About

This is the class blog for History 315/Environmental Studies 311, titled “Communism and the Environment”

The class will explore issues including Marxist philosophy and the environment; the responses of the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba to environmental issues; a comparison of environmental issues in Eastern Europe before and after 1989; and whether or not there is a place for Marxist or socialist environmentalism, in the United States, today.

Why is the environment often viewed as a “left-wing” cause? Historically, what have Communist thinkers such as Marx, Lenin and Mao said about the environment? about nature? What accounts for some of the major environmental disasters in the Soviet Union, China, and other states of the so-called “Second” World? Is there such a thing as Marxist environmentalism? and, if so, should it be a part of the debate?

The blog will include a mix of posts from the instructor, Wilson Bell, and the students in the class, mostly students from history, international business, and environmental studies at Dickinson College. As such, posts come from a variety of academic, personal and political perspectives, and it is my hope, as the instructor, that the blog will help to foster critical discussion about social and environmental issues.

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