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Review of the Month

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…

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…

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…

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…

New beech leaves, Gribskov Forest in the northern part of Sealand, Denmark

Capital and the Ecology of Disease

The death of Salvador Allende in 1973 marked, simultaneously, not only the demise of one of the great socialist experiments, and the launching of neoliberalism; it also represented the loss in Allende of one of the great figures in social medicine. Nowhere has neoliberalism had more devastating effects than in the destruction of public health and social medicine initiatives throughout the world. | more…