The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction
AbstractToday 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.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.
Click here to purchase a PDF version of this article at the Monthly Review website.
Review of the Month
Please see here for reprint requests.