Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chris Williams — Marx and Engels on ecology: A reply to radical critics

Chris Williams reviews Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique by Paul Burkett and John Bellamy Foster, Haymarket Books, 2017....
As shown by Foster and Burkett, Marx and Engels believed that to be truly free, humanity not only needed to overcome the alienation of labor but simultaneously our alienation from nature, both bestowed on us by capitalism
Capitalism privileges property ownership over people and the environment.
Marx and Engels go far beyond a mere utilitarian conception of nature and ascribe an appreciation of nature as a primary axis of human fulfillment and, furthermore, it is the duty of a socialist society to look after the air, water, and soil for the benefit of future generations of humans and other species. Marx’s tremendously important concept of the “metabolic rift” furnishes us with the analytical tools to understand why capitalism is inherently anti-ecological—and thereby anti-human—and furthermore, how a socialist society must operate to repair those rifts and overcome human alienation from nature....

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