Ecology, Capital and History

Convened by Fred Murphy and Steve Knight

The MEP’s Ecosocialism Study Group will devote the spring 2019 term to a close reading of Jason W. Moore’s Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital and selected essays applying Moore’s world-ecology framework. Moore argues that the sources of today’s global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature.

FRED MURPHY and STEVE KNIGHT have co-led the Ecosocialism Study Group since 2016. Both are active in DSA’s climate justice work. Fred studied and taught historical sociology at The New School for Social Research. Steve reviews books for Marx & Philosophy and is active in faith-centered environmental groups.

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A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things

with Jason W. Moore

Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, governed, and devastated Earth. Jason W. Moore presents a new book authored with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things.

Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, Moore and Patel demonstrate that throughout the history of capitalism, crises have always prompted fresh efforts to restore the seven cheap things – regardless of the cost to working people and the environment. At a time of crisis in all seven cheap things, they propose radical new ways of understanding—and reclaiming—the planet in the turbulent twenty-first century.

Jason W. Moore teaches world history and world-ecology at Binghamton University, and is coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network. He is the author of Capitalism in the Web of Life and numerous award-winning essays in environmental history, political economy, and social theory.

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The Science and Politics of our Ecological Crisis

This eight-week course will examine our ecological crisis, the reasons for it and how we might find solutions to it. A Marxist approach will be taken to explain the origins of modern science as a cultural production of our socio-economic system, in order to examine the roots of our ecological crisis. Particular attention will be paid to the science, politics and economics of climate change and energy production. e course should interest anyone who would like to know more, or better understand, historical materialism as a methodology for understanding the world and our place in nature, situated in the context of climate change and 21st century capitalism.

CHRIS WILLIAMS is a long-time environmental activist and author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis (Haymarket, 2010). He chairs the Science Department at Packer Collegiate Institute and is an adjunct professor at Pace University in the Department of Chemistry and Physical Science. His has written in numerous US and international publications, and spoken across the country, while also appearing on radio and television new programs to discuss the science and politics of the ecological crisis, climate change and how we might effect change. He reported from Fukushima in 2012. He was awarded the Lannan 2013-4 Cultural Freedom Fellowship to continue this work and has spent the past year visiting Vietnam, Morocco, Bolivia and Kenya investigating development pathways in the context of climate change.

Suggested donation: $75 to $95
No one turned away for inability to pay

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