Marxism and Ecology:

Common Fonts of a Great Transition


John Bellamy Foster

T
his essay unearths the deep ecological roots of Marx’s thought, showing how he brought an environmental perspective to bear on the overarching question of social transformation. From there, it traces the evolution of Marxian ecology, illuminating its profound, formative link to modern ecological economics and systems ecology. It concludes by discussing the wider project of building a social movement broad and deep enough to halt and reverse ecological and social destruction.

For the first time in human history, our species faces a dire existential choice. We can continue on the path of business as usual and risk catastrophic Earth-system change—what Frederick Engels metaphorically referred to as "the revenge of nature"—or we can take the transformative route of social-system change aimed at egalitarian human development in coevolution with the vital parameters of the earth. This constitutes the epochal challenge of our time: to advance radical reform measures that oppose the logic of capital in the historical present while coalescing with a long revolution to construct a new social and ecological formation that promotes sustainable human development.

 

For a full read of this brief, click here or on the picture to download the pdf file.

  

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ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT