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Ecological Leninism

Adam Tooze: Drill, baby, drill, 18 November 2021

... of publications – three books in the space of a year – from the historian and climate activist Andreas Malm is as a sustained challenge to this complacent historical framing of our present condition. The historical analogy he prefers to draw is with the First World War and its aftermath, a world defined by the upheaval of revolution and the violence ...

A Coal Mine for Every Wildfire

James Butler: Where are the ecoterrorists?, 18 November 2021

... the facts can be paralysing. How to Blow Up a Pipeline, one of a number of recent books by Andreas Malm, opens by quoting an observation made in the LRB by John Lanchester (22 March 2007) that terrorism had thus far been markedly absent from the climate movement.* That might have been a sign of the times. There was little appetite in the years ...

The Capitalocene

Benjamin Kunkel: The Anthropocene, 2 March 2017

The Birth of the Anthropocene 
by Jeremy Davies.
California, 240 pp., £24.95, June 2016, 978 0 520 28997 0
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Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital 
by Jason Moore.
Verso, 336 pp., £19.99, August 2015, 978 1 78168 902 8
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Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam-Power and the Roots of Global Warming 
by Andreas Malm.
Verso, 496 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 78478 129 3
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... come from authors who reject the term. Jason Moore in Capitalism in the Web of Life and Andreas Malm in Fossil Capital have overlapping criticisms of what Moore calls ‘the Anthropocene argument’. Its defect, as Moore sees it, is to present humanity as a ‘homogeneous acting unit’, when in fact human beings are never to be found in a ...

Protest Problems

Jan-Werner Müller: Civil Repression, 8 February 2024

... is the best strategy for defeating the fossil fuel industry; the climate theorist and activist Andreas Malm doesn’t think it is.)In the 1960s, mainstream liberal philosophers such as John Rawls recognised the legitimacy of breaking the law in a spectacular fashion to sway majorities; in the early 1980s, Jürgen Habermas defended resorting to illegal ...

How Green Is Russia?

Tony Wood: Russia’s Energy Crisis, 6 October 2022

Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change 
by Thane Gustafson.
Harvard, 312 pp., £31.95, October 2021, 978 0 674 24743 7
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... to stave off runaway warming, many ecologists have argued for a return to state planning – what Andreas Malm, evoking the early years of the Soviet system, has called ‘eco-Leninism’ or ‘Gosplan 2.0’. Yet the debate around the ecological benefits of Soviet-style planning comes at a moment when Gosplan is barely a memory in its original ...

Inside the Sausage Factory

Jenny Turner: In the Cryosphere, 6 January 2022

... I told them, which that morning had published two pieces (by James Butler and Adam Tooze) about Andreas Malm, the Swedish climate theorist and author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline. Malm says it’s time, I said, for climate campaigners to move on from XR-type theatrics to disciplined sabotage of fossil-fuel ...

Destination Unknown

William Davies: Sociology Gone Wrong, 9 June 2022

The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past 
by Mike Savage.
Harvard, 422 pp., £28.95, May 2021, 978 0 674 98807 1
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Colonialism and Modern Social Theory 
by Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood.
Polity, 257 pp., £17.99, July 2021, 978 1 5095 4130 0
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A Brief History of Equality 
by Thomas Piketty.
Harvard, 272 pp., £22.95, April, 978 0 674 27355 9
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... years to respond to the scientific consensus.‘Wherever we look at our changing climate,’ Andreas Malm writes in Fossil Capital (2016), ‘we find ourselves in the grip of the flow of time.’ The result can be collective depression, with the weight of the past overwhelming the capacity for action. But confronting history as long-term ...

Life with Ms Cayenne Pepper

Jenny Turner: The Chthulucene, 1 June 2017

Manifestly Haraway: ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’, ‘The Companion Species Manifesto’, Companions in Conversation (with Cary Wolfe) 
by Donna Haraway.
Minnesota, 300 pp., £15.95, April 2016, 978 0 8166 5048 4
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Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene 
by Donna Haraway.
Duke, 312 pp., £22.99, August 2016, 978 0 8223 6224 1
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... general for depredations largely committed by certain classes: that’s the reason Jason Moore and Andreas Malm have proposed the term ‘Capitalocene’ instead. Donna Haraway acknowledges that both names have tactical uses in particular contexts, but thinks that neither carries as much complexity as it needs to in what she calls, after Ursula le Guin ...

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