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The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift

$28.00$89.00

Forthcoming in February 2020

In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx, inspired by the German chemist Justus von Liebig, argued that capitalism’s relation to its natural environment was that of a robbery system, leading to an irreparable rift in the metabolism between humanity and nature. In the twenty-first century, these classical insights into capitalism’s degradation of the earth have become the basis of extraordinary advances in critical theory and practice associated with contemporary ecosocialism. In The Robbery of Nature, John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark, working within this historical tradition, examine capitalism’s plundering of nature via commodity production, and how it has led to the current anthropogenic rift in the Earth System.

Departing from much previous scholarship, Foster and Clark adopt a materialist and dialectical approach, bridging the gap between social and environmental critiques of capitalism. The ecological crisis, they explain, extends beyond questions of traditional class struggle to a corporeal rift in the physical organization of living beings themselves, raising critical issues of social reproduction, racial capitalism, alienated speciesism, and ecological imperialism. No one, they conclude, following Marx, owns the earth. Instead we must maintain it for future generations and the innumerable, diverse inhabitants of the planet as part of a process of sustainable human development.

This extraordinary work demonstrates, in clear and lucid prose, that capitalism is setting out doom for all of us, flora and fauna alike, and that a cooperative society is our only salvation. A book for popular readers and scholars alike, it will be widely recognized as an instant classic.

—Paul Buhle, retired Senior Lecturer, Brown University

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review and a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. Brett Clark is associate editor of Monthly Review and a professor of sociology at the University of Utah.

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SKU: mrp8398 Categories: , , , Tag:

Publication Date: February 2020

Number of Pages: 416

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-839-8

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-840-4

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-841-1