Saito: the metabolic rift and de-growth communism

Michael Roberts Blog

Kohei Saito is an associate professor at Tokyo University and an erudite Marxist scholar.  Not a candidate for a best-seller in the non-fiction book world, you might think.  But you would be wrong in this case.  Saito’s new book (currently in Japanese), which analyses the relationship between capitalism and the planet, has been a smash hit in Japan, with over half a million sales already.

In the English version out shortly, the book is entitled, Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism 

The book’s message is stark and clear. Capitalism’s rapacious drive for profit is destroying the planet and only “degrowth” can repair the damage by slowing down social production and sharing wealth. Humans need to find a “new way of living”, and that means replacing capitalism.

Saito is deeply sceptical of some widely accepted strategies for tackling the climate emergency. “In my book, I start a…

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