The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or The End of the World?

Joel Kovel



xxvi+ 274 pages

9.5x 6.25 inches


Rs 475

For sale in India and South Asia only

The Enemy of Nature faces the harsh but inescapable conclusion that capitalism is the driving force behind the ecological crisis, and draws radical implications. Joel Kovel indicts capitalism, with its unrelenting pressure to expand, as both inherently ecodestructive and unreformable. He argues against the reigning orthodoxy that there can be no alternative to the capitalist 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 manifestation of 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 politics for their evasion of capital, advances a vision of ecological production as the successor 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, a society of freely associated producers for whom the earth is not an object to be owned and exploited, but the source of intrinsic value.

Joel Kovel has been Alger Hiss Professor of Social Studies at Bard College, Annandale, New York, since 1988. His recent 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).


“For those who have been waging a moral, organizational and academic struggle against the menacing trinity – the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization – Joel’s less-than- 300-page treatise is a precious possession.”

Sunday Herald