Global Magic

Technologies of Appropriation from Ancient Rome to Wall Street

  • Authors
  • Alf Hornborg

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Alf Hornborg
    Pages 1-8
  3. Alf Hornborg
    Pages 37-51
  4. Alf Hornborg
    Pages 93-111
  5. Alf Hornborg
    Pages 151-163
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 165-201

About this book


This book explores the conventional modern understanding of technology and the idea that technological progress is illusory, deriving from a local, European perspective on what has historically been a global process of accumulation and asymmetric resource transfers. Globalized technologies are based on differences in wages and the prices of natural resources in different parts of the world. Their magic consists of enabling affluent people to exert power over others while hiding the extent to which this power is dependent on the public conceptions about technology. The reconceptualization of globalized technology proposed here will benefit current deliberations on sustainability, as it advocates fundamental transformations of the economy, rather than technological utopianism.


Marxian economics Technology capital accumulation ecological degradation ecological economics economics energy fossil fuels global inequalities industrialization magic money physics political ecology time-space appropriation unequal exchange world-system capital Design ecology globalization society technology utopia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-93248-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-56787-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site