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Marxist Ecology

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…

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Capitalism in the Anthropocene: Ecological Ruin or Ecological Revolution

Over the last 11,700 years, during which human civilization developed, the earth has existed within what geologists refer to as the Holocene Epoch. Now science is telling us that the Holocene Epoch in the geological time scale ended, replaced by a new more dangerous Anthropocene Epoch, which began around 1950. The onset of the Anthropocene Epoch is characterized by an “anthropogenic rift” in the biological cycles of the Earth System, marking a changed reality in which human activities are now the main geological force impacting the earth as a whole, generating at the same time an existential crisis for the world’s population. | more…

Lake Zug (from the south), Switzerland in 1940

Magic, Necromancy, and the Nonhuman Turn

Across the humanities and the social sciences, critical attention is being given to the nonhuman as an ecological, philosophical, and political problem—the nonhuman here meaning anything from animals and plants to manufactured objects. Going under names as various as new materialism, political ecology, and object-oriented ontology, these studies comprise a movement that is largely described as the nonhuman turn. | 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…

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…

A drone applying pesticide on a field in Huichang, Jiangxi province

From Sandstorm and Smog to Sustainability and Justice: China’s Challenges

In China, the orientation toward “ecological civilization” has been proposed for some years. But if the hard core of developmentalism and modernization continues to be the guiding principle, China will continue to be challenged by social injustice and environmental devastation. | 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…