamount to usury)--replaces human labour with machinery. As another Nuxalk leader puts it:
... forty years ago there used to be a lot of work, but things start to change. There's not much logging now, and lnterfor brings in all these people from out of town and steal the Nuxalk's work. [...] In all those years it changed. Nobody's workin'.... (Nuxalk Hereditary Chief 3, 1996 interview) A Nuxalk national and former logger agrees: And that's our resources they're logging. They used to have twenty-year logging plans. But [now] they're logging it faster. A plan that was supposed to last twenty years, now it lasts five years. They're logging that much faster. Heli-logging, ... grapple yarders. More wood, less employment. That's the way it is. Before what used to take about two weeks to log now takes three days with a helicopter. That's the kind of methods they are using. (Nuxalk National 1, 1996 interview)
In a similar vein, a Mi'kmaq national complained that in Unama'kik/Cape Breton, the economic future of his people is being exported from the island by a Sweden-based, trans-state logging company:
The only thing left is Crown lands, but [rights to log] the Crown lands [have] been negotiated with Stora Industries. [They're] taking out wood from there. [...] There's gonna be nothing left. (Mi'kmaq National 1, 1998 interview)
When natural resources--which form the economic backbone of many rural communities--have been depleted, the children of these communities are frequently forced to leave in search of work. Another Mi'kmaq national, who had worked in social services in Eskasoni, Unama'kik/ Cape Breton a few years earlier, remembered that
... for most kids there wasn't a very hopeful future unless I could prepare them to migrate off the Reserve, because unemployment was at, and always has been, 85-90 percent. So ... I guess I became very disillusioned because [...] I just saw myself as preparing my community to export our children. (Elizabeth Marshall, 1997 interview)
On the opposite side of Canada, the Q'umk'uts/ Bella Coola businessperson quoted earlier suggests that there is also a link between unsustainable harvesting and substance abuse by youth:
We must find a way to harvest our timber, but at the same time retaining jobs--if anything even increasing Jobs. Because unemployment in our area is one of the biggest problems.... If our young people haven't got work, they haven't got anything. Because then they turn to destructive living. They'll say, 'Well, what's the use anyway, I can't get a job,' and alcoholism is so rampant. So many of our young people are disadvantaged right away.... (Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola Resident 2, 1996 interview)
The 'flight of youth' has radically altered rural demographic profiles, and the loss of youthful energy and innovation resulting from substance abuse has undoubtedly contributed to rural economic decline.
The epistemological difficulty
Decisions regarding natural-resource-use management presently tend to be made in urban centres, far from the areas of extraction, by corporate managers and government bureaucrats. An example of the identitarian, reductionist epistemologies at play in these management regimes is the computer modelling used to represent complex ecological systems. In the fisheries, as in other sectors, a reliance on such models has led to the collapse of chaotic ecological systems (Acheson and Wilson 1996). Leslie Harris notes that:
... our biological knowledge is still so deficient that we cannot be sure that particular populations represent one stock or many, whether spawning sub-groups make up genetically different stocks, or whether observed aggregations are fortuitous or dependent upon behavioural patterns as modified by fluctuating environmental conditions. (Harris 1995, 133)
Harris also echoes Raymond Rogers' (1995) claim that quotas assigned to fishery corporations are based on untestable hypotheses and representational, averages-based mathematical models dependent upon data that frequently prove to be wholly inaccurate. Such errors have led in many cases to precipitous declines in fish populations. Similar problems have plagued other natural-resources sectors,
The centralisation of decision-making is particularly problematic in the light of Deleuze's epistemological work on 'wisdom of the body', which suggests strongly that physical experience of the 'resource-setting' is essential to sound management decisions. This is without question one of the main conclusions reached by scholars who have undertaken research into Lo-TEK (see, e.g., Johnson 1992; Berkes 1993; World Bank 1995). (11) Yet, managers located far from the resource setting, in urban environments, are increasingly detached physically, mentally and culturally from the natural world. Thus, resource-use management decisions have been entrusted to precisely those people who are--Deleuze would argue--the least epistemologically equipped to make them.
