John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review and a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. His most recent books are The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology ( 2020) and The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift (with Brett Clark, 2020) — both published by Monthly Review Press.
By Kai Heron, John Bellamy Foster, Thea Riofrancos, Lavinia Steinfort, Giorgos Kallis, Max Ajl, Brian Tokar, Hilary Moore, ROAR Magazine
COVID-19 has forced a re-evaluation of nearly every aspect of how we fight for social and ecological justice. Yet, when it comes to the issue of climate change it can seem as if the virus has changed everything without changing anything at all.
By John Bellamy Foster, Vaios Triantafyllou, TruthOut
Capitalism is not just a system, it is a system of social relations and socio-metabolic processes, and we have to change many of those relations and processes radically from within and very quickly in order to deal with the current ecological emergency.
By John Bellamy Foster, The Great Transition
Socialist thought is re-emerging at the forefront of the movement for global ecological and social change.
By John Bellamy Foster, MRzine
China's environmental problems are massive and growing, but the Chinese leadership has made significant steps toward a more sustainable development. This emphasis has emerged out of a broad socialist perspective, influenced by both Marxian analysis and China's own distinct history, culture, and vernacular.
By Samar Bagchi, John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review
Marx and Engels were acutely aware of the waste and environmental destruction that capitalism brought, as they indicated in numerous passages, though they could not “envisage the [full] ecological catastrophe that a constantly expanding industrial society can ensue.” It is commonplace for critics of Marx and Engels on ecology to point their finger at the tragedy of the Soviet Union and the damage it inflicted on its environment (in which the Soviet Union, unfortunately, was hardly unique). But the Soviet Union in the 1920s had the most developed ecological science in the world and was extremely advanced in introducing ecological practices. All of this, however, was obliterated in the subsequent purge under Stalin.
By John Bellamy Foster, MRzine
The Occupy Wall Street movement arose in response to the economic crisis of capitalism, and the way in which the costs of this were imposed on the 99 percent rather than the 1 percent. But "the highest expression of the capitalist threat," as Naomi Klein has said, is its destruction of the planetary environment. So it is imperative that we critique that as well. (Also - video of a talk by Fred Magdoff)
By John Bellamy Foster, Richard York, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Environmentalists, especially in wealthy countries, have often approached the question of environmental sustainability by stressing population and technology, while deemphasizing the middle term in the well-known IPAT (environmental Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology) formula. The reasons for this are not difficult to see. Within capitalist society, there has always been a tendency to blame anything but the economic system itself for ecological overshoot.
By John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review
...a global ecological revolution worthy of the name can only occur as part of a larger social—and I would insist, socialist—revolution. Such a revolution, were it to generate the conditions of equality, sustainability, and human freedom worthy of a genuine Great Transition, would necessarily draw its major impetus from the struggles of working populations and communities at the bottom of the global capitalist hierarchy...