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Archive | Comments-Short Articles-Introductions to Archival Reprints

Toward a Global Dialogue on Ecology and Marxism: A Brief Response to Chinese Scholars

I would like to thank Zhihe Wang, Meijun Fan, Hui Dong, Dezhong Sun, and Lichun Li for doing so much to promote a global dialogue on ecological Marxism by summarizing some of the insights and concerns of Chinese scholars in this area, focusing in this case on my work in particular. The various questions, challenges, […]

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Marx and Engels and ‘Small is Beautiful’- A Reply

I am a regular reader of Monthly Review. I read with interest the recent articles on ecology and Marxism…. It is true that Marx and Engels conceived that capitalism engenders a “metabolic rift” in nature and society. But both of them emphasized that the industrial growth that socialism would produce is beyond imagination under capitalism…. […]

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Darwin’s Worms and the Skin of the Earth: An Introduction to Charles Darwin’s The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, With Observations on their Habits

Charles Darwin’s discovery of the theory of evolution by natural selection is unquestionably one of the most profound scientific achievements in history. Darwin was heavily influenced by the great geologist Charles Lyell, who developed uniformitarianism, the methodological and substantive doctrine that sought to explain all geological formations as the result of the accumulation of small […]

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Postscript to “The Financialization of Capital and the Crisis” (Monthly Review, April 2008)

Six months ago the United States was already deep in a financial crisis — the roots of which were explained in this article. Yet, the conditions now are several orders of magnitude worse and are affecting the entire world. We are clearly in the midst of one of the great crises in the history of […]

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No Radical Change in the Model

In the 2006 presidential election campaign in Brazil, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (known as Lula), leader of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT or Workers’ Party), was interviewed at length on July 11, 2006, by the Financial Times (which also interviewed Lula’s main rightist challenger Geraldo Alckmin). The interview touched on many topics but […]

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Florence Kelley and the Struggle Against the Degradation of Life: An Introduction to a Selection from Modern Industry

Florence Kelley illuminated how degraded environments stemmed from the social relations and operations of industrial capitalism. As a social reformer, she worked to document the various dangers that workers confronted. She presented how laborers were exposed to noxious gases, toxic substances, and poisonous chemicals and dyes. Dangerous materials, such as arsenic, were introduced into the […]

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The Treadmill of Production: Extension, Refinement and Critique

Philosopher of science Imre Lakatos (1978) argued that the key to evaluating merit in the sciences lies in the distinction between progressive and degenerative research programs. A research program is progressive if its theoretical growth anticipates its empirical growth (i.e., if it predicts novel facts with some frequency rather than merely explaining facts discovered by […]

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Political Economy and the Environmental Crisis: Introduction to Special Issue

According to Frederick Buell (2003) in his book ‘From Apocalypse to Way of Life’, perceptions of environmental crisis in the 1960s and 1970s were both narrower in scope and more apocalyptic (usually Malthusian) in tone than those of today. Rather than diminishing, the problem of the environment has only expanded in the years since Rachel […]

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