Natural Causes: Essays in Ecological Marxism

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9781572302730: Natural Causes: Essays in Ecological Marxism
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Economic growth since the Industrial Revolution has been achieved at great cost both to the natural environment and to the autonomy of communities. What can a Marxist perspective contribute to understanding this disturbing legacy, and mitigating its impact on future generations? Renowned social theorist James O'Connor shows how the policies and imperatives of business and government influence--and are influenced by--environmental and social change. Probing the relationship between economy, nature, and society, O'Connor argues that environmental and social crises pose a growing threat to capitalism itself. These illuminating essays and case studies demonstrate the power of ecological Marxist analysis for understanding our diverse environmental and social history, for grounding economic behavior in the real world, and for formulating and evaluating new political strategies.

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About the Author:

James O'Connor, PhD, is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology, and Director of the Center for Political Ecology in Santa Cruz, California. He is retired from teaching sociology, economics, and environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Introduction I. History and Nature Introduction to Part I 1. Culture, Nature, and the Materialist Conception of History 2. What Is Environmental History? Why Environmental History? 3. Three Ways to Look at the Ecological History and Cultural Landscapes of Monterey Bay 4. The Nature of Construction and the Construction of Nature at Fall Creek, Felton, California, 1860 1990: A Script 5. The Sales of Two Cities: Chicago and Los Angeles II. Capitalism and Nature Introduction to Part II 6. Some Observations on "Ecological Crisis" 7. The Conditions of Production and the Production of Conditions 8. The Second Contradiction of Capitalism, with an Addendum on the Two Contradictions of Capitalism 9. On Capitalist Accumulation and Economic and Ecological Crisis 10. Uneven and Combined Development and Ecological Crisis 11. Technology and Ecology 12. Murder on the Orient Express: The Political Economy of the Gulf War 13. British Rule in Shetland 14. Is Sustainable Capitalism Possible? III. Socialism and Nature Introduction to Part III 15. Socialism and Ecology 16. A Red Green Politics in the United States? 17. Flatland Politics 18. Think Globally, Act Locally? Toward an International Red-Green Movement 19. Ecology Movements and the State 20. The New Global Economy and One Alternative 21. What Is Ecological Socialism?

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