The Rift in the Metabolism of Nature and Society


Christian Stache interviews John Bellamy Foster on the “irreparable rift in the interdependent process of metabolism between nature and society”

MR online | 24 February, 2017

Greenscape of Che Guevara

You and your colleague Paul Burkett just released your new book Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique (Brill 2016, Haymarket 2017). The subtitle classifies your new book as an “Anti-Critique.” To whom do you reply and, most importantly, why do you answer them?

JBF: A little history is in order here. Since the 1980s there has emerged, first in the United States/Canada and Europe, and now all around the world, what is known as the ecosocialist or ecological Marxist movement.

What Paul Burkett and I call first-stage ecosocialism grafted Green ideas on Marxism, or sometimes Marxist ideas on Green theory, creating a hybrid, or Centaur-like analysis. Pioneering thinkers such as Ted Benton, Andre Gorz, and James O’Connor faulted Marx and Engels for the ecological blinders, or even anti-ecological bases, of their thought. It was sometimes said that Marx had gone overboard in his rejection of Malthusian natural limits. In general, first-stage ecosocialism developed under the hegemony of Green theory. Although Marxism contributed the class or labor perspective the main ecological critique was seen as coming almost entirely from outside rather than from within historical materialism itself. Some, though not all, first-stage ecosocialists were very adamant in arguing that ecosocialism had displaced classical Marxism, freeing them from what they saw as many negative aspects of socialist traditions. Ecosocialism in such cases thus became a kind of negation of classical socialism.Read More »

Collapse of the Soviet block and the revival of Socialism: lessons for the strengthening of Socialism

by Bankie Forster Bankie

Pambazuka News | 02 March, 2017

Read More »

Mozambique: IMF, austerity and inequality 4

by Joseph Hanlon

Pambazuka News | 02 March, 2017

Getty Images

For four years, IMF head Christine Lagarde has taken a lead in stressing that inequality reduces economic growth, most recently speaking at Davos in January. This triggered articles such as “The IMF is showing some hypocrisy on inequality” by Christopher Sheil and Frank Stilwell, who argue that “IMF leaders should practise what they preach when it comes to inequality.” One response is an IMF blog by Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry, entitled appropriately “Bridging Research and Reality”.Read More »

Canada Uses Money Meant for Indigenous Kids on Mining Instead

telesur | 02 March, 2017

Instead of spending millions devoted to supporting Indigenous communities, Canada is spending a portion on promoting mining development in their territories, according to an investigation published Thursday.

Canada’s Indigenous and northern affairs minister, Carolyn Bennett, said in an interview in January that almost US$150 million are being spent on Indigenous initiatives, but a closer look at documents by Press Progress showed that the sum is exaggerated and that some is siphoned off into programs meant to win and pressure Indigenous communities into complying with mining projects.

Parliament set aside US$53 million last year to address a ruling that showed that Indigenous children were discriminated against in the budget. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, however, found that that gap was twice as big.Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro Vows to Expand Food Distribution Program to 6 Million Families

by RYAN MALLETT-OUTTRIM | 02 March, 2017

President Nicolas Maduro inaugurating a new CLAP packaging facility in Sucre state. (AVN)

President Nicolas Maduro inaugurating a new CLAP packaging facility in Sucre state. (AVN)

Puebla, Mexico, March 2 2017 ( – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday plans to expand his government’s flagship anti-scarcity program to cover 6 million families.

“I want us to take a firm step, and to think big,” Maduro told state media.

The program, the Local Provision and Production Committees (CLAPs) currently cover 5,734,705 households across the country, according to government figures. Maduro said his government aims to reach the goal of 6 million by March 12. That date will mark the one year anniversary of the founding of the CLAPs.

Read More »