| The Green Marx. Democratising Society’s Relation to Nature

The critique of Marx put forward by parts of the environmentalist movement and subsequently the Green Party targeted a central aspect of Marxian theory.[1] Marx’s notion presented in the Foreword to the ‘Critique of Political Economy’, according to which the development of the productive forces is determined by social relations, was interpreted by environmentalists in the sense that Marx simply favoured endless economic growth, a permanent expansion of man’s technological domination of the natural world allowing for the infinite appropriation of natural resources. From this perspective, socialism seemed to imply that the abolishment of capitalist ownership relations would mark only the beginning of unrestricted technological development. The result would be ever-increasing consumption, continuous destruction of the environment, and a depletion of natural resources robbing future generations of the latter. Despite the good intentions on behalf of humankind, the destruction of nature would ultimately bring suffering upon humans as well.
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