Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature

Foster, John Bellamy | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Foster, John Bellamy. Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000. Western Marxism of the 1960s and 1970s had a definite anti-naturalistic intellectual bias. In his book, Foster tries to reconstruct a different Marxist tradition by looking at the origins of mid-nineteenth-century social and scientific thought. In his view, Marx could have been one of the founding fathers of the ecological movement if there had not been two misinterpretations. One came from intellectuals like Lukács, Korsch, Adorno, Horkheimer, and Gramsci who read Marx in the idealistic tradition of Neo-Kantianism or Lebensphilosophie, in strong opposition to positivism and scientism. This Western reading was complemented by a crude mechanistic interpretation of Marx which prevailed in communist Eastern Europe. The “real” Marx disappeared between these two alternatives with the consequence that he remains absent from the gallery of environmentalist thinkers. (Text adapted from an H-Net Review by Rolf Peter Sieferle.)