Virtual Book Seminar on MARX'S ECOLOGY

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Oct 22 16:33:18 MDT 2000

>Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 13:59:48 -0600 (MDT)
>From: Martha Gimenez <gimenez at>
>To: PSN at, m-fem at, matfem at,
>        socy dept faculty <socfac at>,
>        Sociology Graduate Students <socbiz at>,
>        bhaskar at
>Subject: Virtual Book Seminar on MARX'S ECOLOGY
>Sender: m-fem-owner at
>PSN,  Progressive Sociologists Network (
>and Monthly Review Press are pleased to announce a virtual seminar on:
>Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature by John Bellamy Foster
>that will run from November 11-18, 2000
>To participate, please send an empty message to:
>psn-seminars-subscribe at
>For more information on "Marx's Ecology," or how to order, please visit:
>Richard Levins on Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature:
>"In the best tradition of Marxist scholarship, John Bellamy Foster uses the
>history of ideas not as a courtesy to the past but as an integral part of
>current issues. He demonstrates the centrality of ecology for a materialist
>conception of history, and of historical materialism for an
>ecological movement."
>Progress requires the conquest of nature. Or does it?
>In "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature" author John Bellamy
>Foster overturns
>conventional interpretations of Marx and in the process outlines a
>more rational
>approach to the current environmental crisis.
>Marx it is often assumed, cared only about industrial growth and the
>of economic forces. In "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature," John Bellamy
>Foster examines Marx's neglected writings on capitalist agriculture and soil
>ecology, philosophical naturalism and evolutionary theory. He shows that Marx
>was deeply concerned with the changing human relationship to nature.
>"The argument of this book is based on a very simple premise: that in order to
>understand the origins of ecology, it is necessary to comprehend the new views
>of nature that arose with the development of of materialism and
>science from the
>seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Moreover, rather than simply
>picturing materialism and science as the enemies of earlier and supposedly
>preferable conceptions of nature, as is common in contemporary green
>theory, the
>emphasis here is on how the development of both materialism and science
>promoted-indeed made possible-ecological ways of thinking...
>Although there is a long history of denouncing Marx for a lack of ecological
>concern, it is now abundantly clear, after decades of debate, that
>this view does
>not at all fit with the evidence. On the contrary, as the Italian geographer
>Massimo Quaini has observed, 'Marx ... denounced the spoilation of
>nature before
>a modern bourgeois ecological conscience was born.' From the start,
>Marx's notion
>of the alienation of human labor was connected to an understanding of the
>alienation of human beings from nature. It was this twofold alienation which,
>above all, needed to be explained historically."
>--From the Introduction to "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature"
>John Bellamy Foster  is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and
>is co-editor of the journals Monthly Review and Organization and Environment.
>He is the author of The Vulnerable Planet (1999, 2nd Ed.) and
>co-editor of Hungry
>for Profit (2000), Capitalism and the Information Age (1998), and In
>Defense of
>History (1996).

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