The Next Task: Identifying the Enemy
In summary, identitarian practices in the geopolitical and resource-use management realms have contributed substantially to civil conflict, rural economic decline and ecological degradation. While it is clear that these practices are multiplicitous, a constellation of interacting forces, it is nonetheless possible to discern an intensity, or common set of properties, and, therefore, to give the constellation of forces exhibiting these common characteristics a name.
The Industria Hypothesis
The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us--even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.... (Morpheus, in Wachowski and Wachowski 1999) The Leviathan is a cannibal. It eats its contemporaries as well as its predecessors. It loves a plurality of Leviathans as little as it loves the Earth. Its enemy is everything outside itself ... The story of swallowings is the story of World His-story, which by its very name already prefigures a single Leviathan which holds all Earth in its entrails. (Perlman 1983, 42-3)
In the view of many scholars and activists, the political, economic and ecological phenomena described in the preceding pages are the effects of a single but multiplicitous system of power/ knowledge. According to this view, the diverse empires and state alliances that have historically struggled amongst themselves for planetary dominance have finally merged and accreted into a single, self-regulating and self-perpetuating machinic assemblage. Since there exists a profusion of different and frequently inadequate terms for this assemblage, and since, as Hardt and Negri point out in the epigraph to this commentary, clear identification of the enemy is a prerequisite to effective resistance, the cognomen 'Industria' is used here. (I first coined the word in Hipwell 1997b; see also Hipwell 1997a or Ford and Hipwell 2001.)
'Industria' denotes not merely the state system (though Industria's existence is predicated upon state territoriality) but rather the multiplicitous expression of the interplay between identitarian thought, industrial technologies, states and corporations and the political, economic and cognitive elites who control them. In concrete terms, Industria is the network of power which has grown from the state system and which now includes state governments (especially those of G8 members), international financial institutions [e.g., the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)], military alliances [e.g., North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)], regional trading blocs [e.g., Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)], trade organisations [e.g., the World Trade Organization (WTO)], global corporations and other economic elites. This is not to imply that there is a conspiracy afoot; Industria is more likely the unintentional product of interactions based upon self-interest, though its emergence has been hastened by instances of deliberate cooperation among (or coercion by) elites.
Contrary to the liberal view that European political, cultural and technological systems represent the highest development of human potential, the road to Industria is in fact but one of the many paths chosen by diverse human cultures (Blaut 1993). To aid in a more sophisticated understanding of this one path chosen by Europeans and those they have succeeded in conquering, five core characteristics of Industria are presented here, with some explanation, for consideration and further research:
1. Industria is a homogenising force. Homogeneity is the result of the identitarian tendencies of Industrian power towards striation, order and domestication. It is evident in monoculture farming and (de)forestry, the decreasing distinguishability and ceaseless expansion of 'world cities', the disappearance of diverse human languages and cultures and the mass extinction of species currently underway.
2. Industria is a network, not a container. In spatial terms, Industria can be visualised as a multi polar, web-like network, within which cities are primary nodes of power and control. This global network of large cities--linked by major transportation routes, electronic communications networks and resource extraction links (railways, pipelines, etc.)--collectively constitutes Industria's multipolar 'centre'. Now that the Industrian network spans the globe, traditional, geometric understandings of the location of the 'margins' or peripheries must be rethought. These peripheries do not exist 'outside' in the sense of traditional geometry. Since industrial civilisation is a web of geographical power completely encircling the Earth, there can be no linear, terrestrial frontier delineating its furthest reach. Its 'outside' or 'periphery' is found in the smooth spaces between the strands of the web. Urban nodes in the web act like black holes, their economic gravity sucking labour and resources from the 'wild zones' (Dalby 2001) for processing and consumption (Figure 1).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
