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The charge against electricity

Anusas, Michael and Ingold, Tim (2015) The charge against electricity. Cultural Anthropology, 30 (4). 540–554. ISSN 1548-1360

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    Abstract

    Electricity has become such a ubiquitous feature of modern life that most of us would have no idea how to manage without it. Interruptions in supply are experienced as unsustainable moments of crisis. The possibility that the supply of electricity might eventually run dry is every government’s worst nightmare, and underpins the global politics of energy. Do we blame electricity for having brought us to this state of dependency? Can we hold it responsible for the disempowerment of citizens, for the entrapment of their lives within a state sponsored and corporately maintained grid? Or does it, on the contrary, hold the potential for emancipation? Is electricity guilty or not guilty? In what follows, we begin with the case for the prosecution. Then we present the case for the defence. You, our readers, are the jury, and we leave the verdict for you to decide.