Since it was first published 200 years ago in 1798, no other single work has constituted such a bastion of bourgeois thought as Thomas Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population. No other work was more hated by the English working class, nor so strongly criticized by Marx and Engels. Although the Malthusian principle of […]
Journal Articles (Other Major Scholarly)
During the period 1830-1870 the depletion of the natural fertility of the soil through the loss of soil nutrients was the central ecological concern of capitalist society in both Europe and North America (only comparable to concerns over the loss of forests, the growing pollution of the cities, and the Malthusian specter of overpopulation). This […]
One of the problems that has most troubled analysts of global ecological crisis is the question of scale. How momentous is the ecological crisis? Is the survival of the human species in question? What about life in general? Are the basic biogeochemical cycles of the planet vulnerable? Although few now deny that there is such […]
One of the great technological myths of our time is that the entire system of organized capitalism dating back to the Industrial Revolution (and even earlier), is being displaced by a new age of “the electronic republic” rooted in the technology of the Information Revolution.
We live at a time when it is reasonable to speak of the possibility of complete ecological destruction, in virtually the same sense that critics of nuclear armaments have often referred to the possibility of complete nuclear destruction. Both human society and the survival of the planet as we know it are now at risk.
It has become fashionable in recent years, in the words of one critic, to identify the growth of ecological consciousness with “the current postmodernist interrogation of the metanarrative of the Enlightenment.” Green thinking, we are frequently told, is distinguished by its postmodern, post-Enlightenment perspective. Nowhere is this fashion more evident than in certain criticisms directed […]
Over the course of the twentieth century human population has increased more than threefold and gross world product perhaps twentyfold. Such expansion has placed increasing pressure on the ecology of the planet. Everywhere we look—in the atmosphere, oceans, watersheds, forests, soil, etc.—it is now clear that rapid ecological decline is setting in.
It is a measure of the influence of Harry Braverman and radical labor process analysts generally that only two decades after the publication of Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century (1974) it is difficult to recall the absolute confidence with which the orthodox view of work relations was espoused […]
Many Americans of European ancestry, like me, now see the European colonization of the Western Hemisphere as invasion, conquest, and genocide. Many have grave misgivings about the constitutional settlement that protected trade in slaves, committed government to helping slave catchers, and gave extra votes in Congress to slave owners. The moral perceptions that underlie those […]
On December 12, 1991, Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, sent a memorandum to some of his colleagues presenting views on the environment that are doubtless widespread among orthodox economists, reflecting as they do the logic of capital accumulation, but which are seldom offered up for public scrutiny, and then almost never by […]