3. Industria is the opposite of wilderness. In the wild zones, furthest from Industrian lines of power, we find the greatest wilderness intensity. Contra Cronon (1995) and his disciples would like to assert that wilderness does exist independent of human thought. To wit, near cities are levels of Industrian intensity that large, non-domesticated ('wild') mammals such as Timber Wolves cannot tolerate. Those areas far from cities, for example in old-growth forests, where Industrian intensity is low enough to allow the flourishing of such species are, de facto, wilderness (Chipeniuk 1991). Similarly, there are areas of wilderness intensity too great for Industria to tolerate. This is what Robert Kaplan (1994) warns of in The Coming Anarchy. (12) Conversely, Industria's power to affect, strongest in the urban nodes, radiates outward--in a continuum of decreasing intensity--through and from the strands of the web into the wilds of the periphery (Figure 2). When the strands of the Industrian web are cut or damaged, and the flow of Industrian power is interrupted, some form of wilderness always returns.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
4. Industria is expansionary. Industria is not static but is constantly expanding and becoming-other, though its core tendencies and imperatives remain largely the same. As one interview participant puts it: 'This industrial thing is like a big, hungry predator that is just gobbling everything up in it path, and it's getting hungrier and hungrier' (Nuxalk Hereditary Chief 1, 1995 interview). Colonisation has been an ongoing process of the capture of smaller, local social networks by Industria. Local networks are first penetrated (usually by merchants or traders, the military, missionaries or some combination of these) and then increasingly integrated into the Industrian network. In states such as Canada, cities expand a really through annexation or amalgamation of adjacent rural areas. Since municipal government is thereby brought under the 'democratic' control of the urban populace, annexation of rural areas is typically followed by changes to zoning bylaws favouring industries, suburbs or factory farming (e.g., hog operations). Where wilderness areas are preserved, they are usually made into parks or reserves where the traditional productive activities of local populations are suddenly prohibited.
5. Industria is a system of knowledge and power, not an ideology. The statist identitarianism critiqued by Deleuze has roots much older than any political ideology. It is equally inherent to communism, capitalism, fascism, socialism, etc. Though it is now almost universally capitalist, Industria has also manifested in socialist states, as an anthropocentric, rationalising, colonising and ecologically destructive network of capture and control.
What's in a name?
The 'Industria' concept has been described elsewhere in a bewildering array of terms. The most common, and perhaps best known, is 'The System', the vague term in vogue during the 1960s. As is demonstrated below, numerous other terms are in use, but 'Industria' is both conceptually and linguistically more suitable than any of them.
As noted earlier, Deleuze and Guattari speak of the 'Urstaat' or 'State apparatus'. Yet, both these terms needlessly promote conceptual confusion between individual states, or the state system in general, and the state/corporate network of power/knowledge referred to here. These terms also obscure the ways in which state political (though not territorial) sovereignty is being surpassed by a global network of economic and technological power. (13)
Less adequate is Guattari's notion of 'integrated world capitalism'. (14) When Guattari comments that 'current world capitalism has taken control of the entirety of productive activities and activities of social life on the whole planet' (quoted in Stivale 1993), it is evident that he has succumbed to a totalising meta-narrative that renders impossible the idea of anyone existing outside the capitalist system. (15) Anyone who has engaged in a barter transaction, or who has hunted for food, realises that 'world capitalism', while far-reaching, has, as of yet, fallen short of such absolute control of the human social world. (16)
Geographer Chris Field notes that, today, the northern boreal forest and the communities inhabiting it face 'the invasion of the international industrial revolution' (cited in Brownson 1995, preface, emphasis added), but this is a linguistically unwieldy term that ascribes agency to a process. Ould-Mey (1999) speaks of 'the global command economy'. This is apt, but equally unwieldy--as is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s description of
[m]ammoth production facilities with computer minds, cities that engulf the landscape and pierce the clouds.... Gargantuan industry and government, woven into an intricate computerized mechanism.... (quoted in Devall 1993, frontispiece)
Kirkpatrick Sale (1991; original 1985) and many others have spoken of the ecological threats posed by 'industrial civilisation', which perhaps comes closest of all to describing the enemy of wilderness and human communities. But this term, too, is problematic, for 'civilisation' has assumed normative proportions in contemporary discourse (think of the epithet 'uncivilised behaviour'), and there are no compelling reasons to believe that there cannot be a sustainable, equitable, 'post-Industrian' civilisation that continues to make use of industrial technologies.
Another interesting entry is Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's (2000) Empire. However, this simple noun is still inadequate. If the global system is indeed an empire--and this is a moot point, since for one thing, it does not have an emperor or even a discernible imperial centre--then it still needs a proper name to differentiate it from the various empires that have preceded it.
Although it could be argued that Industria is simply the global 'heartland' (McCann and Gunn 1998), the 'heartland-hinterland' dichotomy is a binary opposition linked to the ontological negation Deleuze warns against (the 'hinterland' is understood as being, quite literally, behind the global city) and, as such, must be rejected.
Finally, 'modernity' is used frequently to try to capture the phenomena under discussion, but this temporal term puts opponents of the system in the untenable position of appearing to call for a return to some romantically conceived, 'pre-modern', Arcadian past. In normative terms, modernity's opponents must be, by inference, 'backwards' or 'behind the times'. 'Modernity' also unfairly universalises the problem of Industria to all of humanity, since all humans live in the 'modern age'. Moreover, as soon as an attempt is made to situate some human groups outside this temporal modernity, one is open to charges of romantic imaginings au Rousseau. 'Modernity' ignores the spatiality of the Industrian system, including the spatial limits that make wilderness, and cultural diversity, possible. 'Industria' refers to an intensity that is not coextensive with either the Earth or humanity.
Industrians are those humans whose ability to survive is determined by the 'vitality' of the Industrian system, and they are therefore loyal to it. Industrians are polyglots, but their common language is English. (17) Their culture is transmitted through television and films and is characterised by conspicuous consumption. As with all 'things', Industrian culture is not a fixed-identity category but rather a continuum of intensity; some people are decidedly more Industrian than others. In this regard, it must be recognised that Industrian culture has either penetrated or affected every human culture on Earth.
In Latin, 'Industria' means 'diligence', which the Oxford English Dictionary (1989) defines as '[c]onstant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent application and endeavour; industry, assiduity'. Certainly, an atmosphere of constant toil characterises existence for most people in industrial society. Industria can also be seen as the confluence of Relph's (1976, 90-117) Five Media of Placelessness (Figure 3).
[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]
Industria has been implicated in every significant global environmental problem facing the planet. As Theodore Roszak argues:
[t]he problem the biosphere confronts is the convergence of all urban-industrial economies as they coagulate and thicken into a single planet-wide system everywhere devoted to maximum productivity and the unbridled assertion of human dominance. (Roszak 1979, 33, emphasis added)
As such, Industria--this single planet-wide system--can be considered responsible for the fourth and most serious 'ominous discordance' between the human species and the rest of nature (Sauer 1963).
Rejecting Industria, Reasserting Difference
Resist much. Obey little. (Walt Whitman)
Deleuze has argued that nature is characterised by difference. Discoveries of the 'new ecology' reinforce this notion (Zimmerer 1994). As Thom Kuehls (1996, 11-12) puts it, '[t]he "laws of nature" that a great many of us have been taught are based on assumptions of unity, permanence, and simplicity. These assumptions no longer hold the way they once did'. Life forms are not discrete but are all to some degree interdependent and interconnected. This is a key part of what Margulis, Lovelock and others are getting at when they speak of 'Gala'. Biotic interconnections even include the horizontal, trans-species exchange of DNA by retroviruses (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 10). In one example from Hammond's (1991) work on forest ecology, various tree species, flying squirrels and soil microbes form an interdependent rhizome, which in many ways renders the discussion of individual organisms nonsensical. Humans are a part of this fluid, biotic totality. The question, then, is how differential thought might be brought to bear on human interactions with the test of the biosphere, to redevelop a sustainable relationship.
As suggested earlier, the focus on reciprocity and interpenetration in the philosophy of difference highlights the fact that human individuals are mutually constitutive, not only with one another but also with the larger biotic communities (Leopold 1947) that sustain them. This is the main (but oft-misunderstood) premise of philosopher Arne Naess's (1993) argument for the environmental ethic he calls 'deep ecology'.
