Marx’s notebooks and the origins of Marxist ecology

18 August 2019 — Climate & Capitalism

Finally published in full, Marx’s notebooks from the 1860s provide important insights into his views on ecology and capital’s destruction of nature.


Teinosuke Otani, Kohei Saito, Timm Graßmann (eds)
MARX-ENGELS-GESAMTAUSGABE, IV, 18
Exzerpte und Notizen. Februar 1864 bis August 1868
(de Gruyter, 2019)

[Marx-Engels Complete Works, Part IV, Volume 18
Excerpts and Notes, February 1864 to August 1868]

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In Defense of Ecological Marxism: John Bellamy Foster responds to a critic

6 June 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

“Jason Moore has joined the long line of scholars who have set out to update or deepen Marxism in various ways, but have ended up by abandoning Marxism’s revolutionary essence and adapting to capitalist ideologies.”


John Bellamy Foster

John Bellamy Foster

One of the most important books of Marxist theory published in recent years is Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature, in which John Bellamy Foster rediscovered and expanded on Marx’s understanding of the alienation of human beings from the natural world, crystallized in the concept of metabolic rift.

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Book Review: Marxism and ecological economics By Martin Empson

9 January 2014 — Resolute Reader

“Marxist class analysis can help answer many of the questions raised by ecological economists, at the same time that the substantive agenda of ecological economics can enrich the materialist dimension of Marxism”

Burkett-Ecological-EconomicsPaul Burkett
Marxism and Ecological Economics: Toward a Red and Green Political Economy
Haymarket Books, 2009

Reviewed by Martin Empson

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Banned: Genetically-modified Eggplant Found to be Unsafe for Human Consumption, Environment By Jonathan Benson

21 June 2013 — NaturalNews

Field trials of genetically-modified (GM) Bt eggplant, also known as Bt talong, have officially ceased in the Philippines following a major ruling by the nation’s Court of Appeals. Representing a massive victory for food sovereignty, the Court found that Bt talong is a monumental threat to both environmental and human health, and has subsequently ordered that all existing plantings of Bt talong in test fields be immediately destroyed and blocked from further propagation.

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A Return to Marx’s Ecological Critique By Simon Butler

9 April 2013 — Green Left Weekly

Karl_Marx_posing1.jpg

Do oil spills make good economic sense? A witness called by Canadian firm Enbridge Inc. – which wants approval to build a $6.5-billion pipeline linking Alberta’s tar sands with the Pacific coast – told a recent hearing in British Columbia (BC) that the answer is yes. He said oil spills could benefit the economy, giving business new opportunities to make money cleaning it up. He told Fishers Union representatives that an oil spill in BC might indeed kill the local fishing industry, but their lost income would be replaced by compensation payouts and new career prospects, such as working for oil cleanup crews.

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Book Review: Climate Justice: Red is the New Green

17 August, 2009 — Socialist Voice

Book Review. The Global Fight for Climate Justice: Anticapitalist Responses to Global Warming and Environmental Destruction. edited by Ian Angus. Resistance Books, London, 2009. 284 pages. C$20/US$18/£10

Reviewed by Jeff White

The fight for climate justice, as that phrase is used in the title of this new anthology, comprises struggles around a compendium of related environmental and social issues. All of these struggles arise out of capitalism’s relentless assault on the natural resources of our planet and its exploitative systems of production and world trade.

The worldwide character of the growing environmental movement is reflected in the diverse list of contributors to the book. Australia and the U.K., with active climate justice movements, are well represented here, along with writers from France, Belgium, South Africa, USA, Canada, and Latin America. Several of these 46 works have been translated from other languages and appear in English for the first time in this volume.

Many of the articles, speeches, interviews and essays provide comprehensive descriptions and analyses of how capitalism has brought humanity to the brink of ecological destruction. Many also provide useful and practical perspectives for advancing the struggle further in an anticapitalist direction. Most of the book’s contributors write or speak from an ecosocialist perspective.

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Book Review: Ecology and Socialism: Inseparable Revolutions

6 August, 2009 — Climate and Capitalism

The Ecological Revolution: Making Peace with the Planet, by John Bellamy Foster. Monthly Review Press, 2009. Reviewed by Simon Butler

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels famously urged the world’s workers to unite because they had a world to win, and nothing to lose but their chains. Today, the reality of climate change and worsening environmental breakdowns globally adds a further vital dimension to this strident vision of human liberation. We still have a world to win – but we also have a world to lose.

With books such as Marx’s Ecology and The Vulnerable Planet, John Bellamy Foster, editor of the US-based socialist journal Monthly Review, has earned a reputation as one of the English-speaking world’s most persuasive voices arguing for fundamental social change to tackle the looming ecological catastrophe.

His new book, The Ecological Revolution, could not have been published at a more timely moment. It argues a solution to the ecological crisis ‘is now either revolutionary or it is false.’ It is a call for urgent action and an intervention into the debates about the kind of action needed to win this ‘race’ for the future.

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My Dad, me and Nature By William Bowles

5 February 2009

woodcraft.jpg

The badge of the Woodcraft Folk

Unlike most of the kids I grew up with, my folks introduced me to Nature at a very early age and they introduced it to me in very specific ways, especially my father, Roy. Not just trips to the country at weekends, weather permitting, but a view of Nature as all-encompassing including us humans.

roy-microscope.jpg

My dad, building microscopes at Baker’s Microscopes

Roy was a self-taught man who had left school at perhaps fourteen or fifteen and like others of his class, time and politics, he felt a deep sense of inferiority when it came to knowledge. Thus he did everything he could to educate himself in all kinds of subjects especially the English language, science, history and of course politics and surprisingly for those days, Nature.

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Future farming: The call for a 50-year perspective on agriculture – an interview with Wes Jackson

2 February, 2009

Written by Robert Jensen

wes-jackson.jpgAs everyone scrambles for a solution to the crises in the nation’s economy, Wes Jackson suggests we look to nature’s economy for some of the answers. With everyone focused on a stimulus package in the short term, he counsels that we pay more attention to the soil over the long haul.

‘We live off of what comes out of the soil, not what’s in the bank,’ said Jackson, president of The Land Institute. ‘If we squander the ecological capital of the soil, the capital on paper won’t much matter.’

Jackson doesn’t minimize the threat of the current financial problems but argues that the new administration should consider a ‘50-year farm bill,’ which he and the writer/farmer Wendell Berry proposed in a New York Times op/ed earlier this month.

Central to such a bill would be soil. A plan for sustainable agriculture capable of producing healthful food has to come to solve the twin problems of soil erosion and contamination, said Jackson, who co-founded the research center in 1976 after leaving his job as an environmental studies professor at California State University-Sacramento.

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The Red and the Green: Part One – Economic Democracy By William Bowles

29 September 2007

If you’ve been reading the excellent cross-section of articles on Climate and Capitalism (‘Ecosocialism or Barbarism: There is no third way’) you will hopefully have come across the exchanges on the ‘Green versus Red’ issue. If you haven’t then it’s time you did. [1]

In a nutshell, the argument goes like this:’Real socialists’ are intrinisically green, thus the Green bit is surplus to requirement. All socialists are for a’sustainable’ economy, so are the Greens except they don’t adopt the view that you’ve gotta get rid of capitalism if you want to really deal with the issue. So basically it comes down to a difference over economics (never mind the politics of it).

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