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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Nature, man, revolution

Nature, man, revolution

Wyatt Verlen

Platypus Review 158 | July-August 2023

ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO, I made some statements on a panel about environmentalism.[1] The tone, and content of those remarks was utterly flippant, promethean, and apathetic towards ecology. I am not so much revising my position that ecology is a human construct, nor that the apocalypticism of the modern ecology movement, and enslavement to the Democratic Party, are justified. They are not in fact justified. What I would like to introduce is a way beyond the primary antinomies regarding ecology. These antinomies are as follows:

  1. Degrowth vs. Growth
  2. Cornucopianism vs. Malthusianism
  3. Deep ecology vs. Social Ecology
  4. “Wilderness” vs. urbana terra

Starting a discussion on these, and their relationship to the Left, has to be grounded in a threefold approach: A complete rejection of the totalitarian capitalist state, a recognition of the discontents that lead to the environmental movement, and a historical accounting of environmentalism on the radical Left, and later pseudo-radical Left in the Second International period, the Stalinist period, the New Left, and the later Left. Finally, a way forward has to be charted to clarify the pre-political and political tasks presented by the ecology movement for the Left.

Clarifying ecology

Clarifying, for a moment, the attraction of environmentalism, and its dialectical place in the development of mankind, allow for a moment the following questions to be posed.

  1. Was ecology as a politics, and sentiment, enabled by the development of bourgeois society and of humanity’s productive forces?
  2. Can ecology be detached from moralism, to a question of desirability?
  3. Does ecology function primarily as a vehicle for the expanding of the progressive capitalist state, and can it be detached from this?

I would answer all three with a firm yes. Even in its most reactionary forms, ecology could only be a consideration when men did not view nature as a hostile threat to their existence; this could only occur once agricultural slavery was abolished, and with it, the dependence of humans on volatile seasons, stagnant production, and even more volatile lords in charge of the latter and frequently at war as a result of the former. In this context, natural landscapes with great blooms of life become a place where the potential for play exists, outside of the surveillance, squalor, and deficiencies of urban life. Play as a new mode of interaction with nature separates the feudal peasants position towards activities in a forest from a laborious pursuit for survival — let us say gathering mushrooms to supplement a deficient diet — to the same activity becoming joyful, relaxing, and meditative. Those in the environmental movement naïvely pleading for a return to rural life in fact defeat the entire impetus of environmentalism, forcing man into a position of hostility towards the natural world.

Positioning “destruction” of the environment as an immoral act is both a correct and incorrect impulse. It is correct insofar as the enjoyment of the planet should not be obstructed by preceding generations, and this impulse, that joy is the property of both the future humanity and the obligation of present humanity. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison, described the earth as “Belonging in usufruct to the living,” that is, as a trust to the living, to society, so long as they do not destroy it for the not yet living.[2] Insofar as there is society, and civil society exists, and hopefully will survive its crisis under capitalism, it contains an implicit social contract to not destroy the joys that are possible on this earth. This is a sound moral argumentation.

But there is a more insidious, and inevitably authoritarian moralism that often accompanies ecological movements, in twofold form, the first being that “nature” has inherent moral worth in and of itself, in virgin states, and second, that there is a fixed definition of nature, and that transgressing its boundary would constitute a violation of an edict, whether religious or secular, that to a rational man does not seem to exist.

Dialectically, we might say that the Jeffersonian ecology, of a time of widespread participation in agriculture has overcome itself; society no longer relies on ecology being held in usufruct, since most of society no longer uses natural landscapes for sustenance and has emancipated itself from feudal slavery. The kernel of it that persists is of course valuable, but just as the stale values of feudalism became worthy of critique in the era of bourgeois society, the values of such a bourgeois radical as Jefferson will become worthy of transvaluation. Such a transvaluation can only come out of the principles of pleasure, freedom, and vitality of humanity — those three things so threatened by the advent of the crisis of bourgeois society under industrial capitalism.

It is in this that I arrive at the contention that our response to ecology should neither be a blind cornucopianism that reduces the earth to an endless expanse of cement, nor an austere moralism, but rather a restoration for the sake of desirability of having open spaces with what is commonly termed “wildlife.” Is the pleasure of play in these spaces, of hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, canoeing, camping, running around, foraging, and on and on to be denied by a viable socialism? I for one do not believe it to be necessary to deny. Anthropocentrism is criticized by many on the ecological pseudo-Left today, but as nature serves man, and man frees himself from nature, anthropocentrism can perhaps become the only true and viable friend to natural spaces.

Finally, the question that most haunts the radical attempt to reassess ecology is the question of ecology being part and parcel of the Left’s absorption into the progressive state-party-ideology apparatus, and ecology being a mere means to expand the capitalist state, enshrine the trusts, and enclose commons to human needs. This is the objection that is strongest, and weakest, at the same time.

The history of this critique comes from a solid and undoubtedly good recognition of the roots of the ecological movement. It was, after all, the progressive capitalist Teddy Roosevelt who expanded state structures involved in ecology to the point it is today, and his cousin who, amidst New Deal programs, created the Civilian Conservation Corps (a borderline fascist institution) and the Pittman Robertson conservation taxation model. The structures created still persist today: an administrative apparatus to administer ecology in a bureaucratic way, severe restrictions on the use of public land, even for sustainable purposes, and the specter currently haunting society of a severe curtailing of civil liberties to address climate change (in the form of threatened “climate lockdowns”).

In order to address this concern, one must do an honest accounting (as opposed to the pseudo-Left’s dishonest accounting) of the radical Left’s response to ecology from the Second International to the New Left.

Ecology and dialectic: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Bookchin, Abbey, and the relation of freedom to ecology

The Communist Party issued a decree “On Land” in 1918. It declared all forests, waters, and minerals to be the property of the state, a prerequisite to rational use. When the journal “Forests of the Republic” complained that trees were being chopped down wantonly, the Soviet government issued a stern decree “On Forests” at a meeting chaired by Lenin in May of 1918. From then on, forests would be divided into an exploitable sector and a protected one. The purpose of the protected zones would specifically be to control erosion, protect water basins and the “preservation of monuments of nature.” This last stipulation is very interesting when you compare it to the damage that is about to take place in China as a result of the Yangtze dam. The beautiful landscapes which inspired Chinese artists and poets for millennia is about to disappear, all in the name of heightened “productiveness.”

What’s surprising is that the Soviet government was just as protective of game animals as the forests, this despite the revenue-earning possibilities of fur. The decree “On Hunting Seasons and the Right to Possess Hunting Weapons” was approved by Lenin in May 1919. It banned the hunting of moose and wild goats and brought the open seasons in spring and summer to an end. These were some of the main demands of the conservationists prior to the revolution and the Communists satisfied them completely. The rules over hunting were considered so important to Lenin that he took time out from deliberations over how to stop the White Armies in order to meet with the agronomist Podiapolski.

Podialpolski urged the creation of “zapovedniki,” roughly translatable as “nature preserves.” Russian conservationists had pressed this long before the revolution. In such places, there would be no shooting, clearing, harvesting, mowing, sowing or even the gathering of fruit. The argument was that nature must be left alone. These were not even intended to be tourist meccas. They were intended as ecological havens where all species, flora and fauna would maintain the “natural equilibrium [that] is a crucial factor in the life of nature.”

Podiapolski recalls the outcome of the meeting with Lenin: “Having asked me some questions about the military and political situation in the Astrakhan’ region, Vladimir Ilich expressed his approval for all of our initiatives and in particular the one concerning the project for the zapovednik. He stated that the cause of conservation was important not only for the Astrakhan krai, but for the whole republic as well.”

Podiapolski sat down and drafted a resolution that eventually was approved by the Soviet government in September 1921 with the title “On the Protection of Nature, Gardens, and Parks.” A commission was established to oversee implementation of the new laws. It included a geographer-anthropologist, a mineralogist, two zoologists, an ecologist. Heading it was Vagran Ter-Oganesov, a Bolshevik astronomer who enjoyed great prestige.

The commission first established a forest zapovednik in Astrakhan, according to Podiapolski’s desires. Next it created the Ilmenski zapovednik, a region which included precious minerals. Despite this, the Soviet government thought that Miass deposits located there were much more valuable for what they could teach scientists about geological processes. Scientific understanding took priority over the accumulation of capital. The proposal was endorsed by Lenin himself who thought that pure scientific research had to be encouraged. And this was at a time when the Soviet Union was desperate for foreign currency.

Louis Proyect, “Ecology in the Former Soviet Union”[3]

During the past few days we have been subjected to an invasion of “aliens,” some from Minusinsk, some from places round about — people of very different character. They brought discord into our peaceful life and towards the end we were growing a little bit crazy. The various “farm” discussions about horses, cows, pigs, etc., really wore us out. Everyone here is interested in farm life — even we acquired half a horse (one of the local residents hired a horse from the volost and we wanted to buy the fodder for it so as to be able to use it as much as we wanted), but our half horse turned out to be such a worn-out nag that it took an hour and a half to drag us three versts and we had to give it back; and so our efforts in this field turned out a fiasco. We do, however, gather mushrooms with great zeal, there are lots of saffron milk cap and milk agaric mushrooms here. At first Volodya announced that he did not know how to gather mushrooms and did not like it, but now you cannot drag him out of the forest, he gets real “mushroom fever.” Next year we intend to have a vegetable garden and Volodya has already agreed to dig the seedbeds. That will be physical exercise for him. Up to now he has been enthusiastic only about his shooting. Right now he is arming himself for the hunt. He shoots grey hen and we eat them and praise them.

N. Krupskaya to Lenin’s mother (August 26, 1898)[4]

The present distribution of mountains and rivers, of fields, of meadows, of steppes, of forests, and of seashores, cannot be considered final. Man has already made changes in the map of nature that are not few nor insignificant. But they are mere pupils’ practice in comparison with what is coming. Faith merely promises to move mountains; but technology, which takes nothing “on faith,” is actually able to cut down mountains and move them. Up to now this was done for industrial purposes (mines) or for railways (tunnels); in the future this will be done on an immeasurably larger scale, according to a general industrial and artistic plan. Man will occupy himself with re-registering mountains and rivers, and will earnestly and repeatedly make improvements in nature. In the end, he will have rebuilt the earth, if not in his own image, at least according to his own taste. We have not the slightest fear that this taste will be bad.

Trotsky, Literature and Revolution (1924)[5]

I took my first leave in the spring of 1920, before the second congress of the Communist International, and spent about two months near Moscow. My time was given over to a course of medical treatment (I was just beginning to take my health seriously), working on the manifesto that during the following years served as a substitute for the programme of the Communist International, and hunting for game. After the years of strain I felt the need of rest. But I didn’t have the habit, and walks did not rest me any more then than they do to-day. The attraction in hunting is that it acts on the mind as a poultice does on a sore.

One Sunday early in May, 1922, I went fishing with a net in the old channel of the Moscow river. It was raining, the grass was wet, and I slipped and broke the ligaments of my foot. It was nothing serious and I had merely to spend a few days in bed. On the third day Bukharin came to see me.

Trotsky, My Life (1930)[6]

“I want to get away from Civilization and the Press.”

“Trotsky on Fishing Trip, is Tired of ‘Civilization,’” New York Times (July 8, 1937)

Second International Marxism was not, to use the phrase of today’s dead Leftists, “ecosocialist.” It recognized the productive capacities of man, and decreed first and foremost that they be put towards humanistic and productive ends. Further, the Second International did not cooperate with the progressive movement’s statist ecology programs, at least in the United States, that critical core of capitalism.

A mistake, however, can be made in assessing the Second International, that it was inherently anti-ecological, or believed that the ideal world would be one in which green spaces are paved over, rivers polluted, and air destroyed. But in both the private lives of the revolutionaries that made it, and in their political actions after assuming office, the Second International cadres did in fact recognize the legitimate discontents over environmental devastation, and did act quite radically in the interests of ecological health.

Perhaps most visibly, although by no means the only example we can scrounge up, Vladimir Lenin, who had spent many years mushroom hunting, bird shooting, and fishing in the spacious landscape of Siberia, committed serious resources to a land-preservation enterprise known as the zapovednik. Figures vary, but a cited number of around 30 million acres is usually flung around. These lands were protected and their nature left undisturbed (until Stalin uprooted many of them). Was this “nature worship,” or anti-human? I believe that the bar to declare an action of Lenin to be non-Marxist is a high bar indeed, though he was fallible.

Lenin’s conservation agenda also included adding new restrictions to hunting to preserve wildlife populations (Lenin himself was an avid hunter). Strikingly, even among many on the Right and center of the Bolsheviks, these moves appear to be mentioned with little controversy at the time of their enactment, even if they would be reversed in the later Thermidorean reaction of Stalinism. I can find little mention of them in Trotsky’s letters, despite his reputation (often solidified by one quote from Literature and Revolution) as a hardlined promethean with little regard for the earth.

Trotsky himself seems to have recognized the desirability of having ecologically viable landscapes, again, contrary to his reputation. His avid fishing habit he found to be “like a poultice on a sore,” recognizing the human comfort, vitality, and achievement that waterways with biological activity could bring to man. In times of lost struggles against the element of the party that had taken over and dragged the socialist republic into an end to the revolution, he took himself on a fishing trip to ease the pain of such a world historical loss.

The quote from Literature and Revolution continues to be used by those who wish to portray him as a vulgar productivist with no regards to the landscape. But it is precisely the same quote that demonstrate his ecological bonafides within a framework beyond the moralism, austerity, and anti-humanism of so much ecology: ecology in the quote transforms to a matter of taste, of desire, of freedom, as opposed to one of absolute intrinsic worth to a virgin world. Rather than harness and degrade ecology solely for the sake of growth, Trotsky proposes that the landscape be harnessed as a matter of affirming the ultimately good taste of humans which can be restored and affirmed via socialist revolution. Lenin’s conservationist tendencies were not, and cannot be, understood as affirming Trotsky’s “idiocy of village life,” but rather the opposite: the emancipation of man from nature allowing man to value nature in a way that the peasant villager, dependent upon seasons and terrified of the cold, of starvation, of wolves, could not.

This was not ecosocialism in the contemporary sense of the dead Left’s adoption of current issues posed by progressive Democrats, but it is unmistakably “green” in some ways. Decrees protecting waterways, wildlife, and landscapes were issued, for the purpose of science, recreation, and the fulfillment of the right of all to health, to enjoyment, and to a desirable place to live and recreate. Stalinism later repealed much of the decrees issued in the revolutionary era, and focused on production. The rationale of Stalin was not so much a perversion of the original intent, but was a necessary action in the face of the stalling of the revolution globally (in particular in Germany), and the need to develop internally. However tragic, like nearly all Stalinist changes to political economy in Russia, it had a necessary side as well as a wretched side.

What is curious, however, is that the Stalinist Left’s abandonment of ecology led to ecology being taken up by the New Left, in its reaction to bureaucratic state capitalism both in the United States and in Soviet Russia.

The New Left: Bookchin, Abbey, Karl Hess

Science is not sufficient. “Ecology” is a word I first read in H. G. Wells twenty years ago and I still don’t know what it means. Or seriously much care. Nor am I primarily concerned with nature as living museum, the preservation of spontaneous plants and wild animals. The wildest animal I know is you, gentle reader, with this helpless book clutched in your claws . . .

Who needs wilderness? Civilization needs wilderness. The idea of wilderness preservation is one of the fruits of civilization, like Bach’s music, Tolstoy’s novels, scientific medicine, novocaine, space travel, free love, the double martini, the secret ballot, the private home and private property, the public park and public property, freedom of travel, the Bill of Rights, peppermint toothpaste, beaches for nude bathing, the right to own and bear arms, the right not to own and bear arms, and a thousand other good things one could name, some of them trivial, most of them essential, all of them vital to that great, bubbling, disorderly, anarchic, unmanageable diversity of opinion, expression, and ways of living which free men and women love, which is their breath of life, and which the authoritarians of church and state and war and sometimes even art despise and always have despised. And feared.

Edward Abbey, “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom”[7]

Until society can be reclaimed by an undivided humanity that will use its collective wisdom, cultural achievements, technological innovations, scientific knowledge, and innate creativity for its own benefit and for that of the natural world, all ecological problems will have their roots in social problems.

Murray Bookchin, “Society and Ecology”[8]

REASON: A lot of people are concerned that the environment may be, after four or eight years of Secretary [James] Watt [of the Interior Department] irreparably damaged. Do you agree? What can be done to stop it?

[KARL] HESS: I don't agree with the “irreparable” part. I think it will be very seriously affected, but happily the planet is tough and resilient. Now, the interesting thing is, I don’t think you can clean up the environment the liberal way, either, through regulation. The only way, it seems to me to clean it up is to get back to the concept of individual responsibility, so that people are responsible for their actions; so that when you damage the environment, the people affected by it hold you responsible.

If a factory is dumping corrosive chemicals from its stacks on a community and there was no intervening protection for the corporation, the community would have two choices: it could demand redress from the corporation, boycott it, storm it if its life were in danger, I suppose; or it could choose to let itself be killed for a certain amount of money, which is what a lot of communities would choose to do. And it seems to me that, as awful as a lot of that may sound, there’s a better chance for a decent environment that way than under federal intervention. Because with federal intervention what you’ve had under the so-called environmentalists is the federal government establishing allowable limits of pollution. And those allowable limits keep creeping up, you’ll notice, even under Jimmy Carter, and people who are affected by it have very little recourse, if any. Under the Republicans it will simply be another version of that. That is to say, the allowable pollution will just go up, that’s all. But it was going up anyway. And yeah, people feel that unless you can go to the federal government you have no way of getting at the guilty party. People are out of the habit of direct action. They’ve even forgotten the notion of directly suing a corporation. I’m not the greatest fan of the court system, but it occurs to me that a lively suit against a corporation is probably a good deal better than a government regulation anyway.

