Metabolic rift

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Metabolic rift is a term developed by John Bellamy Foster and other theorists to refer to Karl Marx’s understanding of ecological disruption under capitalism. While Marx never employed the term itself in his writings, he did write of an "irreparable rift in the interdependent process of social metabolism" created by the rise of capitalism,Marx, Karl. 1981. Capital, vol. III. New York: Vintage, p. 949. and developed a systematic critique of capitalist "exploitation" of the soil (in the sense of robbery, i.e., failing to maintain the means of reproduction). This rift, between human social systems and non-human natural systems, in particular the socio-ecological contradiction of the town-country division of labor, was seen as the origin of modern ecological degradation.

The concept of a metabolic rift, according to Foster, is the development of Marx’s earlier work in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts on species-being and the relationship between humans and nature. Metabolism is Marx’s "mature analysis of the alienation of nature,"Foster, John Bellamy (2000) Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature, New York: Monthly Review Press, p. ix

As opposed to those who have attributed to Marx a disregard...
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