In Marx and the Earth John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett respond to recent ecosocialist criticisms of Marx, offering a full-fledged anti-critique. They thus extend their earlier pioneering work on Marx’s ecology, providing the basis for a new red-green synthesis.
Humanity in the twenty-first century is facing what might be described as its ultimate environmental catastrophe: the destruction of the climate that has nurtured human civilization and with it the basis of life on earth as we know it. All ecosystems on the planet are now in decline. Enormous rifts have been driven through the delicate fabric of the biosphere. The economy and the earth are headed for a fateful collision—if we don't alter course. In The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth environmental sociologists John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York offer a radical assessment of both the problem and the solution. They argue that the source of our ecological crisis lies in the paradox of wealth in capitalist society, which expands individual riches at the expense of public wealth, including the wealth of nature. In the process, a huge ecological rift is driven between human beings and nature, undermining the conditions of sustainable existence: a rift in the metabolic relation between humanity and nature that is irreparable within capitalist society, since integral to its very laws of motion. Critically examining the sanguine arguments of mainstream economists and technologists, Foster, Clark, and York insist instead that fundamental changes in social relations must occur if the ecological (and social) problems presently facing us are to be transcended. Their analysis relies on the development of a deep dialectical naturalism concerned with issues of ecology and evolution and their interaction with the economy. Importantly, they offer reasons for revolutionary hope in moving beyond the regime of capital and toward a society of sustainable human development.
By reconstructing a materialist conception of nature and society, Marx's Ecology challenges the spiritualism prevalent in the modern Green movement, pointing toward a method that offers more lasting sustainable solutions to the ecological crisis.
Drawing on mostly ignored texts, this book thoroughly reassesses Marx and Engels's engagement with theology. Alongside opium, Hegel and Feuerbach, other dimensions become important: historical context, Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner, fetishism, secularism, political ambivalence and the revolutionary possibilities of theology.
The search for an ethics rooted in human experience is the crux of this deeply compassionate work, here translated from the 1983 German edition. Distinguished philosopher Werner Marx provides a close reading, critique, and Weiterdenken, or "further thinking," of Martin Heidegger's later work on death, language, and poetry, which has often been dismissed as both obscure and obscurantist. In it Marx seeks, and perhaps finds, both a measure for distinguishing between good and evil and a motive for preferring the former. The poet Hölderlin posed the question, "Is there a measure on earth?" His own answer was emphatic, "There is none," for he was convinced that the measure for man was to be found only in the domain of the heavenly beings. Such metaphysical assumptions, as well as the attempt to found ethical conduct in the nature of man as a rational being, have been rejected by many contemporary thinkers, particularly Heidegger. Yet these thinkers have not been able to provide a satisfactory alternative to metaphysical foundations of the standards for responsible human conduct. Marx, therefore, goes beyond Heidegger in demonstrating how several of his most basic notions could be relevant to a secular morality in our age. It is death, Marx claims, that unsettles man and transforms his conduct toward his fellow man. the common experience of mortality nourishes ethical life—and leads to the measures of compassion, love, and recognition of one's fellow human beings. "It is only on the basis of these 'traditional virtues,'" Marx writes, "that we can find a motive for averting the impending dangers which have often enough been described so vividly and convincingly."
Bridges the gap between social and environmental critiques of capitalism In the nineteenth century, Karl Marx, inspired by the German chemist Justus von Liebig, argued that capitalism’s relation to its natural environment was that of a robbery system, leading to an irreparable rift in the metabolism between humanity and nature. In the twenty-first century, these classical insights into capitalism’s degradation of the earth have become the basis of extraordinary advances in critical theory and practice associated with contemporary ecosocialism. In The Robbery of Nature, John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark, working within this historical tradition, examine capitalism’s plundering of nature via commodity production, and how it has led to the current anthropogenic rift in the Earth System.
Lowly has been writing on the national question to great acclaim for over 20 years. Under the impact of globalisation and new outbreaks of nationalism in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, he argues that the fragmentary writings on national issues by Marx and Engels could from the basis of a second coherent theory, a truly international dialectic which remains to be developed.
