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Ecological Rift and Revolution: two seminal books discussed in Economic & Political Weekly

Our lives are inundated by alienation: auto-forwarding advertisements, ‘memes’ and ‘selfies’ replacing our self-consciousness; isolated faces in a crowd; people becoming machines…. Over the past couple of hundred years, people have been facing increasing alienation at many levels: alienation from oneself, from each other, from our acts, from the things we produce, and from our environment—from nature itself. This last type of alienation—or rift—between humanity and nature is the concern of John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York in The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth. But this rift exists in interconnection to the other types of alienation, and the authors show that in the study of ecology we cannot avoid an analysis of the structure of capitalist society which produces them all….… | more…

Cover of BirGün

The Trump Regime: John Bellamy Foster interviewed by Ömür Şahin Keyif for BirGün (Istanbul)

ÖSK: U.S. President Donald Trump came to power with the support of the lower-middle class. But clearly his agenda is for the benefit of the rich. After gaining power, is he ignoring the lower classes and engaging primarily with corporations and the rich?

JBF: Answering this requires some background. A primary characteristic of political movements in the fascist genus, to which both the classical fascism of the 1930s and the nascent neofascism of today (including the Trump phenomenon) can be said to belong, is a tenuous class alliance between the lower-middle class, on the one hand, and significant fractions of the upper echelons of monopoly capital,

“An essential read”: London Green Left Blog reviews Facing the Anthropocene

The term ‘Anthropocene’ refers to the start of a new geological epoch which, according to most leading Earth System scientists, has now replaced the Holocene. It means geological strata deposits will now be, for the first time, massively dominated by those of recent human origin – especially the release of carbon and other greenhouse gases as a consequence of increased burning of fossil fuels – as opposed to those due to natural changes….… | more…

“Vivid, incisive”: Counterfire reviews The Syriza Wave

‘You hold your nose, you take it,’ said Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras in a recent interview with The Guardian. ‘You know that there is no other way.’ He was referring to his astonishing volte-face in summer 2015: a few months after being elected prime minister of Greece thanks to Syriza’s opposition to the EU’s austerity drive and refusal to grant debt relief, he suddenly caved in to the pressure from Brussels and imposed a harsh programme of spending cuts and privatisations: the very policies that he had so vehemently denounced in the years before, making him one of the most popular figures on the European left….… | more…

“An extraordinarily useful book”: Socialist Review looks at A Redder Shade of Green

The author describes this collection of articles as ‘debates, polemics and arguments because although environmentalists, scientists, and socialists share concerns about the devastation of our planet, we frequently differ on explanations and solutions’. The argument Angus repeatedly returns to is a defence of the Marxist method as he understands that, ‘If our political analysis doesn’t have a firm basis in the natural sciences, our efforts to change the world will be in vain.… | more…

The Syriza Wave: The Discussion Continues via Irish Marxist Review

Helena Sheehan has been reporting and writing about Greece and about the Greek Left for quite a long time. Having been politically associated with Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left), she became active, between other things, in the movement of solidarity with the Greek resistance, before and after the electoral victory of the Left in the general elections of January 2015…… | more…

A Redder Shade of Green : Intersections of Science and Socialism

“Red All Over”: Socialist.ca reviews A Redder Shade of Green

At 179 pages, this is a must-read book for everyone wanting a just society and a sustainable environment. Marxist Ian Angus is a prolific writer on science and socialism. He states, “Red and green together are the colours of ecosocialism…there can be no true ecological revolution that is not socialist, and no true socialist revolution that is not ecological.” – hence the name of the book…… | more…

Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century

“The most important book…in years is John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century”–OffGuardian review

That first chapter goes on to consider two other products, iPhones and coffee. These too are produced in the global south for consumption in the north. Although very different products, Smith’s teasing out of the socioeconomic relations they embed shows their commonality. All are created under conditions of a super-exploitation which mainstream economics is at pains to conceal or obscure by a ‘value chain’ orthodoxy that would have us believe an iPhone made in China for $80 retails in the west for $800 not through exploitation but because the activities of shipping, advertising and packaging add $720 of value….… | more…