There will be no future on a dead planet, socialist or otherwise. If the left is to seize power and bring our planet into the rational egalitarian age we envision, we will need to simultaneously tackle a host of environmental crises. Failure to do so will mean that our project is doomed from the onset. Even the most firmly grounded socialist society will not survive an ecological collapse, throwing the planet and its people back into the barbarism we are working so hard to overcome. Or worse.
Karl Marx’s (1859) Preface to a Critique of Political Economy represents one of his major contributions to human thought. It has probably been more influential than any other in the social sciences and has served as a guide to revolutionary thinkers and activists across the intervening decades. We suggest ruminating on the following passage before considering our illustrations.