chapter  7
16 Pages

Anti-capitalist economics

We could roughly characterize the discussion in the chapters so far as representing a movement along a continuum from a scientistic and market-focused economics towards a more intuitive and people-centred approach. This chapter is somewhat different. It describes the way that economists in a distinct tradition – broadly following the critical political economy of Karl Marx – have brought the environment into their worldview. It also includes others who, while they have been influenced by Marxist thinking, would not be comfortable being identified as part of this tradition. The fact that both these contributions have been brought together in one chapter is largely a question of convenience, and does not imply that they share a worldview. What the writers included in this chapter share is a view that the source of the environmental problem is to be found in the structure of the globalized capitalist economy, and particularly in the issue of who owns and controls its powerful economic organizations. Thus we will find a repeated emphasis on the excessive power of corporations and the impact this power has on the inequitable distribution of resources and the democratic deficit that characterizes both economic and political relations in the twenty-first century.