Toward Democratic Eco-socialism
as the Next World System

4. Eco-socialism

Book cover: Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe by Michael Löwy

In the past, Marxian political economy has tended to give, at best, passing consideration to environmental factors, but historically there have been exceptions to this tendency. Various Marxian theorists, including Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, E. P. Thompson, and André Gorz have served as precursors to present-day eco-socialism. Over the past three decades or so, various leftists have become more sensitive to the environmental travesties that have occurred not only in developed and developing capitalist societies but also in post-revolutionary societies. Indeed, John Bellamy Foster [2000] argues in Marx's Ecology that Karl Marx himself recognized that capitalism is in a metabolic rift with nature.

Eco-socialism seeks to come to grips with the growth paradigm inherent in capitalism and to which post-revolutionary societies in the past subscribed and still do today; a case in point is China. Foster [2009], in The Ecological Revolution, asserts revolutionary change entails both political-economic and environmental considerations. Eco-socialism has made some headway among Marxist scholars in China. Ariel Salleh, an Australian sociologist, has served as a long-time proponent of socialist eco-feminism and Indian eco-feminist Vandana Shiva [2005] asserts, in Earth Democracy, that all beings, human and nonhuman, have a natural right to sustenance, and that a just society is based on a living commons and economic democracy.

Copyright © 2016

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