Blog post

Oil is democracy: Matt Stoller on Carbon Democracy

Molly Osberg25 September 2012

Matt Stoller, financial blogger and Roosevelt Institute fellow, concludes our political architectures are on the verge of a massive restructuring after having read and reviewed Timothy Mitchell's Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil over at Naked Capitalism.

"It's a book that tackles a really big subject, in a sweeping but readable fashion, and after reading it, it's hard to imagine thinking about political power the same way again ... This book utterly blew me away."

Mitchell's book, which studies the intersection of resource acquisition and nation-building through carbon based fuel sources, presents a sweeping historical examination of the last 400 years of political power. To read the book, Steoller concludes, is to fundamentally reorient one's sense of democracy's future: "It becomes hard," to writes, to imagine "that our cultures will look remotely similar to what they look like today in just a few years." The climate crisis, in threatening our sense of infinite commodity, by extension imperils the political systems that have grown up intertwined with oil.

"Oil and how it flows," writes Stoller, "is modern democracy."

Visit Naked Capitalism to read the review in full.