Part of the SAGE Social Thinkers series, this brief and clearly–written book provides a concise introduction to the work, life, and influences of Karl Marx, one of the most revered, reviled, and misunderstood figures in modern history. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the full range of Marx’s major themes—alienation, economics, social class, capitalism, communism, materialism, environmental sustainability—and considers the extent to which they are relevant today. It is ideal for use as a self-contained volume or in conjunction with other sociological theory textbooks.

Capitalism and the Environment

Capitalism and the Environment
Capitalism and the Environment

Marx has not been known for his environmental critique of capitalism. He hypothesized that the accumulation dynamics of capitalism would not be environmentally sustainable. Marx’s comments on capitalism and the environment and his analysis of capitalist accumulation have influenced the development of what is now called ecological Marxism. Ecological Marxism is not actually new since Marx and Marxists other than contemporary ones realized that capitalist accumulation had environmental implications. Contemporary ecological Marxism has made an explicit attempt to show that Marx’s theory of capitalist accumulation has environmental implications, and it has also deepened and widened the study of capitalism as a cause of environmental decay.

In short, Marx’s theory of how capitalism causes environmental decay is as follows. ...

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