"Socialism is back and with it is a renewed interest in Marx's critique of capitalism. After the 2008 financial crash international book sales of Capital exploded for the first time in decades. In a world of rising income inequality, right-wing nationalisms, and global climate change, people are again looking to the father of modern socialism for answers. This book is written to help those returning to Marx today get answers to their pressing questions about the nature of wealth, ecological crisis, gender inequality, colonialism, migration, and the possibility of socialism. Marx, as always, remains our contemporary. This book also offers readers a new perspective on a several major ideas in Marx's work. It argues that Marx, contrary to convention, did not think history was deterministic or that reality could be reduced to classical materialism. Marx was not an anthropocentric humanist nor did he have a labor theory of value. The unique contribution of this book is that it begins with Marx's earliest and most neglected book on ancient naturalism in order to show its lasting methodological effect on his "process materialism" defined by the primacy of motion. This "kinetic Marxism," as I call it, offers us a new way to re-read Capital that bears directly on a number of contemporary issues. This also makes Marx in Motion the first book to offer a new materialist reading of Marx. The result of all this is a fresh new view on the important theories of primitive accumulation, metabolism, value, fetishism, dialectics, and the possibility of a kinetic communism for the 21st century"--
A contemporary interrogation of Marx’s masterwork Karl Marx saw the ruling class as a sorcerer, no longer able to control the ominous powers it has summoned from the netherworld. Today, in an age spawning the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, our society has never before been governed by so many conjuring tricks, with collusions and conspiracies, fake news and endless sleights of the economic and political hand. And yet, contends Andy Merrifield, as our modern lives become ever more mist-enveloped, the works of Marx can help us penetrate the fog. In Marx, Dead and Alive—a book that begins and ends beside Marx’s recently violated London graveside—Merrifield makes a spirited case for a critical thinker who can still offer people a route toward personal and social authenticity. Bolstering his argument with fascinating examples of literature and history, from Shakespeare and Beckett, to the Luddites and the Black Panthers, Merrifield demonstrates how Marx can reveal our individual lives to us within a collective perspective—and within a historical continuum. Who we are now hinges on who we once were—and who we might become. This, at a time when our value-system is undergoing core “post-truth” meltdown.
In recent years John Bellamy Foster has emerged as a leading theorist of the Marxist perspective on ecology. His seminal book Marx's Ecology (Monthly Review Press, 2000) discusses the place of ecological issues within the intellectual history of Marxism and on the philosophical foundations of a Marxist ecology, and has become a major point of reference in ecological debates. This historical and philosophical focus is now supplemented by more directly political engagement in his new book, Ecology against Capitalism. In a broad-ranging treatment of contemporary ecological politics, Foster deals with such issues as pollution, sustainable development, technological responses to environmental crisis, population growth, soil fertility, the preservation of ancient forests, and the "new economy" of the Internet age. Foster's introduction sets out the unifying themes of these essays enabling the reader to draw from them a consolidated approach to a rapidly-expanding field of debate which is of critical importance in our times. Within these debates on the politics of ecology, Foster's work develops an important and distinctive perspective. Where many of these debates assume a basic divergence of "red" and "green" issues, and are concerned with the exact terms of a trade-off between them, Foster argues that Marxismproperly understoodalready provides the framework within which ecological questions are best approached. This perspective is advanced here in accessible and concrete form, taking account of the major positions in contemporary ecological debate.
A fascinating reinterpretation of the radical and socialist origins of ecology Twenty years ago, John Bellamy Foster’s Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature introduced a new understanding of Karl Marx’s revolutionary ecological materialism. More than simply a study of Marx, it commenced an intellectual and social history, encompassing thinkers from Epicurus to Darwin, who developed materialist and ecological ideas. Now, with The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology, Foster continues this narrative. In so doing, he uncovers a long history of efforts to unite issues of social justice and environmental sustainability that will help us comprehend and counter today’s unprecedented planetary emergencies. The Return of Nature begins with the deaths of Darwin (1882) and Marx (1883) and moves on until the rise of the ecological age in the 1960s and 1970s. Foster explores how socialist analysts and materialist scientists of various stamps, first in Britain, then the United States, from William Morris and Frederick Engels to Joseph Needham, Rachel Carson, and Stephen J. Gould, sought to develop a dialectical naturalism, rooted in a critique of capitalism. In the process, he delivers a far-reaching and fascinating reinterpretation of the radical and socialist origins of ecology. Ultimately, what this book asks for is nothing short of revolution: a long, ecological revolution, aimed at making peace with the planet while meeting collective human needs.
