Interpret Crosby's thesis of ecological imperialism in light of Marx's critique of capitalism

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Marx thus argued,  But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more (Manifesto, 480).

Capitalism has always taken great pride in the fact that it allows greater mobility of labor and other resources. However what it fails to understand is that robbing one nation of its resources with this mobility leads to serious ecological damage to that country. When labor and resources move from East to West, does it not affect the Eastern countries in any manner? Of course it does. Their resources are depleting rapidly, brain drain is a serious problem and their concentration in particular areas in foreign countries is also resulting in serious issues. Marx furiously discussed this in his work Capital when he talked about colonization and the resulting plunder:

 The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of blackskins, are all things which characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. (Capital, p. 915)

Ecological damage is grounded in resource depletion and density of population. You can have 10,000 over a 1000 acre land and this might not hurt the ecological balance but when you have the same number of people on 10 acre land, the balance is seriously disturbed as water, minerals, and other resources of a very small area are constantly being used up. This is what happened during the colonization process. Only some nations were constantly being robbed of their natural resources while nothing was coming from European countries. It must always be a two-way flow of resources because when its one-way, it leads to multifarious environmental and ecological problems. It is for this reason that Accion Ecologica argues  it s time to shut off the tap to stem the  unjust flow of energy, natural resources, food, cheap labour and financial resources from the South to the North. (No More Plunder, 1999)


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"Interpret Crosby's Thesis Of Ecological Imperialism In Light Of Marx's Critique Of Capitalism" (2007, October 11) Retrieved June 29, 2015, from

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