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Event Series Event Series: Reading Marx in the Anthropocene

Reading Marx in the Anthropocene

Tue, June 20, 2023 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Free – $80

Marx in the Anthropocene book coverAn eight-week reading group centered on Kohei Saito’s newly published Marx in the Anthropocene: Toward the Idea of Degrowth Communism, with side glances at Saito’s critics and further elaborations of the notion of “degrowth communism.” Saito’s book, says Gareth Dale, offers us “the next step in a transformation of our understanding of ‘Marx’s ecology.’ For his Marx, human society arises from nature: it is simultaneously of it and against it, in that humans are conscious of their relationship to nature and consciously shape it, in a relationship that develops historically. The term that captures this is metabolism, referring to humanity’s interaction with nature through social labor—a relationship that becomes increasingly riven the more it is subsumed under capital.” Through a close examination of Marx’s unpublished notes on natural science and anthropology from the 1870s, Saito uncovers Marx’s late recognition that the productive forces “do not automatically prepare the material foundation for new post-capitalist society but rather exacerbate the robbery of nature.” Thus he presents us with a Marx who in his final years was effectively advocating “degrowth communism.”

Facilitated by Fred Murphy, who has led numerous MEP study groups on Marxism, ecosocialism, science and technology, and Latin American history and politics.