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Marxism and the Dialectics of Ecology

The recovery of the ecological-materialist foundations of Karl Marx’s thought, as embodied in his theory of metabolic rift, is redefining both Marxism and ecology in our time, reintegrating the critique of capital with critical natural science. This may seem astonishing to those who were reared on the view that Marx’s ideas were simply a synthesis […]

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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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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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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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The Theory of Unequal Ecological Exchange

A world-system analysis of the ecological rift generated by capitalism requires as one of its elements a developed theory of the unequal ecological exchange between center and periphery. After reviewing the literature on unequal exchange (both economic and ecological) from Ricardo and Marx to the present, a new approach is provided, based on a critical […]

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