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Marx’s Universal Metabolism of Nature and the Frankfurt School: Dialecticsal Contradictions and Critical Syntheses

The Frankfurt School, as represented especially by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s 1944, Dialectic of Enlightenment, was noted for developing a philosophical critique of the domination of nature. Critical theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt were heavily influenced by the writings of the early Karl Marx. Yet, their critique of the Enlightenment […]

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Marx’s Ecology and the Left

One of the lasting contributions of the Frankfurt School of social theorists, represented especially by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s 1944 Dialectic of Enlightenment, was the development of a philosophical critique of the domination of nature. Critical theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt were deeply influenced by the early writings of […]

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Nature

“Nature,” wrote Raymond Williams in Keywords, “is perhaps the most complex word in the language.” It is derived from the Latin natura, as exemplified by Lucretius’s great didactic poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) from the first century BCE. The word “nature” has three primary, interrelated meanings: (1) the intrinsic properties or […]

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Marx’s Theory of Working-Class Precariousness

Worker Precariousness has become a major issue globally. Much of this, however, is divorced from the central role that this concept played in Marx’s critique of political economy. This article traces the notion of precarious labor back to its classical roots in historical materialism, including Marx’s general law of accumulation and his reserve army of […]

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The Opt Out Revolt

In the United States today, the age of monopoly-finance capital and neoliberal politics, all aspects of social life are being financialized at breakneck speed, while the economy as a whole and employment remain lackluster. Financial flows of whatever kind are converted into “securitized” assets to be leveraged by Wall Street speculators. The data of private […]

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Ecology

“Ecology,” in Marcello Musto, ed., The Marx Revival (forthcoming, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 20

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Marx and the Earth

A decade and a half ago John Bellamy Foster and Paul Burkett introduced a new, revolutionary understanding of the ecological foundations of Marx’s thought, demonstrating that Marx’s concepts of the universal metabolism of nature, social metabolism, and metabolic rift prefigured much of modern systems ecology. Ecological relations were shown to be central to Marx’s critique […]

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Marxism and Ecology

To link Marxism and ecological transition may seem at first like trying to bridge two entirely different movements and discourses, each with its own history and logic: one having mainly to do with class relations, the other with the relation between humans and the environment. However, historically socialism has influenced the development of ecological thought […]

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