[Marxism] Queries: environment & related

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Tue Dec 21 08:04:15 MST 2004

I rely on Lou, and thank him for the service of keeping members of this list
on the cutting edge of Marxist theory as applied to the human ecological

Seems to me that frankly, Marxism doesn't have to develop anything further
directly related to ecology, because the key truth is the same old song :
socialist revolution is a precondition for solutions to today's main dangers
of pollution and depletion. As of 2004-5, AD, Capitalism will run our
species into catastrophic dieoff or extinction , if we don't overthrow it.
It's socialism or arch-genocide. We don't need any new Marxist theorizing to
predict that, right now.

The main political goal of the ecology movement must be overthrowing

The struggle continues; victory is certain.



I have no idea what it means to make people part of the solution. There are 
no "socialist" techniques for eliminating greenhouse emissions. To enjoy 
the good life, you need to consume energy. This means coal, oil and gas. 
When you burn this stuff, it throws off co2. There's nothing you can read 
in Karl Marx that will stop the production of co2. You instead have to 
figure out a way to arrive at a sustainable level of greenhouse emissions. 
With capitalism's need to expand and to make profits, you really can't 
approach this problem rationally.

>Just being Devil's Advocate for the moment. Obviously the right answer is
>some kind of dialectical synthesis, and I'm hoping some Marxist out there
>has worked through it in detail.

Unfortunately, except for people like John Bellamy Foster, Paul Burkett, 
Mark Jones and Walt Contreras Sheasby--two late and lamented comrades who 
were on Marxmail--and Howie Hawkins who lurks here, there has not been much 
of a synthesis going on.

Many self-described ecosocialists like Joel Kovel are strongly influenced 
by the Frankfurt school and its particular Heideggerian perspective on 
"industrialism". They have not really thought through what Marx was driving 
at through his examination of the problem of soil fertility.

Marx's approach lends itself to the study of other problems like global 
warming, genetic engineering, waste disposal, etc. In fact, a general 
synthesis of all these problems within the context of historical 
materialism is urgently needed.

Louis Proyect

More information about the Marxism mailing list