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John M. MacKenzie

1 Construction and destruction It is an obvious truism that the creation of built environments involves destruction as well as construction, although the latter tends to be more noticed than the former. Not only is the natural environment overlaid by the built, but previously existing buildings, often part of rural economy and society, are also destroyed, together with the culture and lifestyles which they represented. In the empire, this is all the more strikingly true in terms of the subordinate societies which are colonised and dominated. The built

in The British Empire through buildings
Jared Pappas-Kelley

1 The destruction of art Solvent form examines art and destruction—through objects that have been destroyed (lost in fires, floods, vandalism, or, similarly, those that actively court or represent this destruction, such as Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag or Chris Burden’s Samson), but also as an undoing process within art that the object challenges through form itself. In this manner, events such as the Momart warehouse fire in 2004 (in which large holdings of Young British Artists (YBA) and significant collections of art were destroyed en masse through arson

in Solvent form
Capitalism’s cost–benefit contradiction
Costas Panayotakis

Building on previous chapters’ discussion of capital’s destructive uses of the surplus, this chapter reformulates the contradiction underlying contemporary capitalism’s operation. This reformulation does not assume that capitalism is becoming an insuperable obstacle to further productive development. Instead, it argues that capitalism’s continuing development of the forces of production runs parallel to an equally rapidly development of its forces of destruction. The thrust of this system’s cost–benefit contradiction then consists in the coincidence of the long

in The capitalist mode of destruction
Costas Panayotakis

In line with the discussion, in the last two chapters, of the negative effects of capitalism’s consumerist culture, this chapter continues the analysis of capital’s destructive uses of the surplus. Introducing the term “forces of destruction,” it highlights the increasingly destructive employment of capitalism’s rapid scientific and technological advances. In particular, this chapter pays special attention to capitalism’s rapid development and regular deployment of increasingly lethal military technologies as well as to the ways in which capital’s productive

in The capitalist mode of destruction
Disposal and concealment in genocide and mass violence

Destruction and human remains investigates a crucial question frequently neglected from academic debate in the fields of mass violence and Genocide Studies: what is done to the bodies of the victims after they are killed? Indeed, in the context of mass violence and genocide, death does not constitute the end of the executors' work. Following the abuses carried out by the latter, their victims' remains are treated and manipulated in very particular ways, amounting in some cases to social engineering. The book explores this phase of destruction, whether by disposal, concealment or complete annihilation of the body, across a range of extreme situations to display the intentions and socio-political framework of governments, perpetrators and bystanders. The book will be split into three sections; 1) Who were the perpetrators and why were they chosen? It will be explored whether a division of labour created social hierarchies or criminal careers, or whether in some cases this division existed at all. 2) How did the perpetrators kill and dispose of the bodies? What techniques and technologies were employed, and how does this differ between contrasting and evolving circumstances? 3) Why did the perpetrators implement such methods and what does this say about their motivations and ideologies? The book will focus in particular on the twentieth century, displaying innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and dealing with case studies from different geographical areas across the globe. The focus will be placed on a re-evaluation of the motivations, the ideological frameworks and the technical processes displayed in the destruction of bodies.

Open Access (free)
Oonagh McDonald

6 The Destruction of Value The process of bankruptcy destroyed value Under its dramatic headline, ‘Lehman's chaotic bankruptcy filing destroyed billions in value’, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed that a ‘less hurried Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would have preserved tens of billions of dollars of value’. A study carried out by the advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal argued that ‘an orderly filing would have enabled Lehman to sell some of its assets outside the federal court bankruptcy protections and would have given it

in Lehman Brothers
Austerity, ecological crisis and the hollowing out of democracy

The book analyzes capitalism’s growing destructiveness and the cost–benefit contradiction it generates. Its new conception of the surplus, which recognizes not just capitalist businesses but also households and the public sector as sites of surplus production, links capitalism’s destructiveness to that system’s use of the surplus. Capital’s use of the surplus turns scientific knowledge and technique into forces of destruction, and the book illustrates this dynamic by making reference to the growth of a consumerist culture, to massive military spending, and to other technologies that fuel a deepening ecological crisis. This crisis, along with economic and public health crises as well as a crisis of political democracy, are also analyzed as being intimately linked to capitalism’s use of the surplus. It is capitalism’s undemocratic control of the surplus by capitalist elites, moreover, that ultimately leads to the cost–benefit contradiction of contemporary societies: the futility of our consumerist culture no longer translates productive development into correspondingly growing human well-being, while the simultaneous growth of capitalism’s forces of destruction increasingly endangers human beings and the planet. Thus, this contradiction creates the potential for an opposition to capitalism and its exploitative and destructive nature by a wide range of social movements, both “old” (such as the labor and socialist movements) and “new” (for example, the feminist, anti-racist, ecological, and peace movements). To address capitalism’s contradiction, a democratic classless society is required, but the book also analyzes how capitalism’s operation obstructs the formation of an anti-capitalist coalition fighting for such an alternative.

Tarcisio Gazzini

This chapter deals with the use of force in the related fields of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. It discusses in the first place to what extent the notion of self-defence, as it has emerged in the previous chapter, adequately protects States against international terrorism. On the basis of the rules on attribution developed in the context of

in The changing rules on the use of force in international law
A microeconomists' story
Aeron Davis

economic intervention that was ditched, so was any notion of macroeconomic policymaking more generally. Henceforth, investment and business inspiration were to be sought from anywhere but the state. Bankruptcy sets creative destruction in motion By the early 1970s it was clear that the post-war political and economic consensus was breaking down. Both Labour and the Conservatives had operated within a paradigm that had emerged through the 1930s, the Second World War and the Attlee Labour government of 1945–51. This was built on the

in Bankruptcy, bubbles and bailouts
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal