[Marxism] Fwd: Jason Moore’s “Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital” | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 10 10:35:37 MDT 2016
Earlier this year I was startled to discover that a debate had broken
out between supporters of John Bellamy Foster on one side and Jason
Moore on the other over how to properly theorize ecology from a Marxist
standpoint. Since Moore’s scholarship was influenced by Immanuel
Wallerstein, I wondered what the problem could be. Weren’t they all on
the same wave-length with Monthly Review having provided a platform for
the dependency theory/World Systems schools that included Wallerstein,
Andre Gunder Frank, Samir Amin and others?
As it happens, ecology is a topic that lends itself to debate since
except for Marx’s relatively brief discussion of soil fertility and
Engels’s observations on the despoliation of the Alps, there was very
little analysis until the Green movement took off in the early 1960s.
Rachel Carson’s article on DDT helped to create an awareness that
pollution was not just an annoyance but a threat to human existence.
This led to Marxist scholars trying to anchor the new movement
theoretically even if they spoke in a hundred different voices. Unlike
analyzing imperialism, there was no theoretical continuity to build
upon. Basically ecosocialism had to be created from scratch.
For me it meant dumping some of the baggage I picked up in the
Trotskyist movement. After all, Trotsky embraced nuclear power in “If
America Should Go Communist” and Joe Hansen, who was Trotsky’s bodyguard
in Coyoacan, lauded the Green Revolution (the term for chemical-based
farming rather than ecology) in a 1960 pamphlet titled “Too Many
Babies?: The Myth of the Population Explosion”.
When I began reading and writing about Marxism and ecology nearly 25
years ago, I soon became aware that it was a highly contested field with
almost as much acrimony as you could find in the Leninist left over how
to build a revolutionary party. Although almost everybody except Frank
Furedi could agree that fracking and industrial farming were threats to
the environment, there were disagreements over how to theorize the
More information about the Marxism