Kapitalismus und "natürliche Grenzen"
Eine kritische Diskussion ökomarxistischer Zugänge zur ökologischen Krise
In the face of climate change and peak oil, a concept of "natural limits" to societal development seems to be necessary for an appropriate understanding of the ecological crisis. Eco-Marxist approaches, like the ones of James O'Connor, Elmar Altvater and Ted Benton, have significantly contributed to develop such a concept. Particularly, they have contributed to dissolving respective discussions from their Malthusian roots and to defining natural limits as related to the capitalist mode of production. However, the eco-Marxist focus on the structural contradictions of capitalism affects its ability to understand the variety of societal relationships with nature which is possible within capitalism, and thus the modes through which the ecological contradictions of capitalism may be regulated. Furthermore, it neglects the various forms of the production of nature which do not necessary lead to natural limits but are nevertheless an issue of socio-ecological power and domination. In order to grasp the ecological crisis in a more comprehensive manner the eco-Marxist view thus has to be complemented by other approaches like critical political ecology and the concept of societal relationships with nature.