Ecology, Socialism and the Mastery of Nature: A Reply to Reiner Grundmann
Reiner Grundmann’s ‘The Ecological Challenge to Marxism’  nlr 187, May–June 1991, pp. 103–20. Subsequent references appear in parenthesis in the text. is very much to be welcomed as a well-argued and challenging contribution to a debate that is clearly quite central for the Left today. I think it is especially valuable for its defence of the metaphor of ‘domination’ or ‘mastery’ over nature, as a feature positively to be preserved in an ecologically informed socialism. As I shall try to make clear, I think Grundmann is wrong about this, but, at the same time, his argument cuts through a lot of sloppy thinking in the ‘ecocentric’ camp, and makes some useful conceptual clarifications. Since Grundmann refers extensively to my own ‘Marxism and Natural Limits’,  nlr 178, November–December 1989, pp. 51–86. Subsequent references appear in parenthesis in the text. I hope I will be forgiven for commenting on Grundmann’s contribution partly in the form of a reply to his criticisms.
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