After Neoliberalism: From Eco-Marxism to Ecological Civilisation, Part 2

Capitalism Nature Socialism 32 (2021)
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Abstract

This is Part 2 of an article aimed at defending Marx against orthodox Marxists to reveal the possibilities for overcoming capitalism. It is argued that Marx’s general theory of history is inconsistent with his profound insights into alienation and commodity fetishism as the foundations of capitalism. Humanist Marxists focused on the latter in opposition to Orthodox Marxists, but without fully acknowledging this inconsistency and its implications, failed to realize the full potential of Marx’s work. The outcome has been the triumph of “neoliberalism”, effectively a synthesis of the worst aspects of capitalism with Soviet managerialism. In Part 1 of this article I critiqued orthodox Marxism and utilized recent scholarship examining the penultimate drafts of Capital to reinterpret his work. The legacy of orthodox Marxism is still standing in the way of efforts to replace capitalism, however. In Part 2 I argue that the call for an “ecological civilization” brings into focus what is required: a realistic vision of the future based on ecological concepts.

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