Marxism and the Environment: A View From the Periphery

Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS, volume 19)


The emergence of the Green Movement in Europe has focused attention on the environment as the most neglected aspect of Marxist theory. The Greens’ message is important for a number of reasons. First, they represent a new constellation of forces on the Left. Unlike the peace movement of the 1960s, the anti-nuclear movement in Europe today, by incorporating radical ecology and the feminist critique of patriarchy, seeks to problematise industrial society itself. Secondly, at another, deeper level the Green Movement is both a product of Marxism and a challenge to Marxism. The new ecological politics is a logical, if unexpected, outcome of Marxism’s attachment to the institutional forms and processes of monopoly capitalism. From a Green perspective the ‘growth model’ which lies at the heart of industrial capitalism is shared by Left and Right. The issues of alienation from work and the socially engineered dependence on the consumption of unnecessary goods are seldom raised by the orthodox Left, but they are central planks in the Green alternative (Bahro 1982a, 1982b; Gorz, 1982).


Political Economy Industrial Society Ecological Politics Green Movement Environmental Crisis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Gareth Rees, Janet Bujra, Paul Littlewood, Howard Newby, and Teresa L. Rees 1985

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