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Review of the Month

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Marx as Prometheus

Marx’s Critique of Enlightenment Humanism: A Revolutionary Ecological Perspective

This issue’s Review of the Month discusses Marx’s role as the foremost revolutionary critic of bourgeois Enlightenment humanism. To this day, his conception of “the universal metabolism of nature” remains a powerful antidote to the phantasmagoric “dark ecology” posited by today’s posthumanism. | more…

Frederick Engels

The Return of the Dialectics of Nature: The Struggle for Freedom as Necessity

John Bellamy Foster takes readers back to Marx’s understanding of the dialectics of nature and society. As Marx and Engels noted, humanity must not only struggle for the advancement of human freedom, but also the capitalist destruction of the earth. Today, the struggle for freedom and the struggle for necessity coincide everywhere on the planet for the first time in human history, creating a prospect of ruin or revolution. | more…

Smokestacks in Garneau, Edmonton, Alberta

Anthropocene, Capitalocene, and Other “-Cenes”: Why a Correct Understanding of Marx’s Theory of Value Is Necessary to Leave the Planetary Crisis

The perception that we are living in a critical historical period regarding the conditions of habitability on Earth—not only for humans but for many other living organisms too—is gaining more and more adepts among common people, academics, politicians, and social movements. This critical period has been typified as the planetary crisis of the Anthropocene Epoch and studies undertaken in the present century show that habitability on Earth is progressively deteriorating. | more…

Aerial photo of Dihua, an ancient town in Danfeng County, Shangluo City of northwest China's Shaanxi Province

Ecological Civilization, Ecological Revolution

An Ecological Marxist Perspective

How are we to understand the origins and historic significance of the concept of ecological civilization? What is its relation to ecological Marxism? And how does all of this relate to the worldwide revolutionary struggle aimed at transcending our current planetary emergency and protecting what Karl Marx called “the chain of human generations”—along with life in general? | more…

Panopticon

Panopticon

Capitalism’s two main underpinnings are control and exploitation/expropriation. While there are many sites of control they are all generally supportive of the interests of capital, namely, the endless drive to accumulate wealth. They all help to ensure that we behave so that the system continues to reproduce itself. Since workplaces are the sites where profits are extracted from our labor, it is here that control is most critical. | more…

Hiroshima Cenotaph Dome

“Notes on Exterminism” for the Twenty-First-Century Ecology and Peace Movements

In 1980, the great English historian and Marxist theorist E. P. Thompson wrote the pathbreaking essay “Notes on Exterminism, the Last Stage of Civilization.” Although the world has undergone a number of significant changes since, Thompson’s essay remains a useful starting point in approaching the central contradictions of our times, characterized by the planetary ecological crisis, COVID-19 pandemic, New Cold War, and current “empire of chaos”—all arising from features deeply embedded in the contemporary capitalist political economy. | more…

Wladyslaw T Benda - The Earth with the Milky Way and Moon

Nature as a Mode of Accumulation: Capitalism and the Financialization of the Earth

From September to November 2021, overlapping with the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference negotiations in Glasgow, three major interrelated developments occurred in global finance. Taken together, these changes mark a turning point in the financial expropriation of the earth and the culmination of a theoretical shift in the dominant economic paradigm aimed at the unlimited accumulation of total capital, which is now seen as including “natural capital.” | more…