Marxism and Natural Limits: A Rejoinder
I want to extend gratitude to Ted Benton for his thoughtful reply which, as always, raises many important questions. This rejoinder begins by explaining why I chose Benton's 1989 article as an object of critique, and by responding to his complaint about the argumentative style of my work. I then consider the question of alternative ‘readings’ of Marx and Engels – a discussion which acts as a kind of bridge to our substantive disagreements. In terms of the latter, I proceed to show that Benton does not effectively respond to my argument that his interpretation and critique of Marx and Engels suffer from a material/social dualism that is inconsistent with the dialectical approach developed by the founders of Marxism. Due to their crucial importance for ecology and Marxism, Benton's replies on the labour-process, natural conditions, and eco-regulation are treated in a separate section. I conclude with a brief discussion of ecology and class.