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John Bellamy Foster, Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature

Marx's Ecology

Paperback, 200 pages
Monthly Review Press, 2000
ISBN: 9781583670125

Marx, it is often assumed, cared only about industrial growth and the development of economic forces. John Bellamy Foster examines Marx’s neglected writings on capitalist agriculture and soil ecology, philosophical naturalism, and evolutionary theory. He shows that Marx, known as a powerful critic of capitalist society, was also deeply concerned with the changing human relationship to nature. Marx’s Ecology covers many other thinkers, including Epicurus, Charles Darwin, Thomas Malthus, Ludwig Feuerbach, P. J. Proudhon, and William Paley. By reconstructing a materialist conception of nature and society, Marx’s Ecology challenges the spiritualism prevalent in the modern Green movement, pointing toward a method that offers more lasting and sustainable solutions to the ecological crisis.

Table of Contents




The Crisis of Socio-Ecology

1. The Materialist Conception of Nature
Materialism and the Very Early Marx
Epicurus and the Revolution of Science and Reason

2. The Really Earthly Question
The Alienation of Nature and Humanity
Association versus Political Economy

3. Parson Naturalists
Natural Theology
Natural Theology and Political Economy
The First Essay
The Second Essay
Thomas Chalmers and the Bridgewater Treatises

4. The Materialist Conception of History
The Critique of Malthus and the Origins of Historical Materialism
The New Materialism
Historical Geology and Historical Geography
Critique of the True Socialists
The Mechanistic “Prometheanism” of Proudhon
The View of the Communist Manifesto

5. The Metabolism of Nature and Society
Overpopulation and the Conditions of Reproduction of Human Beings
James Anderson and the Origins of Differential Fertility
Liebig, Marx, and the Second Agricultural Revolution

6. The Basis in Natural History for Our View
The Origin of Species
Darwin, Huxley, and the Defeat of Teleology
Marx and Engels: Labor and Human Evolution
The Plight of the Materialists
The Revolution in Ethnological Time: Morgan and Marx
A Young Darwinian and Karl Marx

7. Epilogue
Dialectical Naturalism
Marxism and Ecology after Engels
Caudwell’s Dialectics
The Dialectical Ecologist
The Principle of Conservation

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