Archive | Journal Articles (Refereed)

Journal Articles (Refereed)

The Dialectic of Organic/Inorganic Relations

Ecological thinkers have suggested that in applying an “organic/inorganic” distinction to humanity-nature, Marx embraced a dualistic and antagonistic conception of the human-nature relationship. The authors confront this view by considering how Marx’s various applications of the concepts organic and inorganic were shaped not only by standard scientific usage but also by Marx’s engagement with Hegel’s […]

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Marx’s Theory of Metabolic Rift

This article addresses a paradox: on the one hand, environmental sociology, as currently developed, is closely associated with the thesis that the classical sociological tradition is devoid of systematic insights into environmental problems; on the other hand, evidence of crucial classical contributions in this area, particularly in Marx, but also in Weber, Durkheim, and others, […]

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The Crisis of the Earth: Marx’s Theory of Ecological Sustainability as a Nature-Imposed Necessity for Human Production

Any systematic, forward-looking ecological vision must include three elements: (a) a theory of ecological crisis and its relation to human production; (b) a concept of sustainability as a nature-imposed necessity for production; (c) a vision of the transcendence of ecological crisis that establishes sustainability as a core part of any future society. All three elements […]

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The Age of Planetary Crisis

The final years of the twentieth century have revealed three critical conditions likely to dominate the history of the coming century: (1) economic stagnation and globalization; (2) environmental decline; and (3) the weakness of antisystemic movements. As economic conditions stagnate and environmental conditions worsen, the material bases will emerge for a new, much broader movement […]

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The Long Stagnation and the Class Struggle

For more than a quarter-century, the advanced capitalist economies have been mired in a condition of economic stagnation, characterized by slow growth, sluggish investment and high levels of unemployment and excess capacity. Since this condi- tion has persisted so long and shows no signs of abating despite the current cyclical upswing, it seems appropriate to […]

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The Limits of Environmentalism Without Class: Lessons from the Ancient Forest Crisis of the Pacific Northwest

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 […]

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The Absolute General Law of Environmental Degradation Under Capitalism

James O’Connor has asked us to consider the relationship between what he has termed the “first and second contradictions” of capitalism. I would like to refer to the first contradiction, following Marx, as ‘the absolute cereal law of capitalist accumulation.” The second contradiction may then be designated as “the absolute general law of environmental degradation […]

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Sources of Instability in the U.S. Political Economy and Empire

“Sources of Instability in the U.S. Political Economy and Empire,” [PDF] Science & Society, vol. XLIX, no. 2 (Summer 1985), pp. 167-193. In Discussing the sources of instability in the U.S. social order, it is useful to focus successively on the economic, political-cultural and imperial aspects of the problem, corresponding to the three levels of economy, […]

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Monopoly Capital Theory and Stagflation: A Comment

In my view, David Kotz’s article, ‘Monopoly. Inflation and Economic Crisis” (Kotz 1982), provides a clear and, for the most part, internally consistent explanation of the inflationary features of monpolistic pricing in the context of long-term economic stagnation, and deserves to be recognized as a notable addition to Marxian analysis. But his claim of having […]

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