The Enemy of Nature

The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?

Joel Kovel

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The Enemy of Nature faces the hars but increasingly inescapable conclusion that capitalism is the driving force behind the ecological crisis, and draws the radical implications. Joel Kovel noted scholar and author, also public speaker and green compaigner indicts capitalis, with its unrelenting pressure to expand, as both inherently ecodesturctive and unreformable. He argues against the reigning orthodoxy that there can be no alternative to the capitalism system, not because this orthodoxy is weak, but because submission to it is suicidal as well as unworthy of human beings. Kovel sees capital as not just an economic system but as the present manifestationof an ancient rupture between humanity and nature. This widening of scope is given theoretical weight in the second part of the work, which develops a positive synthesis between Marxism, ecofeminism and the philosophy of nature. Then Kovel turns to `what is to be done? He criticizes existing ecological politcs for their evasion of capital, advances a vision of ecologicla production as the succesor to capitalist production, and develops the principles for realizing this, as an `ecosocialism', in the context of anti-globalization politics. He sees, prefigured in present struggle, the outlines of a society of freely associated producers for whom the earth is no longer an object to be owned and exploited, but the source of intrinsic value.
The Enemy of Nature is written in the spirit of the great radical motto: `Be realistic - demand the impossible ! Its author dares to think the unthinkable-we have a choice: capitalist barbarism and ecocatastrophe, or the building of a society worthy of humanity and nature.

Joel Kovel

Joel Kovel has been Alger Hiss Professor of Social Studies at Bard College, Annandale, New York, since 1988. His books include Red Hunting in the Promised Land (1997), History and Spirit (1998), In Nicaragua (1988), The Radical Spirit: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Society (1988), White Racism: A Psychohistory (1984), and The Age of Desire (1981).