Opinions have been offered that Deleuzian philosophy is more compatible with social ecology than with deep ecology (see, e.g., Hayden 1998) but not by scholars who evidence a nuanced understanding of the difference between these positions. Even Guattari (2000) declared himself a social ecologist and claimed Deleuzian support for this position. He employed the word 'ecosophy' (p. 27) to describe his own version of social ecology. This is significant, for it reveals that Guattari had not read Naess' seminal works on deep ecology, since Naess had, almost 20 years earlier, already coined the word 'ecosophy' to describe deep ecology, and uses it consistently in his writings on the topic (see, e.g., Naess 1989; Naess 1993; on this point see also Gare 1995, 86-7). Saraq (1993) shows why the ecocentric ethical position of deep ecology--as opposed to the implicit anthropocentrism of social ecology--is most reflective of Deleuzian philosophy. In brief, social ecologists maintain an ontological separation between humans and non-humans that is identitarian and ecologically untrue; deep ecologists view humans ontologically as part of a continuum of life. As such, deep ecology, not social ecology, is the environmental ethic necessitated by the philosophy of difference.
Differential politics and resource-use management
The future is my biggest concern. The oceans are dying, the fish are all being caught, the forests are disappearing. What we need to do is take the resources away from the multinationals. Give small business or local communities control over forestry. (Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola Resident 3, 1996 interview)
The commercial fisherman quoted above would probably be pleased to know that there is a growing academic interest in such a reconfiguration of human politics at smaller scales and in more ecologically relevant forms. This set of ideas is increasingly discussed under the rubric of bioregional theory (see, e.g., Parsons 1985; Sale 1991; Aberley 1993; Cholette et al. 1996; Wadland and Gibson 1997; McGinnis 1999). Put succinctly, the bioregional approach investigates the extent to which effective political units could reflect, rather than transect, ecological and cultural features. Bioregionalists are also interested in determining whether situating control over resource-use management and resource allocation in areas where resources are located might improve the sustainability of resource use. This is in part a response to demands by residents of rural communities for greater local control in this domain.
Yet simple decentralisation to smaller, identitarian territorial units would merely reproduce the problem at hand and beg the question of coordination at larger scales (Dalby 1998, 313). So what can an ontological theory of difference contribute to this discussion? First, the identitarian nature of contemporary geopolitical units needs to be addressed. To overcome the problems in coordinating responses to ecological problems and approaches to resource-use management (e.g., the perennial U.S.-Canada dispute over Pacific salmon), the nature of state boundaries needs to be rethought.
Bioregional thinkers have suggested that political configurations must include a more flexible notion of territoriality, one where administrative 'boundaries' are fluid rather than fixed and where administrative authority, especially over mobile, common-property resources, is shared and not contained by territorial boundaries. They counsel using the historical territoriality of Aboriginal peoples as a model for bioregions. Geographer Donald McTaggart (1993) has suggested that network theory could help scholars understand relations within and among bioregions. However, as Cholette et al. (1996, 35) point out, the question of how such bioregions might be associated in new forms of federalism 'hasn't yet been articulated with sufficient clarity'.
Bioregional politics also has implications for the establishment of differential resource-use management. At present, decisions are typically centralised and made by managers far from the resource setting. This in turn means that there is less opportunity for significant inputs from local people with immediate, corporeal knowledge of the local ecology into questions of resource allocation or the development of harvesting/extraction regulations. By devolving decision-making authority to areas where the effects of resource-use management decisions are felt, a bioregional politics would increase the likelihood of the knowledge of local people and cultures--Lo-TEK--being included in those decisions.
