Marx in the Anthropocene

Marx in the Anthropocene : Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism

4.11 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.11 (88 ratings by Goodreads)

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Facing global climate crisis, Karl Marx's ecological critique of capitalism more clearly demonstrates its importance than ever. This book explains why Marx's ecology had to be marginalized and even suppressed by Marxists after his death throughout the twentieth century. Marx's ecological critique of capitalism, however, revives in the Anthropocene against dominant productivism and monism. Investigating new materials published in the complete works of Marx and Engels (Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe), Saito offers a wholly novel idea of Marx's alternative to capitalism that should be adequately characterized as degrowth communism. This provocative interpretation of the late Marx sheds new lights on the recent debates on the relationship between society and nature and invites readers to envision a post-capitalist society without repeating the failure of the actually existing socialism of the twentieth century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 292 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17mm | 102g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 1009366181
  • 9781009366182
  • 41,330

Table of contents

Dedication; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Marx's Ecological Critique of Capitalism and its Oblivion: 1. Marx's theory of metabolism in the age of global ecological crisis; 2. The intellectual relationship of Marx and Engels revisited from an ecological perspective; 3. Lukacs's theory of metabolism as the foundation of ecosocialist realism; Part II. A Critique of Productive Forces in the Anthropocene; 4. Monism and the non-identity of nature; 5. The revival of utopian socialism and the productive forces of capital; Part III. Towards Degrowth Communism: 6. Marx as a degrowth communist; 7. The abundance of wealth in degrowth communism; Conclusion; References; Index.
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Review quote

'Marx in the Anthropocene is a deeply restorative project, both analytically and politically. Through a detailed examination of Marx's notebooks on the natural sciences, Kohei Saito reminds us why Marx insisted that the relationship between nature and capitalism was fundamentally unsustainable. The book restores to us a forgotten Marx, one who is eager to learn from precapitalist societies, one who is beginning to see destruction in development. Taking his lead from this longneglected Marx, Saito then builds a powerful argument for degrowth communism, a theoretical approach that aims to reorganize the very notion of abundance to fit the common weal, rather than fit an abstract notion of luxury communism. Marx in the Anthropocene reminds us, again, why anticapitalism is the nutrient that must be urgently added to nature'' Tithi Bhattacharya, author of Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto 'A masterpiece. This is the book we have been waiting for. Saito draws on Marx to deliver a thrilling synthesis of degrowth and ecosocialism. Herein lies the secret to post-capitalist transition. A must-read for every socialist and every environmentalist -it will change both forever' Jason Hickel, author of Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World 'After his brilliant essay on Marx's ecology, Kohei Saito shows in his new pathbreaking book how different Marxist thinkers tried to deal with the environmental, challenges, from an anti-capitalist perspective. As in his previous essay, Saito is able to grasp Marxism as thought in movement, and not as a closed system. His courageous appeal for a 'degrowth communism' is a decisive contribution for an ecological Marxism of our times, a communism for the Anthropocene' Michael Loewy, author of Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe
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About Kohei Saito

Kohei Saito is an associate professor at University of Tokyo. His book Karl Marx's Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy (Monthly Review Press, 2017) won the Deutscher Memorial Prize. His second book, Capital in the Anthropocene (Shueisha, 2020), has sold over 400,000 copies in Japan and received the Asia Book Award.
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Rating details

4.11 out of 5 stars
- 88 ratings
5 44% (39)
4 33% (29)
3 16% (14)
2 3% (3)
1 3% (3)
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