The debate over Marx and ecology is exactly the kind of confusion that I took as grounds to simply ditch marxism and start over. In fact, this particular debate is of interest irregardless and is worth following. But I note a whole series of problems: everything suggests taking Schmidt’s The Concept of Nature in Marx as roughly right. The Marx cult is trying to show that Marx was never wrong. Not that the authors of the Dialectic of Enlightenment got it right. Still, it is ingenious and interesting to try and find an ecological Marx. But all of this is an attempt to save Saint Marx and show he was infallible. Let’s move on.
But in general, the discussion is a morass. It is not suitable for public attempts to arrive at a neo-communism. The latter belongs to humanity, not marxists, and if marxists are as confused as we see here, we should demand something new. But the early manuscripts and the early work of Engels are a good cutoff point and legacy usable for foundational inspiration.
The Dialectic of Enlightenment is a classic, but overrated. Our model of history exposes the problem at once: the issue is the modern transition, not the Enlightenment in isolation. That larger perspective shows at once that the Enlightenment has a dialectical counterpoint in the Romantic movement, and this is a terrific resource for postmarxism for an ecological neo-communism. It would need more than that but the point is that the authors of The Dialectic of the Enlightenment muddled modernity with the Enlightenment.
Let me insert my critique of dialectics. This discussion shows the harm done to the communist project by marxists with their obsession over dialectic. Enough already. You can’t do science with dialectic. And it is a fetish of a lot of smart people who breeze through an imaginary jargon-filled discourse that looks profound but isn’t really communication.
You can’t do science with dialectics. More, you can’t transcend positivism with dialectics. The Lewontin group with their dialectical biology haven’t advanced the subject one bit. And marxists are stills stuck on darwinism…