The Socialists’ Plan for “Ecological Leninism”
Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century
by Andreas Malm
Verso, 2020. 215 pages.
Some critics of the draconian lockdowns alleged to be needed to cope with covid-19 have claimed that these measures are merely preparatory steps to accustom Americans to centralized control. Once the covid-19 hysteria dies down, we will face permanent restrictions to deal with “climate change.”
These critics, and other readers as well, are likely to find Corona of interest. The author, Andreas Malm, a scholar of human ecology at the University of Lund, calls for using covid-19 and climate change as tools to promote a world socialist revolution. Lenin and Trotsky are for him heroic figures, though he acknowledges they were far from flawless, and we can learn much to guide us through our current troubles from the “war communism” they instituted.
The world is heating up and we face a global pandemic. Neither of these assertions is to be questioned, says Malm. “Science” tells us that they are true, and that is that. What causes these problems? The answer, you will not be surprised to learn, is capitalism. Marx long ago predicted that capitalism would collapse because capitalists, greedy for profit, would expand production to a greater extent than the market could absorb. The revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein objected that capitalism had so far surmounted its crises and hadn’t collapsed, but Rosa Luxemburg, another heroic f
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