Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century

Brett Clark, John Bellamy Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

"The most pressing problem confronting humanity in the 21st century is the ecological crisis. The “problem of nature” is really a problem of capital, as natural cycles are turned into broken linear processes geared to private accumulation. Important advances in ecosocialist theory illuminate the continuing importance of Marx’s materialist and metabolic approach for studying the dialectical interchange between humans and nature and the creation of ecological rifts within
ecosystems. Additionally, Marx’s ecology serves as a foundation for understanding environmental degradation, given his critique of capital as a whole and his focus on the contradiction between use value and exchange value (which facilitates the expansion of private riches at the expense of public wealth, i.e., the Lauderdale Paradox). In stark contrast to the market mechanisms proposed to address the ecological crisis, which place profit above protecting nature, Marx’s
ecology stresses the necessity of establishing a social order that sustains the conditions of life for future generations."
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-156
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Review of Political Economy
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Nature
Ecology
Profit
Environmental degradation
Use value
Market mechanism
Pressing
Paradox
Wealth
Expenses
Exchange value

Keywords

  • Marx
  • ecology
  • ecological crisis
  • capitalism
  • metabolic rift

Cite this

Clark, B., & Foster, J. B. (2010). Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century. World Review of Political Economy, 1(1), 142-156.

Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century. / Clark, Brett; Foster, John Bellamy .

In: World Review of Political Economy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010, p. 142-156.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clark, B & Foster, JB 2010, 'Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century', World Review of Political Economy, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 142-156.
Clark, Brett ; Foster, John Bellamy . / Marx’s Ecology in the 21st Century. In: World Review of Political Economy. 2010 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 142-156.
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