The Paradox of Wealth

The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction“, (coauthored with Brett Clark, Foster listed first), Monthly Review vol. 61, no. 6 (November 2009), pp. 1-18. DOI: 10.14452/MR-061-06-2009-10_1

Today orthodox economics is reputedly being harnessed to an entirely new end: saving the planet from the ecological destruction wrought by capitalist expansion. It promises to accomplish this through the further expansion of capitalism itself, cleared of its excesses and excrescences. A growing army of self-styled “sustainable developers” argues that there is no contradiction between the unlimited accumulation of capital—the credo of economic liberalism from Adam Smith to the present—and the preservation of the earth. The system can continue to expand by creating a new “sustainable capitalism,” bringing the efficiency of the market to bear on nature and its reproduction. In reality, these visions amount to little more than a renewed strategy for profiting on planetary destruction.

  • Latvian translation by Ieva Zalite, Green Liberty, 2010.
  • Galician translation by Xosé Díaz Díaz in Terra e Tempo no. 4 (2010),
  • Hungarian translation in Ezmélet (Consciousness) no. 86 (Summer 2010),
  • Translated in Monthly ReviewTurkish edition, issue 23 (Istanbul: Kalkedon Publications, June 2010).


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