Books: The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology

13 November 2020 —  Climate & Capitalism

Essential Reading
Bulletin: On the day this review was published, it was announced that The Return of Nature has won this year’s Deutscher Memorial Prize, awarded annually to “a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.”

John Bellamy Foster’s brilliant recovery of a century of ecological and socialist thought will inform, enable, and inspire a new generation of reds and greens


John Bellamy Foster
THE RETURN OF NATURE
Socialism and Ecology

Monthly Review Press, 2020

reviewed by Peter Critchley

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FBI Seized Legally Privileged Materials From Julian Assange After Arrest In Ecuador Embassy

3 October 2020 — The Dissenter

“One record of [Assange’s] entire archive” was effectively purloined, and without it, attorney Gareth Peirce mentioned it has made putting together a defense in his extradition case more difficult.

Kevin Gosztola

The FBI in the United Kingdom enlisted the Ecuador government’s help in seizing legally privileged materials from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after he was arrested and expelled from the Ecuador embassy in London on April 11, 2019.According to Gareth Peirce, one of Assange’s attorneys, that day she “made immediate contact with the embassy in regard to legally privileged material, an issue of huge concern.” Assange wanted the material—in addition to “confidential medical data”—”identified and released to his lawyers.” Continue reading

Making the case that green politics must be ecosocialist

3 April 2020– Origin: Climate & Capitalism

Essays by pioneering ecosocialist Joel Kovel argue that radical social change is the only way to prevent ecocatastrophe

Mike Shaughnessy is a member of Green Left, the ecosocialist current in the Green Party of England and Wales.


Quincy Saul, Editor
THE EMERGENCE OF ECOSOCIALISM
Collected Essays by Joel Kovel

2Leaf Press, 2019

reviewed by Mike Shaughnessy
London Green Left Blog

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Labour, socialism & the search for a party By Terry Bell

5 April 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

[South Africa may be thousands of miles away but the debates on the left taking place there, are directly connected to the kinds of debates taking place here within and about the struggle for socialism. WB]

What will workers decide when faced with the confusion of 48 political parties listed for the national and provincial poll on May 8? Many clearly did not register to vote, some have said they will abstain, others remain uncertain about who to support.

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The specter of Marx haunts the American ruling class By Barry Grey

6 November 2018 — WSWS

White House report on socialism

Last month, the Council of Economic Advisers, an agency of the Trump White House, released an extraordinary report titled “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism.” The report begins with the statement: “Coincident with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is making a comeback in American political discourse. Detailed policy proposals from self-declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the younger electorate.”

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Cuba’s New Draft Constitution: Institutionalizing Revolution and Reversing Personalization

25 July 2018 — TRNN

Cuba’s National Assembly passed a new draft constitution, to replace its existing Soviet-era constitution via national referendum in a few months. Many changes are in the works, including the recognition of private property and gay marriage. But will it mean real change? We discuss the constitution with Prof. Liz Dore and James Early (inc. transcript) Continue reading

The End of the road for capitalism or for us all? By William Bowles

13 January 2018 — InvestigatingImperialism

“…we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it”. —
Frederick Engels, from the introduction to ‘The Dialectics of Nature’, 1883.

In 1945, following the second ‘war to end all wars’, or something like that, the people of Britain put their faith, at least temporally, in an alleged socialist, Labour government. A government that vowed that there would be no return to the ‘bad old days’ of prewar Britain. So we got the National Health Service, public housing, a nationalised transport system, even the canal network was nationalised (telecommunications was already a state-owned monopoly, the capitalists weren’t prepared to risk their capital in its development).

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István Mészáros: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction

2 October 2017 — Climate & Capitalism

In Memoriam

István Mészáros, Dec. 19, 1930 – Oct. 1, 2017

“István Mészáros is one of the greatest philosophers that the historical materialist tradition has yet produced. His work stands practically alone today in the depth of its analysis of Marx’s theory of alienation, the structural crisis of capital, the demise of Soviet-style post-revolutionary societies, and the necessary conditions of the transition to socialism. His dialectical inquiry into social structure and forms of consciousness — a systematic critique of the prevailing forms of thought — is unequaled in our time. No less a historical figure than Hugo Chavez referred to him as the ‘pathfinder’ of twenty-first century socialism.” —John Bellamy Foster


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Disastrous Capitalism – But is a Labour government the solution? By William Bowles

July 15 2017 — investigating imperialism

Class War

Consider the Grenfell Tower inferno as an expression of a new kind of class war, but not a class war as we have known it–between organised workers, political parties and capital–but between ordinary citizens and the local fiefdoms of the capitalist state as increasingly, big business has taken over the running of what’s left of our public and collective life, through ‘outsourcing’, public-private-partnerships and what have you, where making a profit is the bottom line, not serving the public.[1]

