This article describes and analyzes the Expo 2015 in Milan, building on the work of Alf Hornborg on the 'Machine' to discusses material and ideological processes of this mega-project. Hornborg calls attention to the social inequalities enabling the employment of technology in production (not only in the capitalist world-economy) and to its cultural underpinnings, among them money fetishism. With mega-events, the geoculture of the capitalist world-economy extols 'growth' and 'development' and celebrates the interstate system, legitimating public expenditures with a media-hyped importance of the event. The cultural force of mega-events obtains social acceptance of the unequal exchanges at their material core. Under Expo 2015's slogan "Feeding the planet, energy for life", agricultural land was destroyed to build a cement platform the size of a small city in a space of unbounded capitalism where labor laws were suspended and fiscal advantages were granted to firms. The Italian state paid for the basic infrastructure, while foreign states (and the corporations present) provided for their own pavilions. Ideologically, Expo 2015 celebrated the capacity of states and the transnational companies to 'technological advances.' Technology was presented as an autonomous force in history, propagating a vision of humanity acting on nature through a 'purified' technology independent of social relations of production. The 'Milan Charter', the Expo's cultural legacy, produced and reproduced the hegemonic geoculture which presents technology as the solution to social problems.

Expo 2015 in Milan and the power of the machine / D. Danna. - In: JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECOLOGY. - ISSN 1073-0451. - 24(2017), pp. 901-920.

Expo 2015 in Milan and the power of the machine

D. Danna
2017

Abstract

This article describes and analyzes the Expo 2015 in Milan, building on the work of Alf Hornborg on the 'Machine' to discusses material and ideological processes of this mega-project. Hornborg calls attention to the social inequalities enabling the employment of technology in production (not only in the capitalist world-economy) and to its cultural underpinnings, among them money fetishism. With mega-events, the geoculture of the capitalist world-economy extols 'growth' and 'development' and celebrates the interstate system, legitimating public expenditures with a media-hyped importance of the event. The cultural force of mega-events obtains social acceptance of the unequal exchanges at their material core. Under Expo 2015's slogan "Feeding the planet, energy for life", agricultural land was destroyed to build a cement platform the size of a small city in a space of unbounded capitalism where labor laws were suspended and fiscal advantages were granted to firms. The Italian state paid for the basic infrastructure, while foreign states (and the corporations present) provided for their own pavilions. Ideologically, Expo 2015 celebrated the capacity of states and the transnational companies to 'technological advances.' Technology was presented as an autonomous force in history, propagating a vision of humanity acting on nature through a 'purified' technology independent of social relations of production. The 'Milan Charter', the Expo's cultural legacy, produced and reproduced the hegemonic geoculture which presents technology as the solution to social problems.
Cet article décrit et analyse l'Expo 2015 à Milan, sur la base des travaux de Alf Hornborg sur la « la Machine » pour débattre les processus matériels et idéologiques de ce méga-projet. Hornborg attire l'attention sur les inégalités sociales permettant l'emploi de la technologie dans la production (non seulement dans l'économie-monde capitaliste) et sur ses fondements culturels, entre eux les fetichisme pour l'argent. Avec les méga-événements, la géoculture de l'économie-monde capitaliste exalte la « croissance » et le « développement » et célèbre le système inter-États, légitimant les dépenses publiques avec une importance médiatiquement exaltée de l'événement. La force culturelle de les méga-événements obtient l'acceptation sociale des échanges inégaux à leur base matérielle. Sous le slogan de l'Expo 2015 « Nourrir la planète, énergie pour la vie », des terres agricoles ont été détruite pour construire une plate-forme de ciment la taille d'une petite ville dans un espace du capitalisme sans limites où les lois du travail ont été suspendues et avantages fiscaux ont été accordés aux entreprises. L'État italien a payé pour l'infrastructure de base, alors que les États étrangers (et les enterprises présentes) l'ont fait pour leurs pavillons propres. Idéologiquement, l'Expo 2015 a célébré la capacité des États et des enterprises transnationales aux « avancées technologiques ». La technologie a été présenté comme une force autonome dans l'histoire, avec la propagation d'une vision de l'humanité agissant sur la nature par l'intermédiaire d'une technologie « purifiée », c'est à dire indépendant des rapports sociaux de production. La « Charte de Milan », représentée comme héritage culturel de l'Expo, produit et reproduit la géoculture hégémonique qui présente la technologie comme la solution aux problèmes sociaux.
Expo 2015; mega-events; the Machine; human ecology; Alf Hornborg
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
Settore SPS/10 - Sociologia dell'Ambiente e del Territorio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/519453
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