On the idea of the planetary: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks to Ashish Ghadiali

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2021 Number 78

On the idea of the planetary: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks to Ashish Ghadiali
pages 50-63
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.78.03.2021


The notion of the planetary allows us to distinguish between the global of globalisation and the global of global warming. Globalisation is the process through which humans created the world we live in, how we converted the planet into a spherical human domain, at the centre of which are the human stories of technology, empires, capitalism and inequality. Global warming is what has resulted at the planetary level as intensified human consumption of the globe’s resources has turned humanity into a geological agent of change. The global is 500 years old, while the planetary is as old as the age of the earth. The physical world has its own deep history: over time it has experienced profound changes. If climate change is to be addressed this mutability must be recognised – the unchanging nature of the world can no longer be taken for granted. The interview covers the rise of atmospheric sciences during the Cold War, when the Earth became, effectively, part of a comparative study of planets; the relationship between Marxism and the idea of ‘deep history’; the human-made ecological disaster of bush-fires in Australia; the influence of Rohith Vemula and Rabindranath Tagore on planetary thinking and ideas about connectivity; biopower, zoe and the pandemic; and the difficulty of thinking politically about deep history.

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To cite this article
(2021) On the idea of the planetary: Dipesh Chakrabarty talks to Ashish Ghadiali, Soundings, 2021(78), 50-63. https://doi.org/10.3898/SOUN.78.03.2021

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