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Capitalism Destroys Nature And Human Nature

1899 words - 8 pages

Following the development of capitalism, the 19th century’s industrialization brought a new era to the human society. Factory electrification, mass production and the production line ran to human civilization with their powers. While people were excited about the innovations of capitalism, Herbert Marcuse gave his argument, which capitalism destroyed nature and the human nature. Edward Hopper (1882-1967), a prominent American realist painter and printmaker, also showed his personal perspective about the modern American life under capitalism through his artworks. The painting Nighthawks, which was painted in 1942 by Edward Hopper, reflects Marcuse’s argument that capitalism destroys the human nature through emotions of people and color contrasts.
In “Nature and Revolution”, Marcuse tells us that capitalism destroys external nature and human nature. External nature is our environment. Marcuse mentions, nature is a part of history, “man encounters nature as transformed by society, subjected to a specific rationality which became, to an ever-increasing extent, technological, instrumental rationality, bent to the requirements of capitalism” (260). That is, human beings force nature to become tools for the purpose of the development. The increasing of technology and industrialization transform nature into man-controlled resources. In order to achieve the growth of human society, nature has been transformed from nature into an environment for the human beings. To specify his argument, he writes, “Commercialized nature, polluted nature, militarized nature cut down the life environment of man, not only in an ecological but also in a very existential sense” (260). From this quote, he explains that nature has lost its origins in a visible level. Nature has been polluted, commercialized, and militarized because of the development of civilization. In other words, the development of capitalism is building new technology on the grave of nature. Factories bring pollution, companies use nature to make commercial benefits, and militaries occupy the nature. These are not only about ecology but also about people who live on the earth. The destroying environment also affects humans, because human beings depend on nature. He also writes, “Domination of man through the domination of nature: the concrete link between the liberation of man and that of nature has become manifest today in the role which the ecology drive plays in the radical movement. The pollution of air and water, the noise, the encroachment of industry and commerce on open natural space have the physical weight of enslavement, imprisonment” (261). The air we breathing, the water we drinking, and the silence we enjoying are all destroyed by the growth of capitalism. This quote echoes the quote above and displays that industrialization pollutes nature, and nature becomes a prisoner under the force of capitalism. Nature as a part of history has turned into the control of man from itself controlled; it has...

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