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Socialist States and the Environment

Socialist States and the Environment

Lessons for Ecosocialist Futures

Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro

Reclaims the contentious legacy of state socialism in order to build an ecosocialist future

More than thirty years after the collapse of the USSR, the critique of state socialism is still used to deny alternatives to capitalism, irrespective of global capitalist ecological and social devastation. There is seemingly nothing worthwhile salvaging from decades of state socialist experiences.

As the climate crisis deepens, Engel-Di Mauro argues that we need to re-evaluate the environmental practices and policies of state socialism, especially as they had more environmentally beneficial than destructive effects. Rather than dismissing state socialism's heritage out of hand, we should reclaim it for contemporary eco-socialist ends.

By means of a comparative and multiple-scaled approach, Engel-Di Mauro points to highly diverse and environmentally constructive state socialist experiences. Taking the reader from the USSR to China and Cuba, this is a fiery and contentious look at what worked, what didn't, and how we can move towards an eco-socialist future.

Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro is Associate Professor at the Geography Department of SUNY New Paltz. His recent teaching subjects include physical geography, gender and environment, people-environment relations, and soils. He is chief editor for the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism and co-founder, with Joel Kovel, of Ecosocialist Horizons, as well as the First Ecosocialist International in Veroes, Venezuela.

'A fascinating account. For too long we have tended to demonise socialist states, this book shows that to overcome the climate crisis, there are positive lessons to be learnt, from Lenin's promotion of conservation to Cuba's achievements in promoting ecological policymaking' - Derek Wall is a former International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales and teaches economics at Goldsmiths, University of London

'Many people have realised that ecological sustainability cannot be achieved under capitalism. But how about (eco-) socialism? For everyone who is interested in a sustainable future and a new society without oppression, I strongly recommend this book'<br> - Minqi Li, Professor of Economics, University of Utah and author of 'China and the 21st Century Crisis' (Pluto, 2015)

1. Socialism in History
2. Totalising Notions of Communism
3. The Still Unfolding Process of State-Socialism
4. Explaining the Environmental Destructiveness of State-Socialism
5. Reconsidering State-Socialism to Overcome Self-Destructive Trends
Published by Pluto Press in Jul 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745340418
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745340401
eBook ISBN: 9781786807908

224 pages

135mm x 215mm