A counter-Industrian politics needs to begin with nomadic alliances in the Earth's remaining smooth spaces, for it is in the places where Industrian intensity is weakest that differential alternatives have the greatest hope of success. As film director Nettie Wild--in her documentary of the Zapatista uprising--says of the Chiapas village of La Realidad:
In English, it means 'reality'. This is where the road stops, and the rebellion began. (Wild 1997)
Towards a 'Terran' Civilisation
You can go back and tell your people that ... we would like to see out environment the way it was ten thousand years ago. I want you to go back and tell your people that we're still crying out here. (Mi'kmaq National 2, 1997 interview)
This resource harvester and traditionalist's use of the terms 'go back', 'your people' and 'out here' reflects a common attitude among Aboriginal peoples that they and their traditional territories remain external to Industria: the urban web of the white man. The task, then, is determining the appropriate configuration for a post-Industrian politics that would promote environmental restoration while preserving the differential spaces required for the flourishing of and cooperation among human communities. The brief discussion of bioregional geopolitics and resource-use management above is meant as a preliminary foray in this direction. In the words of Michael M'Gonigle (1996, 13), 'if community-based alternatives are ever to have a chance, the dominant issue is tenure'. In this light, a post-Industrian civilisation might best be called 'Terran', grounded, as it would be, in specific places on the Earth.
In the development of a Terran civilisation, the importance of Fourth-World nations in resource-producing regions cannot be overemphasised. Patton's (2000) work suggests that in common-law states such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, legal recognition of Aboriginal territorial rights may represent one of the only viable buffers between the growth of Industria and the land on which it parasitically feeds. Just as state legal systems once rendered illegitimate local institutions and knowledge (Wallace and Knight 1996, 84), in Canada now, so too have Supreme Court decisions in the Sparrow (Supreme Court of Canada 1990), Delgamuukw (Supreme Court of Canada 1997) and Marshall (Supreme Court of Canada 1999) cases rendered illegitimate the continued denial of Aboriginal nations' land and resource rights. In Patton's terms, the jurisprudence of Aboriginal title constitutes a 'metamorphosis machine' that has the effect of deterritorialising post-colonial states.
Yet there is a simultaneous need to reconcile Fourth-World nationalism with present-day multicultural realities. This is important in post-colonial societies--such as Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola or Unama'kik/Cape Breton--where the descendants of settlers now co-inhabit territories with Fourth-World nations. In Canada, Aboriginal land claims could provide a unique opportunity for establishing functional nodes of resistance to Industria. Non-native communities could, for example, negotiate 'side-agreements' with Aboriginal nations making land claims, agreeing, for instance, not to oppose the specific territorial claim in exchange for future rights to an equitable share in resources and the management of their use. Such arrangements could be formalised in bioregional charters.
Given the imperilled state of the global environment, 'deconstructing' the Industrian model and laying the groundwork for a post-Industrian, Terran civilisation may well be the most important item of business for geographers. Though the precise configuration of such a future civilisation is--as Howitt et al. (1996) point out--going to be subject to intense debate, there is little question that a better understanding of the biopolitical 'geophilosophy' of Deleuze will be of enormous assistance in this project. It is hoped that the present work has contributed to such an understanding.
I acknowledge the generous assistance of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship that supported much of the research for this paper. My thanks go also to my doctoral supervisor Simon Dalby and to Iain Wallace, Mike Brklacich, Bela Egyed and Kimberly-Anne Ford, for encouragement, inspiration and valuable feedback on earlier drafts. Lawrence Berg and three anonymous reviewers provided important criticism, which greatly improved the paper. Any weaknesses in this final version are my responsibility alone.
(1) This commentary has allowed me to adopt, at times, a polemical tone that might not be appropriate in a more straightforward research paper.
(2) 'Aboriginal' (literally, 'from the beginning') is used here to denote the North American cultures, whose founding stories situate them on the continent from the beginning of (recorded or remembered) time. Despite the diversity of Aboriginal nations in North America, and the danger of 'homogenising' claims, there remain large commonalties among these nations (especially cultural practices and spiritual beliefs) sufficient to differentiate them en masse from European nations. In Deleuzian terms, one can speak of an Aboriginal North American 'intensity' which is different from the European intensity. The more general term 'Fourth World', coined by Shuswap Chief George Manuel (1974), is used to refer collectively to Aboriginal nations and other sub-state nationalist movements.
(3) it is useful to separate Deleuze the philosopher from Deleuze and Guartari the political theorists. Guattari is a 'nonphilosopher' (Tomlinson and Burchell 1994; viii).
(4) I use 'resource-use management' in preference to the more common 'resource management' since it is the human use of natural resources, and not the resources themselves, that is, or indeed, can be managed.
