Ecosocialist Bookshelf — March 2023

April 7, 2023
Ecosocialist bookshelf

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus presents eight new books on science, society and socialism.

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Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism
By Kohei Saito
Cambridge University Press, 2022
The author of Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism digs further into Marx’s unpublished notebooks and offers a controversial interpretation of his views on nature, ecology and economic growth. Saito’s conclusions are already being widely debated by left-wing scholars. Not an easy read, but an important contribution to ecosocialist thought.

Human Prehistory: Exploring the Past to Understand the Future
By Deborah Barsky
Cambridge University Press, 2023
A concise overview of human prehistory and what it can tell us about the possibility of a sustainable future for all life. Barsky offers a long-term evolutionary perspective on the relationship between human culture and technology, showing how our history has brought us to today’s crises.

Banzeiro Òkòtó: The Amazon as the Centre of the World
By Eliane Brum
Greywolf Press, 2023
Eliane Brum moved from São Paulo to Altamira, a city along the Xingu River that has been devastated by the construction of one of the largest dams in the world, to build relationships with forest peoples who carry both the scars and the resistance of the forest in their bodies. She reveals the direct links between structural inequities rooted in gender, race, class, and even species, and the suffering that capitalism and climate breakdown wreak on those who are least responsible for them. Translated from Portuguese by Diane Whitty.

The Ruthless Critique of Everything Existing: Nature and Revolution in Marcuse’s Philosophy of Praxis
By Andrew Feenberg
Verso Books, 2023
In the 1960s and 1970s, Marcuse was a leading philosopher of the “new left.” Feenberg, his student and friend, provides a clear account of the strengths and weaknesses of his ideas, and argues that they are relevant to today’s fight to stop ecological decay and destruction.

Parasites — The Inside Story
By Scott L. Gardner, Judy Diamond, & Gabor Racz
Princeton University Press, 2022
Parasites — animals that live inside other animals — are the most abundant form of life on Earth. Some are harmful, many are vital to the hosts’ existence. Parasites offer clues to the evolutionary history of particular regions, and they can provide insights into the history of species interactions. In this readable and well-illustrated account, The authors show how parasites survive and evolve, and how they influence and provide stability to ecosystems.

No Miracles Needed: How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air
By Mark Z. Jacobsen
Cambridge University Press, 2023
Jacobsen has argued before that existing energy technology is sufficient to entirely replace fossil fuels and stop the headlong plunge into climate chaos. This book expands his analysis, offering a blueprint for a world than runs on renewable energy, using technology that is available and affordable today. Valuable reading on technology, but weak on how we can overcome the social and political forces that are resisting change.

A Social Ecology Of Capital
By Éric Pineault
Pluto Press
Why does capitalism need constant growth, and how does that intensify the socio-ecological contradictions of modern society? In this ambitious attempt at synthesis between ecological Marxism and feminist ecological economics, Éric Pineault critiques contemporary capitalist growth as both a biophysical and accumulation process.

Frattura Metabolica E Antropocene: Saggi sulla distruzione capitalistica della natura
(Metabolic Rift and the Anthropocene: Essays on Capitalism’s Destruction of Nature)
Akessandro Cocuzza & Giuseppe Sottile, editors
Edizioni Smasher, 2023
Italian translations of thirteen ecosocialist essays by John Bellamy Foster, Ian Angus, Paul Burkett, and others, on Marxism, metabolic rift and capitalism’s assault on humanity and nature.

[Reprinted from Climate and Capitalism. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement.]

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