“The Limits of Environmentalism Without Class: Lessons from the Ancient Forest Crisis of the Pacific Northwest,” [PDF], Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, vol. 4, no. 1 (March 1993), pp. 11-41. DOI: 10.1080/10455759309358529.
Many prominent environmentalists today have adopted a political stance that sets them and the movement that they profess to represent above and beyond the class struggle. For example, Jonathon Porritt, the British Green leader, has declared that the rise of the German Greens marks the demise of “the redundant polemic of class warfare and the mythical immutability of a left/right divide.” According to this outlook, both the working class and capitalist class are to blame for the global environmental crisis (insofar as it can be traced to capitalist rather than socialist modes of production), while the Greens represent a “new paradigm” derived from nature’s own values, one that transcends the historic class problem. By removing themselves in this way from the classic social debate, these Green thinkers implicitly em race the dominant “we have seen the enemy, and it is us” view that traces most environmental problems to the buying habits of consumers, the number of babies born, and the characteristics of industrialization, as if there were no class or other divisions in society.
- Published in 1993 as a pamphlet issued jointly by Monthly Review Press and the Center for Ecological Socialism.
- Expanded and updated version published in Daniel Faber, ed. The Movement for Environmental Justice in the United States (New York: Guilford Press, 1998), pp. 188-217.
- Italian translation of original, “I Limiti Dellámbientalismo Senza Classi. Un Esempio Che Viene Dalle Foreste,” Capitalismo, Natura, Socialismo, no. 9 (October 1993) pp. 32-53.