File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0010, message 93


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 13:59:48 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: BHA: Virtual Book Seminar on MARX'S ECOLOGY



PSN,  Progressive Sociologists Network (http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/) 
and Monthly Review Press are pleased to announce a virtual seminar on:

Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature by John Bellamy Foster
that will run from November 11-18, 2000

To participate, please send an empty message to: 
psn-seminars-subscribe-AT-csf.colorado.edu

For more information on "Marx's Ecology," or how to order, please visit:
http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/seminars/marx-ecology  

Richard Levins on Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature:
"In the best tradition of Marxist scholarship, John Bellamy Foster uses the
history of ideas not as a courtesy to the past but as an integral part of
current issues. He demonstrates the centrality of ecology for a materialist
conception of history, and of historical materialism for an ecological movement."

Progress requires the conquest of nature. Or does it?
In "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature" author John Bellamy Foster overturns
conventional interpretations of Marx and in the process outlines a more rational
approach to the current environmental crisis.

Marx it is often assumed, cared only about industrial growth and the development
of economic forces. In "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature," John Bellamy 
Foster examines Marx's neglected writings on capitalist agriculture and soil
ecology, philosophical naturalism and evolutionary theory. He shows that Marx
was deeply concerned with the changing human relationship to nature.

"The argument of this book is based on a very simple premise: that in order to
understand the origins of ecology, it is necessary to comprehend the new views
of nature that arose with the development of of materialism and science from the
seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Moreover, rather than simply
picturing materialism and science as the enemies of earlier and supposedly
preferable conceptions of nature, as is common in contemporary green theory, the
emphasis here is on how the development of both materialism and science
promoted-indeed made possible-ecological ways of thinking...

Although there is a long history of denouncing Marx for a lack of ecological
concern, it is now abundantly clear, after decades of debate, that this view does
not at all fit with the evidence. On the contrary, as the Italian geographer
Massimo Quaini has observed, 'Marx ... denounced the spoilation of nature before 
a modern bourgeois ecological conscience was born.' From the start, Marx's notion
of the alienation of human labor was connected to an understanding of the 
alienation of human beings from nature. It was this twofold alienation which,
above all, needed to be explained historically."

--From the Introduction to "Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature"

John Bellamy Foster  is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and
is co-editor of the journals Monthly Review and Organization and Environment. 
He is the author of The Vulnerable Planet (1999, 2nd Ed.) and co-editor of Hungry
for Profit (2000), Capitalism and the Information Age (1998), and In Defense of
History (1996).






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