“[Reparation Ecology] is an invitation to observe these big transformations as reparation. Moving away from capitalism moving toward something much better…it is a deeper way of engaging with the politics of possibility after capitalism.” -Raj Patel
On this edition of The Secret Ingredient hosts Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy turn the tables on Raj Patel to interview him along with Jason W. Moore about their new book, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and The Future of The Planet.
“Most of all I would like more coming to terms with what happened…I think what needs to be done is for all of my fellow citizens in this country to understand what happened and to be able to say, this is what was done and now we must think about how to make the playing field level for all of us in this country, and by some ways for all of us eventually in the world. Because we can’t live by ignoring that past.” –Sidney Mintz
In this bonus edition of The Secret Ingredient, Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy revisit the conversation with anthropologist Sidney Mintz about his seminal work “Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar In Modern History.”
The interview took place in September of 2015 and later that year on December 27th Dr. Mintz passed away.
In this extended interview, Mintz not only takes us through our prehistoric relationship to sweetness–from the bloody history of slavery and sugar production to our current state of the mass production and consumption of sweetness worldwide, but he also talks about his development as an anthropologist and thinker. He discusses his time as a student of anthropology and how he was able to study in Puerto Rico, along with who was influencing his thinking at the time. He also talks about how factories developed on the sugar plantations and the way slavery developed in the New World, as well as the role this brutal past plays in current volatile racial relations in the U.S.
As hurricanes continue to wreak havoc on the Caribbean and our hearts go out to all those who are suffering, we look to Mintz for wisdom and guidance in the days ahead.
The story of sugar in the Western world is sordid and bitter, however this past gets quickly candy coated in our day to day lives as consumers. In this special op-ed from the eminent economist, writer and historian James K. Galbraith we get a peak into the sickly underbelly of the sociopolitical and economic past of sugar.