notes spet 3 2008
September 3, 2008 § Leave a comment
the socialism/ marxist approach now is more important because capitalism thorough the corporations and financial sector is developing part of the planet but not the whole, and the cost to the parts not developed, or exploited (“externalized”) is huge. We need to understand this and the Marxist approach is a good sketch to start with.
ECOLOGY AGAINST CAPITALISM
by John Bellamy Foster
“Ecology Against Capitalism is a fine and well timed book. The boom is over, the earth is warming, the fundamental questions are coming again to the fore. Foster fortunately answers, as only he can, in a voice both balanced and clear headed.”
— TOM ATHANASIOU,co-founder of EcoEquity and author of Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor
“Foster has written another extremely valuable book. Anyone who wants to understand our current environmental problems and what we need to do to solve them should read [Ecology Against Capitalism].”
— INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW
In recent years John Bellamy Foster has emerged as a leading theorist of the Marxist perspective on ecology. His seminal book Marx’s Ecology (Monthly Review Press, 2000) discusses the place of ecological issues within the intellectual history of Marxism and on the philosophical foundations of a Marxist ecology, and has become a major point of reference in ecological debates. This historical and philosophical focus is now supplemented by more direct political engagement in his new book, Ecology Against Capitalism. In a broad-ranging treatment of contemporary ecological politics, Foster deals with such issues as pollution, sustainable development, technological responses to environmental crisis, population growth, soil fertility, the preservation of ancient forests, and the “new economy” of the Internet age.
Within these debates on the politics of ecology, Foster’s work develops an important and distinctive perspective. Where many of these debates assume a basic divergence of “red” and “green” issues, and are concerned with the exact terms of a trade-off between them, Foster argues that Marxism—properly understood—already provides the framework within which ecological questions are best approached. This perspective is advanced here in accessible and concrete form, taking account of the major positions in contemporary ecological debate.
Foster’s introduction sets out the unifying themes of these essays to present a consolidated approach to a rapidly-expanding field of debate which is of critical importance in our time.
Chapter One: The Ecological Tyranny of the Bottom Line
Chapter Two: Global Ecology and the Common Ground
Chapter Three: Ecology and Human Freedom
Chapter Four: Let Them Eat Pollution
Chapter Five: The Scale of Our Ecological Crisis
Chapter Six: Sustainable Development for What?
Chapter Seven: The Heresy of Ecological Economics
Chapter Eight: Globalization and the Ecological Morality of Place
Chapter Nine: Capitalism’s Environmental Crisis—Is Technology the Answer?
Chapter Ten: Environmental Problems in the “New Economy”
Chapter Eleven: The Limits of Environmentalism Without Class
Chapter Twelve: Malthus’ Essay on Population After 200 Years
Chapter Thirteen: Liebig, Marx, and the Depletion of Soil Fertility: Relevance for Contemporary Agriculture
About the Author
JOHN BELLAMY FOSTERis professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and co-editor of Monthly Review. He is the author of The Vulnerable Planet and co-editor of Hungry for Profit (2000), Capitalism and the Information Age (1998), and In Defense of History (1996).