The Marxist dialectic between Society and Nature.

Pablo Pulgar Moya


“Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world.”
Marx - A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

'Society' is valid, according to Marx, first as a collective name, as nation or state, which is designed as an abstract generalization or 'sum of individuals'. Second, society should mean a complexity by performing an ‘adding up’ of human connections (Beziehungen), i. e. a compilation not of people, but of their relations. In this context, society is the opposite of nature. "Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand." (MEGA II, 1.1, p 188) The Marxist position accepts an economic language to clarify a double concept of society and nature.
According to Marx, the work is opposite of nature, as far as human beings in society (as capitalist whole) personifies a certain role changing nature through the work. Such a person plays a specific function from in virtue of the alienation of capitalist division of labor, by being valid as an intermediary to unity of capitalist production. To understand the dialectic between society and nature, we have to clarify that person must be aware of the critical nature of this alienation, consequently of the conditions that make the whole of society. The explanation of this character is the precise purpose of our presentation.
These conditions form the limits of the capitalist society, of the capitalist mode of production, that is, the limits to exploitation of nature and society. At the same time, they involve the potential of a socialist mode of production, which have to be accord to a better mode of ‘exploitation’ of nature. The concept of society is central in Marx's mode of thinking, and, as it is argued, Marx's relation between society and nature is still largely relevant today. Indeed, the view of nature as a social category is extremely important in a context of political view of ecology.

Capitalism - society - nature - Karl Marx - ecology