• Jason W. Moore Binghamton University



Alf Hornborg says many useful things in his article, ?Ecosystems and World Systems: Accumulation as an Ecological Process.? His effort to ?ground the notion of capital accumulation in the physical realities of ecology and thermodynamics? is a much-needed corrective to nature-blind studies of capitalism. At a more paradigmatic level, his dismay at the ?analytical disjuncture of ecology and economics? in modern social science is right on target (1998: 169). Yet, despite the article?s laudable intent, Hornborg goes astray by imputing to Marx a focus on labor that excludes the ?physical realities? of labor reproduction, world trade, or imperialism. Hornborg is right to urge a synthesis of ecological and economic studies, but wrong in his call to ?supplement? the labor theory of value with a ?resource-oriented?concept of exploitation? (1998: 173). Even if Marx did not grapple with a global ecological crisis of contemporary standards, he was remarkably sensitive to ecological processes as they shaped, and were shaped by, capital accumulation; indeed, Marx studied intensively the works of the leading soil chemists of his day, foremost among them Justus von Liebig. Particularly in the ?rst and third volumes of Capital, Marx provides a compelling framework for comprehending the nature-society dialectic under capitalism.




How to Cite

Moore, J. W. . (2000). Commentary. Journal of World-Systems Research, 6(1), 133–138.



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