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Marxism in the Anthropocene: Dialectical Rifts on the Left

Natural scientists have pointed to the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch, with the precise dating not yet decided, but often traced to the Great Acceleration of the human impact on the environment since 1945. Thus understood, the Anthropocene largely coincides with the rise of the modern environmental movement and corresponds to the age of […]

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“Foreword,” to Ian Angus, Facing the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene, viewed as a new geological epoch displacing the Holocene epoch of the last 10,000 to 12,000 years, represents what has been called an “anthropogenic rift” in the history of the planet. Formally introduced into the contemporary scientific and environmental discussion by climatologist Paul Crutzen in 2000, it stands for the notion that human […]

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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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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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