Ecosocialism for realists: Transitions, trade-offs, and authoritarian dangers

Michael J. Albert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Ecological Marxists have succeeded in developing compelling ecological critiques of capitalism and principles for alternative ecosocialist political- economies. However, they have devoted relatively little attention to strategic questions, such as: How might ecosocialist transitions take place? What are the challenges, trade-offs, and risks they would likely confront? And how may ecosocialists and allied movements best strategize to navigate them? In particular, these approaches are limited by two problematic tendencies, which I focus on in this essay: 1) an “abstract utopian” tendency that describes idealized ecosocialist futures without deeply considering how they might emerge; and 2) a tendency to ignore or downplay possible trade-offs, dilemmas, and dangers that ecosocialisms-in-transition would likely confront. In contrast, I propose what I call a “realist utopian” approach to ecosocialism, which will more deeply investigate the possible dynamics of ecosocialist transitions; the possible trade-offs, dilemmas, and dangers they would likely face; and how ecosocialists may best strategize to confront them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalCapitalism Nature Socialism
Early online date28 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • ecosocialism
  • degrowth
  • transitions
  • Green New Deal
  • authoritarianism


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