John Bellamy Foster

John Bellamy Foster argues that understanding how the transmission of viruses between species occurs is crucial to grasping the full dimensions of the overall metabolic crisis affecting humanity.

On October 18, about 200 students held a “Save Political Economy” demonstration at the University of Sydney, organised by the Political Economy Students Society (EcopSoc). The university administration is considering abolishing political economy as a separate department. The department was established in the 1970s after a big campaign of protests and occupations by students and staff who wanted economics courses that taught a wide range of theories — not just the right-wing orthodoxy.
John Bellamy Foster is renowned Marxist economist and ecologist, and an editor of Monthly Review. He was a featured guest speaker at the , which Green Left Weekly co-organised in Melbourne over September 30-October 3.
The financial reform legislation just passed by Congress was proclaimed by US President Barack Obama as “the toughest financial reform since the ones we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression”. This is a kind of doublespeak. The entire thrust of financial reform in the decades since the 1930s has been toward financial deregulation. Being the toughest financial reform measure by that standard merely means that it didn’t give the house away.
Six months ago the United States was already deep in a financial crisis. Yet, the conditions now are several orders of magnitude worse and are affecting the entire world.
Ecology is often seen as a recent invention. But the idea that capitalism degrades the environment in a way that disproportionately affects the poor and the colonised was already expressed in the 19th century in the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.
During the last year the global warming debate has reached a turning point. Due to the media hype surrounding Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a new assessment by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate sceptics have suffered a major defeat.
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