The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction

Authors

  • John Bellamy Foster
  • Brett Clark

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-061-06-2009-10_1

Keywords:

Ecology, Marxism

Abstract

Today orthodox economics is reputedly being harnessed to an entirely new end: saving the planet from the ecological destruction wrought by capitalist expansion. It promises to accomplish this through the further expansion of capitalism itself, cleared of its excesses and excrescences. A growing army of self-styled "sustainable developers" argues that there is no contradiction between the unlimited accumulation of capital — the credo of economic liberalism from Adam Smith to the present — and the preservation of the earth. The system can continue to expand by creating a new "sustainable capitalism," bringing the efficiency of the market to bear on nature and its reproduction. In reality, these visions amount to little more than a renewed strategy for profiting on planetary destruction.

Published

2009-11-01

Issue

Section

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