Friday, May 27, 2011
Embedding Environmentalism in Marxist Theory of Development
Environmentalism should be embedded in a Marxist theory of socioeconomic development like Kalecki's, revisited by Jayati Ghosh in "Michal Kalecki and the Economics of Development." The main question underlying Kalecki's theory, as Ghosh sums up, was this: "which groups in society (or outside) would bear the burden of increasing capital formation through reductions in consumption"? This question can and should be supplemented by anthropocentric environmental concerns, i.e. quality of life questions: Which groups in society (or outside) would bear the burden of increasing capital formation through reductions in the environmental quality of life? Which groups in society (or outside) would bear the burden of increasing the environmental quality of life through reductions in consumption? Explicitly asked thus, the fact that it's all a matter of politically determined trade-offs becomes clear. Such an approach would be more useful to leftists actively involved in governments, political parties, and social movements than an approach that seeks to develop an enviro-Marxist crisis theory.