Brian Tokar, Earth for Sale
Boston: South End Press, 1997
“Market efficiency has been achieved by drawing upon nature’s reserves as if they were limitless,” Altvater argues, explaining that:
A “positive feedback mechanism” may thus be set up between the economic system and nature. Interest-rate signals force the production of a surplus through the overexploitation of natural resources. The degraded natural basis of production and consumption then makes it more difficult to achieve profits commensurate with the rate of interest. The debt crisis has negative ecological effects, while the degradation of nature intensifies the debt crisis.
47. Elmar Altvater, The Future of the Market (London and New York: Verso, 1993) p. 183 ff.
A California-based school of “socialist ecologists” has also demonstrated the anti-ecological nature of capitalist economics and capitalist society. Under the theoretical leadership of political economist James O’Connor, they have shown that environmental pollution and resource depletion are necessary consequences of capitalist accumulation.
Their Marxist political orientation, however, has restrained their full acceptance of an ecological
orientation that acknowledges the natural world as more than an “external factor of production,” or human
society as capable of being organized around anything but its economic activity. See, for example, James O’Connor, “Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Theoretical Introduction,” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, no. 1, fall 1988, pp. 11-38