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Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism

by Joe Guinan and Thomas M. Hanna

[I’m working on a followup to my previous outings on Corbyn, the Labour Party and the left, to be published shortly. I am still not convinced that Corbyn can so transform the Labour Party as to effectively make a new political formation out of it, that will, in turn lead us out of this nightmare toward real socialism but we’ll see. In the mean time, check this hymn to Corbyn out: ‘Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism’. WB]

‘There are three stages’, Sidney Webb wrote in a Fabian Society pamphlet in 1890, ‘through which every new notion in England has to pass: ‘It is impossible: It is against the Bible: We knew it before’.’[1] This month’s sensational election result means that Corbynism is now rocketing toward the latter stage, consolidating its position as the new common sense on the left of British politics. Granted, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t win. Outright victory on 8 June was never likely given the party’s weak prior standing, and would have required a seismic shift far greater than could reasonably be expected in a landscape fractured and divided by Brexit. Nevertheless, what Corbyn and his team pulled off – against all odds, and in the teeth of an overwhelmingly hostile media and continual sabotage from within – is truly remarkable. The Labour Party is now a government-in-waiting, poised for the next General Election, which could come at any time and could easily carry Corbyn into Downing Street as Prime Minister.

Continue Reading Here…

Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism

by Joe Guinan and Thomas M. Hanna

[I have to throw in my two-pennyworth here; I am still not convinced that Corbyn can so transform the Labour Party as to effectively make a new political formation out of it, that will, in turn lead us out of this nightmare toward real socialism. We’ll see. WB]

‘There are three stages’, Sidney Webb wrote in a Fabian Society pamphlet in 1890, ‘through which every new notion in England has to pass: ‘It is impossible: It is against the Bible: We knew it before’.’[1] This month’s sensational election result means that Corbynism is now rocketing toward the latter stage, consolidating its position as the new common sense on the left of British politics. Granted, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t win. Outright victory on 8 June was never likely given the party’s weak prior standing, and would have required a seismic shift far greater than could reasonably be expected in a landscape fractured and divided by Brexit. Nevertheless, what Corbyn and his team pulled off – against all odds, and in the teeth of an overwhelmingly hostile media and continual sabotage from within – is truly remarkable. The Labour Party is now a government-in-waiting, poised for the next General Election, which could come at any time and could easily carry Corbyn into Downing Street as Prime Minister.

Continue Reading Here…

John Bellamy Foster answers five questions about Marxism and ecology

27 March 2017 — EcologizeClimate & Capitalism

Can Marxism strengthen our understanding of ecological crises? The author of Marx’s Ecology replies to a critic on metabolic rift, sustainable human development,  degrowth, population growth, and industrialism. 


Introduction: The Indian website Ecologize recently published John Bellamy Foster’s Foreword to Ian Angus’s book Facing the Anthropocene. Commenting on Foster’s article, journalist and activist Saral Sarkar,  who describes his views as eco-socialist, raised questions that challenge the usefulness of Marxist analysis in understanding the global ecological crisis. Foster’s reply was posted by Ecologise on March 26.

The exchange, republished below, addresses important questions about Marxist perspectives on the global ecological crisis. C&C welcomes further discussion.

C&C has added paragraph breaks to both articles to improve on-screen readability.

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An essential summer reading list courtesy Climate & Capitalism

29 June 2016 — Climate & Capitalism

John Bellamy Foster
Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature
Monthly Review Press, 2000

This is a classic, the one book you absolutely must read if you want to understand what Marx actually thought and wrote about humanity’s relationship to the rest of nature. Foster demonstrates that Marx’s work is deeply relevant in this age of environmental crisis. It’s not an easy read-on-the-beach book by any means, but it is truly essential. If you have read it before, read it again: I learn more each time I open it.


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My Dilemma By William Bowles

19 September 2015

I ended my last piece with this:

But assuming JC [Jeremy Corbyn] makes all the right calls, could it, a reborn Labour Party lead to a new call for an end to the madness of capitalism and exactly 130 years after [William] Morris made his plea?

Think about it. Transform the Labour Party into a vehicle to promote a new socialist vision? Who is kidding who here?

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Corbyn’s Dilemma By William Bowles

18 September 2015

‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’

I’m really torn writing this, for on the one hand, Jeremy Corbyn’s (JC) sudden materialisation in the midst of a rampant, Victorian-style imperialist England, like Doctor Who landing in the Tardis, it’s difficult  not to join in the euphoria currently sweeping through what’s left of the left in England  (the current Media Lens has an excellent description of this) and bow down before JC, an almost Christ-like apparition right in the middle of the gangster capitalists in Armani suits who rule us.

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A Sense of Urgency By S. Artesian

22 February 2015 — The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor

A comrade, and I use this word only when it is warranted, has remarked elsewhere that he has rarely seen me so engaged as I am with the issues raised by events in Greece.  Indeed, he’s right– to the extent that all my other engagements, posts, analyses, are and are supposed to be preparation, practice for the “real thing”… the real thing being class struggle, the point when “economics” is exposed as a social relation of production, and the social relation of production is exposed as…temporary, destructive, and self-destructive. 

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