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still working towards clarity

Thanks for being patient with me, and having the willingness to work through this conversation.

It seems we're all on the same page that anything short of communist revolution will not secure the existence of ecological society. We may make progress in the reforms we might win in the mean time, but only by putting an end to a society based on endless production (and correspondingly endless consumption) can we return to contributing to a world of expanding biological complexity and diversity. In this way, though, we see how the emancipation of labor from capital is necessary for an ecological society. My question, however, was the opposite; is the reverse true? Are ecological struggles strategically important for the overthrow of capital?

If they're not, and the answer to my question is no, and having already established that the overthrow of capital can lay the foundation for an ecological society, then we aren't we wasting our time with ecological struggles? Shouldn't we, then, only concentrate our energy on struggles that immediately concern labor?

That's the conundrum we face.

As I said above, I don't think the answer is no in part and specifically because of your comment on ecological "need," but I'll take a look at that article by Foster and Clark. Foster, however, (I'm not familiar with Clark) seems to be one of those Malthusians that Goldner describes in the article I provided the link for above. I've read a hand full of articles by Foster plus his book, "Marx's Ecology" and hid basic premise is the quantitative limits of the biological world as opposed to its qualitative unfolding. This sort of methodology based on quantitative limits corresponds to the politics of command and even austerity that you describe and oppose in your article. Even still, I've found Foster's articles rich in empirical data, which is a necessary component of objective investigation and the Marxist method.

Foster seems unable to separate the concrete from the abstract; the abstract being the unfolding potential of, in this case, nature. Seeing only nature's concrete existence, his method leads us to the environmental politics of conservation, which is only a reform (and an unwinnable one at that) that seeks coexistence within capital. It's similar to what Lenin tried to explain in What Is To Be Done? Communist/Socialist work isn't only what we can win today, but it's a higher stage that is only a potential today. It's the difference between empiricism and a dialectical analysis of the concrete and the abstract, the difference between a communism of the welfare state, and a communism of the unfettered productive forces of labor; a communism of consumption or a communism of production.

I've found Murray Bookchin's work to be a good alternative to that sort of quantitative methodology. His philosophy of social ecology is based on the concrete unfolding complexity of the biological world, which he explains through the concept of evolution. Have you read Bookchin? If so, what do you make of him? I think his dialectical methodology is pretty important.


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