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Humans, nature and dialectical materialism

Humans, nature and dialectical materialism

Yurchenko, Yuliya (2020) Humans, nature and dialectical materialism. Capital and Class, 45 (1). pp. 33-43. ISSN 0309-8168 (Print), 2041-0980 (Online) (doi:

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Capitalist relations are the crucial object of social critique due to their innate tendency to accelerate the metabolic rift and alienation yet, I argue, our focus should stretch beyond capitalist relations. Indeed, both ecocidal and conservationist tendencies have occurred in multiple historical forms of social relations, including socialist societies e.g. USSR. These are phenomena that reiterate the social, rather than purely capitalist relations as the driver of environmental destruction. Metabolic rifts occur due to malfunctioning of the human-human/human-nature relationships and it is the elimination and prevention of that malfunctioning that must be the aim of radical environmental politics and policies, not merely (the necessary) elimination of capitalist relations. The paper contributes to the symposium in three complementary ways. First, it critiques the application of dialectical reading of human-nature relations as articulated in the Foster-Moore debate in its own right. Secondly, it rearticulates that reading through the lens of the dialectical biospheric analytics of late Soviet ecology. And third, it invokes the dialectical thought of Evald Ilyenkov.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marx, metabolic rift, Ilyenkov, ecology, decolonisation, dialectics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA)
Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA) > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
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Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 12:52

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