Classical Marxism and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Classical Marxism and the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Marx/Engels, the Heat Death of the Universe Theory, and the Origins of Ecological Economics” [PDF], (coauthored with Paul Burkett, Foster listed first), Organization and Environment, vol. 21, no. 1 (March 2008), pp. 1-35.  DOI10.1177/1086026607313580

Ever since Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1971) wrote his magnum opus, The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, the entropy law (or the second law of thermodynamics) has been viewed as a sine qua non of ecological economics. Georgescu-Roegen argued strongly that both the entropy law and the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of matter–energy) were incompatible with ortho- dox neoclassical economics. The relation of ecological economics to Marxian economics, however, was much more ambiguous. Attempts to explore the history of ecological–economic ideas, following Georgescu-Roegen’s contributions, immediately brought to the fore the close relationship between those thinkers who had pioneered in ecological–economic thinking and classical Marxism.

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