Karl Marx

"Metabolism", "metabolic rift", and Marx - Debate

See the following articles from a debate about the implications, usefulness, and meanings of "metabolism" and "metabolic rift" in Marxist ecology, and wider questions about Marx's ecological writing, and climate politics today. This debate was sparked by a reading group Workers' Liberty ran on Kohei Saito’s book, Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy (2017). See: A review of Marx's Ecosocialism by Paul Hampton, 2019 Study guide for the reading group, 2021 So far, in the debate, are the following articles: Marx, the environment, and...

The coral atoll and the iPhone

At every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign power like someone standing outside of nature – but that we, n flesh blood and brain, belong to nature and exist within its midst, and that all the mastery of nature consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly.” - Engels, The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man I think Matt Cooper takes a too narrow definition of “metabolism” as a rather dull process of material exchange that occurs within a...

Pedantic, empty and false on "metabolic rift"

It is unfortunate that Matt Cooper chose the eve of international climate mobilisations for his belated foray into Marxist ecological politics (Solidarity 607, 22 September 2021). His musing is vacuous, error-strewn and offers no alternative. Worse, he disparagingly misrepresents the ecological Marxism that underpins the AWL’s climate politics. His essay serves only as an exercise in stale pedantry. Marx During the mid-1840s, as Marx and Engels developed their materialist conception of history, they were already engaged with ecological questions. They conceived of nature as totality, with...

Marx's Capital volume 1 - 12-session course

Marx's Capital volume 1 - 12-session course Format of each session (which we'll vary slightly from week to week): - Quick outline of the passages of Capital covered, and questions - 15 minutes - Work in "breakout rooms" on discussing selected extracts and comments - 30 minutes - Report-back on that work, and discussion - 20 minutes - Review of discussion points - 25 minutes Running from 3 October 2021 to 3 April 2022, every other Sunday at 18:30-20:00 London time, skipping 28 November and 26 December. Zoomlink: bit.ly/capi-z Eventbrite bit.ly/capi-ebrite The basic reading is Otto Rühle's...

Kohei Saito’s "Marx’s Ecosocialism" — Study course

Marxism and ecosocialism: study course has now ended. We may run it again: watch this space. Study guide for the course Powerpoint for session 1 (15 July) Powerpoint for session 2 (22 July) Powerpoint for session 3 (29 July) Powerpoint for session 4 (5 August) Click here for review of Saito's book

Malm's "Fossil Capital": mired in slurry

Andreas Malm’s writings on climate change have been widely lauded across the left in recent years, including in Solidarity (Zack Muddle, 588, 14 April 2021). In my view, Malm is a charlatan, a pretentious poseur, who sows confusion on Marxism and climate change politics. This became clear with his book Fossil Capital (2016) and has worsened subsequently. Fossil Capital Britain was the first industrial capitalist state. Climate scientists estimate that Britain accounted for 80% of global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion in 1825 and 62% in 1850. Therefore accelerating fossil fuel use...

Hegelian usages in Marx's Grundrisse

In an 1873 afterword to an edition of Capital volume 1, Marx wrote: "The mystifying side of Hegelian dialectic I criticised nearly thirty years ago, at a time when it was still the fashion..."

Was Stalinism the new barbarism?

Published in Workers' Liberty Series 1 No. 66 January 2001. Paul Hampton analyses the arguments used by Tony Cliff and others to rubbish the ideas developed in the 1940s by Max Shachtman and the “unorthodox” Trotskyists in the USA about the USSR. This is the second part of an article whose first part appeared in Workers’ Liberty 62. By the late forties Shachtman came to the conclusion that Stalinism was “the new barbarism”. Cliff understood that there were two meanings of the term “barbarism’; the first sense meant a description of the period since 1917, given the belatedness of the socialist...

Stalinism in theory and history

Published in Workers' Liberty Series 1 No. 62 March 2000 In theories of Stalinism, as Haberkern comments in his review of The Fate of the Russian Revolution (WL59-60), plainly there are many nuances, and valuable contributions from the likes of Burnham, Carter and Draper which ought to be more widely known. But the book, criticised by Ernie for its failure to include more such texts, was not intended as a compilation of theories of bureaucratic collectivism. It is rather a critique of the ideas of latter-day Trotskyism, from the premises of Trotsky and by his most ardent followers. Many...

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