Communism and environmentalism: a doctrine-based review of similarities and differences
Keywords:communism, socialism, ethics, environmentalism, attitudes, policies
The article is a review of the similarities and differences between the communist and environmentalist doctrines and their relationship. There are three pillars of the analysis: ideology, outcomes and a joint perspective. Ideologically, the division between ‘leftist’ and others with respect to their attitude towards the environment is based on the existence of fewer similarities than differences; the latter include the central organizing concepts, and perspectives on economy, technology, decentralization, and human nature. Based on the analysis, several categories can be distinguished: (1) socialists who see the unity; (2) environmentalists who see the unity, but do no require any change to socialism; (3) specialists sympathetic with both perspectives, who see the need for an evolution of socialism; and (4) environmentalists who are not socialists. The environmental outcomes of communist regimes are caused by the Marxist ideology: “man must rule and transform the nature”. Therefore, capitalism is seen as a cause of environmental issues, and socialism as a common solution of both crises. They include the rapid industrialization, a state ownership of lands, and the lack of environmental law enforcement. Moreover, socialists deny the existence of an environmental crisis. Finally, the joint perspective reveals the fact that an opposition between industry and conservation is also present in capitalism.
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