The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. III, 1856-1860
Author: Sidney Blumenthal
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In All the Powers of Earth, Lincoln's incredible ascent to power in a world of chaos is newly revealed through the great biographer's extraordinary research and literary style. After a period of depression that he would ever find his way to greatness, Lincoln takes on the most powerful demagogue in the country, Stephen Douglas, in the debates for a senate seat. He sidelines the frontrunner William Seward, a former governor and senator for New York, to cinch the new Republican Party’s nomination. All the Powers of Earth is the political story of all time. Lincoln achieves the presidency by force of strategy, of political savvy and determination. This is Abraham Lincoln, who indisputably becomes the greatest president and moral leader in the nation’s history. But he must first build a new political party, brilliantly state the anti-slavery case and overcome shattering defeat to win the presidency. In the years of civil war to follow, he will show mightily that the nation was right to bet on him. He was its preserver, a politician of moral integrity. All the Powers of Earth cements Sidney Blumenthal as the definitive Lincoln biographer.
The roots of the present ecological crisis, Foster argues, lie in capital's rapacious expansion, which has now achieved unprecedented heights of irrationality across the globe. Foster demonstrates that the only possible answer for humanity is an ecological revolution: a struggle to make peace with the planet. Foster details the beginnings of such a revolution in human relations with the environment which can now be found throughout the globe, especially in the periphery of the world system, where the most ambitious experiments are taking place. From publisher description.
Artists and writers portray the disorientation of a world facing climate change. This monumental volume, drawn from a 2020 exhibition at the ZKM Center for Art and Media, portrays the disorientation of life in world facing climate change. It traces this disorientation to the disconnection between two different definitions of the land on which modernizing humans live: the sovereign nation from which they derive their rights, and another one, hidden, from which they gain their wealth--the land they live on, and the land they live from. Charting the land they will inhabit, they find not a globe, not the iconic "blue marble," but a series of critical zones--patchy, heterogenous, discontinuous. With short pieces, longer essays, and more than 500 illustrations, the contributors explore the new landscape on which it may be possible for humans to land--what it means to be "on Earth," whether the critical zone, the Gaia, or the terrestrial. They consider geopolitical conflicts and tools redesigned for the new "geopolitics of life forms." The "thought exhibition" described in this book can opens a fictional space to explore the new climate regime; the rest of the story is unknown. Contributors include Dipesh Chakrabarty, Pierre Charbonnier, Emanuele Coccia, Vinciane Despret, Jerôme Gaillarde, Donna Haraway, Joseph Leo Koerner, Timothy Lenton, Richard Powers, Simon Schaffer, Isabelle Stengers, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Jan A. Zalasiewicz, Siegfried Zielinski Copublished with ZKM - Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
From reviews of the first edition (1994): "Extraordinarily well written . . . " --Contemporary Sociology "A readable chronicle aimed at a general audience . . . Graceful and accessible . . . " --Dollars and Sense "Has the potential to be a political bombshell in radical circles around the world." --Environmental Action The Vulnerable Planet has won respect as the best single-volume introduction to the global economic crisis. With impressive historical and economic detail, ranging from the Industrial Revolution to modern imperialism, The Vulnerable Planet explores the reasons why a global economic system geared toward private profit has spelled vulnerability for the earth's fragile natural environment. Rejecting both individualistic solutions and policies that tinker at the margins, John Bellamy Foster calls for a fundamental reorganization of production on a social basis so as to make possible a sustainable and ecological economy. This revised edition includes a new afterword by the author.
The author argues that the West has inherited a divided world view, based on the splitting of mind from body, and spirit from matter; that our language and symbols reflect this division, and we think in pairs of opposites - male/female, white/black, active/passive - in ways which reinforce conformist and often oppressive stereotypes; and that symbols are not god-given, but man-made, and can be changed.