“Marxism and ecology”: John Bellamy Foster – Marxism 2011

[This article is an extended version of a talk delivered at the Marxism 2011 Conference, University College of London, July 3, 2011]

By John Bellamy Foster

September 1, 2011 — Monthly Review — It is no secret today that we are facing a planetary environmental emergency, endangering most species on the planet, including our own, and that this impending catastrophe has its roots in the capitalist economic system. Nevertheless, the extreme dangers that capitalism inherently poses to the environment are often inadequately understood, giving rise to the belief that it is possible to create a new “natural capitalism” or “climate capitalism” in which the system is turned from being the enemy of the environment into its savior.1 The chief problem with all such views is that they underestimate the cumulative threat to humanity and the earth arising from the existing relations of production. Indeed, the full enormity of the…

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