(5) Where possible, place names are given in a combined pre-colonial/post-colonial form to avoid automatically prioritising colonial place names, as is unfortunately typical of contemporary geographical discourse. Field research in Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola, conducted as part of a master's degree program, included six weeks of fieldwork and interviews with thirty-five people--primarily, members of the traditional Nuxalk council, environmental activists and government representatives (Hipwell 1997b). Field research in Unama'kik/Cape Breton, conducted as part of a doctoral program, involved four consecutive summers spent on the Eskasoni Indian Reserve, participation in community organisations and informal networks and thirty-seven interviews with people identified in the literature or by 'snowball sampling' (Babbie 1995) as either playing a key role in the ecological politics of the region or possessing profound knowledge of local ecology and history (Hipwell 2001).
(6) Deleuzian scholar and translator Paul Patton (1996) notes that 'in [Deleuze and Guattari's] view, concepts [italics added] are ... defined not by their external relations to things or states of affairs but by the internal consistency of their elements, as well as their outward relations to other concepts. Concepts do not refer to things but rather express events'. See Deleuze and Guattari (1994) for their elaboration of the 'concept' concept.
(7) Jackson and his eighteen collaborators describe the present decline in coastal fisheries as a 'collapse' (Jackson et al. 2001, 636).
(8) Smith (1997) points out that between 1990 and 1995, seventy states were involved in ninety-three wars, which claimed the lives of 5.5 million people. That was even before the so-called war on terror, which the present U.S. administration has promised will continue for generations.
(9) There are numerous examples of police suppression of community or ENGO protests against logging across Canada, including the Slocan Valley, B.C., Q'umk'uts/Bella Coola, B.C., Canoe Lake, Saskatchewan, Temagami, Ontario and elsewhere. In Burnt Church, New Brunswick, court-affirmed Mi'kmaq lobster fishing was disrupted by the armed officers of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, to protect a harvest quota system that heavily favoured large, corporate lobstering operations (Coates 2000; Hipwell 2000).
(10) Similar processes are at play in other natural resource sectors. For example in the fisheries, as wild stocks are decimated, production is taken up by aquaculture operations. ironically, aquaculture further contributes to the destruction of wild stocks due to pollution from the operations and genetic contamination by escaped farm fish (Naylor et al. 2003).
(11) Though Julie Wuthnow (2002) has argued that Deleuze and Guattarrs concept of 'nomad thought' delegitimises local knowledge and experience in general, and therefore questions whether Deleuze's work is useful for the development of a robust post-colonial theory, this epistemological point shows that the opposite is true. Indeed, Oeleuze's notion of 'wisdom of the body' allows local knowers to claim, on some levels at least, better epistemological access to the world than their oppressors.
(12) For an important critique of Kaplan's geopolitical constructions, see Dalby 2002.
(13) To clarify, though states' abilities to enforce democratic laws that would restrict corporate activity are being weakened, leading some to suggest that capitalism is a deterritorialising force, resource corporations, for instance, rely on state claims to the territories of colonised peoples to gain access to those territories and their resources. It is therefore highly unlikely that capital will ever support an end to state territorial sovereignty.
(14) This is an obvious refrain of Wallerstein's (1979) The Capitalist World Economy.
(15) Guattari is mistaken. The London Telegraph reported in 1999 that a Brazilian court had just created a 93-[km.sup.2] reserve in a rainforest region of the state of Rondonia, 3,500 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro. The purpose of the reserve is to protect a lone indigenous man who has had no contact with the outside world; when approached he has remained silent and fired arrows at intruders (McDermott 1999). Clearly, this man lives outside the capitalist system, though he appears to be surrounded!
(16) Guattari's comment is also anthropocentric, since it implicitly rejects the possibility that non-humans, too, have 'social life'.
(17) Indeed, the spread of English is hastening the extinction of other languages (see Dalby 2003).
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WILLIAM T. HIPWELL
Department of Geography, College of Social Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, South Korea (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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|Author:||Hipwell, William T.|
|Publication:||The Canadian Geographer|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2004|
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