The Great Capitalist Climacteric

The Great Capitalist Climacteric: Marxism and “System Change Not Climate Change,” Monthly Review, vol. 67, no. 6 (November 2015), pp. 1-18.

This article is from a keynote address presented at Manifesta in Ostend, Belgium on September 19, 2015. This year’s Manifesta was organized around the theme of climate change in preparation for the COP21 climate negotiations (and protests) in Paris in December 2015.

Humanity today is confronted with what might be called the Great Capitalist Climacteric. In the standard definition, a climacteric (from the Greek klimaktēr or rung on the ladder) is a period of critical transition or a turning point in the life of an individual or a whole society. From a social standpoint, it raises issues of historical transformation in the face of changing conditions.


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