The Ecological Opportunity
Edited by Blandine Laperche, Nadine Levratto and Dimitri Uzunidis
Chapter 9: Capital Accumulation, Crisis and Return to Nature?
Dimitrios Patelis INTRODUCTION The problem of nature and its relationship with society becomes of great significance in the context of contemporary globalized capitalism, especially under conditions of global, systemic and structural economic and ecological crisis. Can nature be viewed as independent of its historically defined interaction with society, as independent of the transformation of nature through labour, in order to adapt nature to human needs? What is the specific relationship between the capitalist mode of production, capital accumulation and nature? Is there any way out of the crisis through a new technological model of production? Is an ecological growth strategy a way out of the economic and ecological crisis? Is the policy of a ‘Green New Deal’ able to achieve ideological hegemony in society? I am convinced that scientific answers on the above questions can be given as a result of theoretical and methodological investigation of these problems, from the point of view of dialectical social philosophy and political economy. This chapter aims to analyse the concept of nature and natural resources, the theoretical and methodological criteria of periodizaton and the characteristics of the contemporary stage of capitalism. It also aims to provide a framework for discussing the necessity of technological restructuring of capital, taking into account the crisis and the contradictions of scientific and technological progress in contemporary capitalism. In this chapter the philosophical concept of nature in relationship with society and the developing interaction between the two is briefly defined. The economic dimension of nature, the function of...
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