Ecosocialism and the Problem of Industrialism

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2 Scopus citations


At the core of ecosocialist theory and politics is a critique of “productivism” — particularly aimed against the actually existing socialist states and their dismal environmental record, thereby allowing ecosocialists to direct attention away from key questions about what industrial production would look like under ecosocialist social relations. Most ecosocialist writing emphasizes repairing the ecological conditions of production and promoting the most obviously sustainable forms of production (e.g., agroecology and renewable energy). The heart of any socialist project is about radically transforming and democratizing production — and this requires putting “ecology” at the heart of theories of the relations and forces of production. Thus, ecosocialism must be “productivist” in the sense that questions of production must be at the forefront (but not in the sense that maximizing production for production’s sake). Ecosocialist politics also requires confronting more thorny problems of how to build socialism out of the material conditions that confront us (involving the production of things like steel, cement, minerals, and more).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-563
Number of pages18
JournalScience and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Development
  • Ecological Sustainability
  • Ecosocialism
  • Forces of Production
  • Industrial Production
  • Productivism
  • Relations of Production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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