An understanding of subsistence is crucial to comprehending and challenging the human relationship to nature under capitalism.
The complex relationship between subsistence practices and formal markets should be a growing matter of concern for those uneasy with the stark contrast between commercial and local food systems, especially since self-provisioning has never been limited to the margins. In fact, subsistence occupies a central space in local and global economies and networks.
Bringing together essays from diverse disciplines to reflect on the meaning of subsistence in theory and in practice, in historical and contemporary contexts, in Canada and beyond, Subsistence under Capitalism is a collective study of the ways in which local food systems have been relegated to the shadows by the drive to establish and expand capitalist markets. Considering fishing, farming, and other forms of subsistence provisioning, the essays in this volume document the persistence of these practices despite capitalist government policies that actively seek to subsume them. Presenting viable alternatives to capitalist production and exchange, the contributors explain the critical interplay between politics, local provisioning, and the ultimate survival of society.
Illuminating new kinds of engagements with nature and community, Subsistence under Capitalism looks behind the scenes of subsistence food provisioning to challenge the dominant economic paradigm of the modern world.