Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PS on Marx and ecology

In my last post I quoted Netz accusing Marx of not understanding ecology, and therefore of not understanding history. I want to clarify that I don't think that Netz is saying that Marx never attempted to think ecology, merely that his thoughts were at least not enough, and at worst incorrect. As most know, Marx certainly advanced a thought of ecology in his concept of Stoffwechsel (metabolism). While Netz doesn't talk about this concept at all (and, in general, doesn't spend a lot of the book talking about Marx), I would certainly agree that Marx's notion of Stoffwechsel remains far too anthropocentric. Both in his earlier works (principally the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts) and his later works (principally in Capital, vols one and three). I am not saying that from Marx we cannot work a strong thought of ecology (and therefore history). I am saying that the concept, in Marx, remains impossibly anthropocentric and woefully insufficient.