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December 2021 (Volume 73, Number 7)

With the rapidly worsening capitalist demolition of the planetary environment and the expansion of ecosocialist movements in response, leading establishment think tanks, like the corporate-supported Breakthrough Institute, dedicated to promoting the ideology of “green capitalism” at any cost, have found themselves in a difficult place. | more…

Fist with windmill

Against Doomsday Scenarios: What Is to Be Done Now?

We should avoid offering a fatalistic worldview. In fact, the environmental movement in general and ecosocialism in particular are all about combating the current trend toward ecological destruction. Climate change is now “code red for humanity.” This is not a doomsday forecast but a call to action. | more…

Socialist Register 2022: New Polarizations and Old Contradictions: The Crisis of Centrism

The 58th volume of the Socialist Register asks such questions as: Are the current tendencies towards polarization new, and if so, what is their significance? What underlying contradictions—between race, class, income, gender, and geopolitics—do the latest polarization trends expose? And to what extent can “centrist” politics continue to hold and contain these internal contradictions? This volume’s original essays examine the escalating polarization of national, racial, generational, and other identities, all in the context of growing economic inequality, new forms of regional and urban antagonism, “vaccine nationalism,” and the shifting parameters of rivalry between the “Great Powers.” | more…

Flooding on Laboulle avenue in Tilff, Belgium

The Planetary Rift

The widespread view on the left that Marx had adopted an extreme productivist view of the human domination of nature—and hence had failed to perceive the natural limits to production and ecological contradictions in general, giving them at most only marginal attention—was contradicted by his theory of the metabolic rift. | more…

Monthly Review Volume 73, Number 5 (October 2021)

October 2021 (Volume 73, Number 5)

What was most significant about the published Part I of the report was that it revealed that even in the most optimistic projection of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways—in which carbon emissions globally peak in the next four years, a 1.5°C increase in global average temperature over preindustrial levels would be avoided until 2040, and the goal of net zero carbon emissions would be reached by 2050—the consequences for global humanity would nonetheless be catastrophic by the measure of all historical precedents. | more…

Fly-tipped tires in a disused chalk quarry in North Kent, England

The Capitalinian: The First Geological Age of the Anthropocene

Assuming that the Anthropocene will soon be officially designated as the earth’s current epoch, there remains the question of the geological age with which the Anthropocene begins. Adopting the standard nomenclature for the naming of geological ages, the term Capitalinian is proposed as the most appropriate name for the new geological age, conforming to the historical period that environmental historians see as commencing around 1950, in the wake of the Second World War, the rise of multinational corporations, and the unleashing of the process of decolonization and global development. | more…

Post-Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism

Building a Vision of the Good Life

The crux of Kate Soper’s Post-Growth Living is simple: we need to redefine “the good life.” We need to move away from a culture that equates the good life with endless consumption and toward one that equates it with experiences that are not defined by the market. Not only is this transition ecologically necessary, but it will also lead to fairer, and far more pleasurable, experiences. | more…

How to Read Marx's "Capital"

How to Read Marx’s ‘Capital’: Commentary and Explanations on the Beginning Chapters

With the recent revival of Karl Marx’s theory, a general interest in reading Capital has also increased. But Capital—Marx’s foundational nineteenth-century work on political economy—is by no means considered an easily understood text. Central concepts, such as abstract labor, the value-form, or the fetishism of commodities, can seem opaque to us as first-time readers, and the prospect of comprehending Marx’s thought can be truly daunting. Until, that is, we pick up Michael Heinrich’s How to Read Marx’s Capital. | more…

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