‘Marxism and Ecology: From Political Economy to Political Ecology’

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    One of the reasons for the 'fin de seicle' angst within western liberal capitalist societies is the rise in prominance of ecological concerns within these societies. Long before the New Right declared the post-war welfare state to be untenable, early green critics had claimed it to be ecologically unsustainable. The addiction of the welfare state on ever increasing levels of economic growth was pronounced to be simply impossible within the context of a finite planet. Although it was not expressed in this manner, what these early ecological concerns with Limits to Growth were in effect saying was that the accumulation of capital rendered capitalism unsustainable. Yet the ecological critique of capitalism has not found much favour within the Marxist critique untile recently. Early Marxist analyses of the ecology movement dismissed them as ‘petty bourgeios radicals’ while many greens still view Marxism as ‘fair shares in extinction’. The lack of positive engagement and dialogue between Marxism and ecology has in recent years been put right with a discernable overlap between the two critiques of capitalism. This article seeks to present the areas of disagreement and agreement between the two and seeks to provide an ‘environmental audit’ on both the Marxist method and political project.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)104-111
    Number of pages8
    JournalMarxism and Reality
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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