The Enemy of Nature
The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?
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About the author
Joel Kovel is Distinguished Professor of Social Studies at Bard College. He has written ten books, including the first edition of The Enemy of Nature (2002) and Overcoming Zionism (2007). He has edited the journal of radical ecology, Capitalism Nature Socialism, since 2003 and has been active in Green politics, running for the US Senate in 1998, and seeking the party's presidential nomination in 2000.
We live in and from nature, but the way we have evolved of doing this is about to destroy us. Capitalism and its by-products - imperialism, war, neoliberal globalization, racism, poverty and the destruction of community - are all playing a part in the destruction of our ecosystem.Only now are we beginning to realise the depth of the crisis and the kind of transformation which will have to occur to ensure our survival. This second, thoroughly updated, edition of The Enemy of Nature speaks to this new environmental awareness. Joel Kovel argues against claims that we can achieve a better environment through the current Western 'way of being'. By suggesting a radical new way forward, a new kind of 'ecosocialism', Joel Kovel offers real hope and vision for a more sustainable future.
; February 2008
352 pages; ISBN 9781848136595Read online
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Title: The Enemy of Nature
Author: Joel Kovel
In the press
'The Enemy of Nature is a challenging book, written with passion and eloquence. Its forcefully stressed core message is that "capital cannot be reformed: it either rules and destroys us, or is destroyed, so that we may have a lease on life". The underlying causes and their far-reaching implications are systematically explored, rich in detail and insights, leading to much needed radical conclusions. The book should be read by all those who are concerned about the survival of the human species.'Istvan Meszaros, author of ‘Marx‘s Theory of Alienation‘ and ‘Beyond Capital‘'Joel Kovel has brought us a persuasive, passionate and hopeful ecosocialist manifesto. He shows how problems from toxic pollution to globalized poverty reflect the inner logic of capitalism, and extends the lessons of Marxism and other radical traditions to illuminate a path toward an ethical and ecological revolution. This book offers much food for thought to all who seek a systemic understanding of today‘s social and ecological crises.'Brian Tokar, activist and author of Redesigning Life? and Earth for Sale'A necessary and timely book. Necessary because it openly declares capitalism as THE destroyer of the earth and all eco-systems. Timely, because it appears at a moment when more and more people are beginning to lose faith in capital‘s ability to solve the social and ecological crises. The book is a must for all those who are active in the international movement against corporate-driven globalization and who look for a perspective beyond capital‘s enslavement of nature and people.'Maria Mies, author and activist'The Enemy of Nature exposes better than any other single work the extent and depth of capitalism‘s global ecological destruction. This master work by Joel Kovel then pursues the necessary implications - including the opportunity and need to imagine an ecological socialist society. Kovel shows that the core conditions of such a society are the accession of quality over quantity and use-value over exchange-value, with the emancipatory possibilities these imply.'James O‘Connor, author of Natural Causes: Essays in Ecological Marxism'Full of insights into the relationship between ecological degradation and capitalist expansion, this is a must read for thinkers and activists.'Walden Bello, Executive Director, Focus on the Global South, Thailand'Joel Kovel has written a highly original and theoretically elegant argument that ecological crisis and capitalist exploitation of labour must be understood as two aspects of the same problem, and therefore remedies for ecological destruction require the destruction of capitalism. In the process, he puts forward an account of the ways the gendered separation of man from nature (woman) lies at the root of a masculinist capitalism. The abolition of patriarchy, then, becomes central to the ecosocialist project. In addition to this impressive reworking of Marxist theory, he offers a visionary program of practical political action.'Nancy Hartsock, Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington'Among the many benefits that have resulted from cessation of the Cold War is our freedom to criticize capitalism, openly and forcefully, without being labelled "communists," or worse. Joel Kovel takes strategic advantage of this development by indicting capital‘s dismal ecological record in a book that is sure to spawn lively and sensible debate.'Mark Dowie, author and former editor of Mother Jones'Anyone certain of capitalism‘s complete triumph has not as yet encountered Kovel ... who believes it possible as well as desirable to overthrow capitalism for a world ecosocialist regime with values'Library Journal'The ultimate antagonist of capital is not labor but nature. Is capitalism setting the state for ecosocialist uprising?'Ted Dace, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org'A highly valuable book.'Socialist Review