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Eco-nomics: Are the Planet-Unfriendly Features of Capitalism Barriers to Sustainability?

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  • Merrill Singer

    ()
    (Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
    Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA)

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that there are essential features of capitalist modes of production, consumption, and waste dispersal in interaction with the environment and its built-in systemic features that contradict long-term sustainable development. These features include: (a) contradictions in the origin and meaning of sustainability; (b) the central role of the productivity ethic in capitalism and its reproduction in emergent green capitalism; (c) the commodification of nature and the continued promotion of expanding consumption; (d) globalism and the contradictions of continued Western-style development; and (e) the emergence of anthropogenic ecocrises and crises interaction. In light of these barriers to capitalist sustainability, an alternative social narrative is needed, one that embraces values, understandings, and relationships that promote ecological stability and justice.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/1/127/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/1/127/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 127-144

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:127-144:d:6723

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: sustainability; development; capitalist modes of production; environmental degradation; barriers to sustainable development; pluralea;

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