Book Review: What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism

what_every_environmentalistMagdoff, F., & Foster, J. B. (2011). What Every Environmentalist Needs To Know About Capitalism: A Citizen’s Guide to Capitalism and the Environment. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press.

Read the review by Bronislaw Szerszynski of Lancaster University, published in the Organization & Environment September issue:

The current book’s core argument is based on Marx’s insight that capitalism is an autonomous system that operates according to exchange value and profit, that it subordinates the needs of humans and nature to its imperative, and that it forces all within its orbit to behave according to its logic, whatever their social or ecological values or  concerns. A capitalist economy needs constant capital accumulation to survive, so has to grow continuously; but it can only secure profits by externalising much of the costs of production onto workers and nature, thus pressing inexorably against nature’s limits and undermining itsoae powers of self-reproduction. But, the authors insist, capitalism is also inefficient, tends to crisis and stagnation, and concentrates wealth in an elite. An ecologically and humanely sustainable society would have to be a socialist society, one based on small-scale production, democratic economic planning, and the meeting of basic human needs.

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This entry was posted in Book Review, Environmental and Social Issues and tagged , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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