On every scale, from the smallest cells to the entire planet, the essential elements of life are constantly used and re-used. Biogeochemical cycles are the basis of the biosphere.
Subjects Archives: Marxist Ecology
While mainstream ecological theory has been dismissive of Karl Marx, serious research in recent decades has recovered some of his very important insights on ecological issues. The most systematic and thorough investigations on Marx’s ecological views are those of John Bellamy Foster and his friends from Monthly Review.
Capitalism has been the subject of too many conflicting definitions for any of the claims that follow to have any purchase on truth — understood as an adequation to the real. Beneath the numerous disagreements, however, a common substratum can be gleaned between the liberal Smithian, and the classical Marxist and Weberian positions: capitalism is […]
Andreas Malm’s powerful critique of current environmental philosophies puts historical materialism and cutting-edge science at the center of a call for militant action.
According to John Bellamy Foster, the world environmental crisis is a systemic crisis, a product of capitalism, and requires systemic changes in the capitalist system. He says that environmental sustainability is incompatible with capitalism.
Jason W Moores Capitalism in the Web of Life sets itself the challenge of locating an account of capitalist commodity production inspired by Karl Marx within the biological, chemical and geological totality we normally call nature. The ambition of the book is therefore immense. Moore proposes a method for understanding world history that shows how […]
“Our mandate is that we take care of Earth and earthlings and human beings because we’re all family.”
The island of Barbuda is currently devoid of human life, a bleak reality that is both unfathomable in its scope and seemingly inevitable under the conditions of racialized capitalism. The severity of Hurricane Irma’s impact was undoubtedly worsened by the gross consumption of natural resources, particularly by nations that historically benefitted from colonialism and the […]
As Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams point out in their new book, Creating an Ecological Society, the word “ecology” (originally œcology) was first coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel, Darwin’s leading German follower, based on the Greek word oikos, or household. Ironically, the word “economy,” to which ecology is often nowadays counterposed, was derived much […]
Ecomodernism is incompatible with ecosocialism. If Jacobin recognizes that and changes course, it can make important contributions to the fight against climate change.
Marx showed how history was materially transformed through a series of contradictions toward greater complexity, but held out the promise of one particular class representing the universal interests of humanity, if activated within objective conditions by political agency. The problem today is that cyclical and conjunctural crises that have propelled capitalism to hegemonic global reach […]
The United States is sometimes viewed as the most extreme capitalist society on earth. The decision of the newly elected Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement would seem to affirm such a judgment. It highlights the fact that while capitalism cannot solve the environmental problem, a more extreme capitalist society can, if […]
To be sure, I can actually imagine a world in which a small and strictly limited amount of albedo modification could sensibly be deployed as a complement to strong and largely successful efforts to bring carbon dioxide emissions towards zero, accompanied by successful deployment of technologies for actively removing the gas from the atmosphere. But […]
The truth is that the environmental problems and the mounting catastrophes facing humanity have everything to do with economic and environmental injustice and a society that put the accumulation of capital before people and the planet. This is so much the case that we will increasingly see the development of an environmental proletariat where the […]
Joan Acker, who died on June 22, 2016, was one of the foremost socialist feminists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Her work about gender and class drew much of its creativity from a continual though uneasy engagement between feminism and Marxism. She was one of the initial subscribers to Monthly Review, beginning […]
Marxism as a philosophy of praxis is inescapable, since it sums up the revolutionary potential for human emancipation and sustainable human development.
In my graduate class on Political Economy at the University of Oregon this term we are reading two books by Ellen Meiksins Wood: The Retreat from Class and Democracy Against Capitalism. Tomorrow, when the class meets, I will have to inform the students of Ellen’s death on January 14. I have been thinking about what […]
Ian Angus is editor of the ecosocialist journal Climate & Capitalism. He is co-author, with Simon Butler, of Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis (Haymarket, 2011), and editor of the anthology The Global Fight for Climate Justice (Fernwood, 2010). He talked to Phil Gasper about what to expect from the Paris summit […]
China’s leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new “ecological civilization.” Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style “ecological modernization.” However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique. Marx explicitly defined […]
Steve da Silva (SD): Over the last decade you have emerged as a leading thinker in synthesizing radical ecology with the Marxist tradition. From Marx’s Ecology (2000) to The Ecological Rift (2010) and everything in between, you’ve carried out the much needed intellectual work of recovering the overlooked ecological content of Marx’s original thought, presenting […]