A Rational Agriculture Is Incompatible with Capitalism

Authors

  • Fred Magdoff

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-066-10-2015-03_1

Keywords:

Agriculture, Capitalism, Ecology, Political Economy

Abstract

From humanitarian and ecological viewpoints, many aspects of the capitalist economic system are irrational; although they are certainly rational from the more limited standpoint of the individual business or capitalist seeking to make profits.… With regard to the environment there are scores of examples of irrational behavior by capitalist businesses that have the ultimate goal of making profits. Many practices and side effects of the way the system functions degrade the ecosystem and its processes on which we depend and may also directly harm humans. For example, it is not rational to introduce chemicals into the environment, including into products we use daily, that are either toxic or cause illnesses of various types. Yet there are over 80,000 chemicals used in the United States; few of them are tested for their effects on people or other species, and many commonly used ones are suspected to be carcinogens or have other detrimental effects.

Published

2015-03-01

Issue

Section

Articles