[Marxism] Ecological revolution

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 8 07:37:07 MDT 2005

>I have always understood utopian thought as characterized by a 
>disconnection between the social forces in contradiction and the proposed 
>resolution (the utopia). In contradistinction, Marx's genius was to 
>perceive the key social contradiction and precisely characterize it. Then 
>he noted that the old order produced not only the contradictions but the 
>means for their resolution--the organized working class. This observation 
>was consistent with his philosophy of historical materialism. What do you 
>think Foster's philosophy is? I don't see Man v. Nature as a *social* 
>contradiction in the sense that gives rise to dialectical *social* resolution.
>        --rod

Rod, Foster is very much of a classical Marxist when it comes to questions 
of forces of production, planning, etc. In fact, MR is a bastion of this 
current within Marxism. Michael Yates, who posts here occasionally, is on 
the editorial board and can hardly be described as a "utopian". I do think, 
however, that it is somewhat confusing for Foster to quote Roy Morrison 
since Morrison is an advocate of Modragon type cooperatives. If you asked 
Foster if he favored something like that, I am sure that he would say no. 
MR has published numerous critiques of market socialism, which Mondragon is 
a variant on. I would only surmise that Foster is demonstrating a certain 
susceptibility to the academic milieu, in which thinkers such as Morrison 
have more credence than Bukharin, for example. I think that this excerpt 
from Foster's article makes his views clearer, despite the nod to Morrison:

"Put simply, my argument is that a global ecological revolution worthy of 
the name can only occur as part of a larger social­and I would insist, 
socialist­revolution. Such a revolution, were it to generate the conditions 
of equality, sustainability, and human freedom worthy of a genuine Great 
Transition, would necessarily draw its major impetus from the struggles of 
working populations and communities at the bottom of the global capitalist 
hierarchy. It would demand, as Marx insisted, that the associated producers 
rationally regulate the human metabolic relation with nature. It would see 
wealth and human development in radically different terms than capitalist 

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