Volume 28, Issue 3, 2018
Karl Marx: On the Occasion of the Bicentary of his Birth
Paul Guillibert, Frédéric Monferrand
A Contribution to Historical Naturalism
Contemporary debates in political ecology tend more and more to be held on the ontological level, where they are recomposed around the following alternative: should one conceive of nature as the order of reality that transcends society and that should be protected from the excesses of the latter? Or should one renounce the very partitioning of nature and society itself in order to imagine new, more sustainable, ecological arrangements? Examining both Bruno Latour’s and Jason Moore’s takes on this alternative we argue that it should be overcome in favor of a naturalist and historical ontology of society inspired by the young Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. In this historico-naturalist perspective, social relations indeed appear as both determined by their environmental conditions as well as determining the uses of a collective make of its environment. The interest in this approach is to allow one to conceive of social alienation and environmental destruction as two sides of a same process which should therefore be conjointly addressed.