A. Neumann, “Interview with Karl Hess” (1982)[9]

Stalinism, and its counterpart in the United States New Deal developmentalism, constituted a global counterrevolution that acutely damaged the environment in the process of their state repression, squashing of civil society, and growth in the series of industrial complexes that came to be integral to the state capitalism of both regimes. Reversing many of the decisions of the early Bolsheviks on ecology, Stalin announced a campaign to “transform nature” into industry. Meanwhile, the progressives in the United States announced a Civilian Conservation Corps, and eventually an EPA, to manage the environment with the needs of state and fordist-trust capital in mind, not the joys of man, or the emancipation and freedom of man.

Amidst this counterrevolution, however, the New Left took up the question of ecology. Today, their engagement with the question is vulgarized into support for progressive Democrats, but the actual history is much more complex: anti-statism permeated the New Left, and ecology was no exception. Edward Abbey, a Kropotkinist, Murray Bookchin the eco-communalist, and Karl Hess, the Proudhonist-Left Rothbardian, all posed the question of the environment in the context of the larger question of human emancipation.

Taking a look at Edward Abbey’s “Freedom and Wilderness,” the tone is not anti-civilization so much as pro-society, a direct articulation of humanities emancipation from nature giving rise to its reevaluation of it as something to enjoy, to play, to recreate in. It is thoroughly anthropocentric, without being vulgarly anti-ecology. Living museums, the progressive capitalist response to ecology as created by the American national park system, is rejected on the grounds that the entire point is missed by such reactionary institutions: ecology cannot be for its own sake, with nature dictating edicts to man. Rather, society, by freeing itself from those shackles, can enjoy nature (alongside martinis, medicine, and of course, nude bathing) and preserve it as a place of human play and freedom.

Abbey’s own peripheral status on the New Left was mired in contradiction: he maintained until his death that he was a Kropotkinite anarchist, but voiced support for political economy resembling Proudhonian mutualism. He was affiliated with deep ecology projects (that presupposed “nature” as having intrinsic value) and neo-Malthusianism, but nevertheless distanced himself from both deep ecology and other Malthusians by proclaiming his own ecological views to be the product of an intense desire for freedom. He took up the question of ecology as an alternative to the state-capitalist status quo of his time, as the New Left critique of the statism of post-new deal America was taking root.

Bookchin, writing around the same era as Abbey, took an opposition to the bureaucratic state, recognizing, in a similar fashion, the threat to freedom it posed. (Abbey and Bookchin are often counterposed; but both took up the question of state capitalism alongside their environmentalist writings.) The dialectic of man’s emancipation from nature leading to the desire to conserve nature again fully persists in Bookchin, with only the additional aspect of man’s emancipation from capitalism being added. Far from a reactionary plea to “return to the land” or limit ourselves to some sacralized notion of nature, Bookchin, like Trotsky, recognizes that the nature itself will be shaped by technological progress and humanity itself, once liberated from capitalism, and used for the taste and pleasure of man. But there is no reason to presuppose that it is the taste of man to have endless expanses of concrete, burned forests, polluted rivers, as some of the more vulgar anti-ecological Marxists claim.

Finally, the most interesting case, that of the Left-libertarian Karl Hess, demonstrates perhaps the most extreme manifestation of anti-statist, anti-progressive ecological thinking in the New Left. Far from seeing the ecological question as one to be resolved through the capitalist state, he saw it as one the capitalist state itself contributes to, and fails to defend individuals and communities from the trusts and the whole of state capitalism that is irrationally driven to needless destruction for its own sake.

These are just a sampling, a small collection of how the New Left considered ecology. The assimilation of New Left demands into the progressive state and the Democratic Party, as opposed to fulfilling the potential for a more radical transformation of society beyond ecological-state racketeering and capitalist state rackets was a potential that remains unfulfilled. But it is wise to ask, why did the New Left take up ecology?

There are perhaps two ways to answer this question. The first is that it was a symptom of a Left that abandoned humanity, and traditional Marxism, and fell prey to the symptom of supporting the capitalist state. This answer is correct in the sense that this is what did happen. But it neglects the sentiments I have referenced above, which are firmly grounded in the legitimate discontents over the totally administered society of bureaucratic capitalism, and a desire for human freedom, creativity, and enjoyment.

A better answer is that ecology entered the New Left because Stalinism, which the New Left in some way reacted to, had abandoned it thoroughly and created a false antinomy between development and nature, when it abandoned world revolution and forced socialism into an excruciating developmentalism in one country.

Millennial symptoms and the prospects for ecology

There is no, or little, discussion of freedom whenever the Millennial Left discusses ecology. Pleas for state repression, administrative edicts, and celebrations of the supposedly “green” Democrats dominate the discourse for the Millennial Left. The assimilation of the Millennial Left fully into the Democratic Party through the Sanders New Dealist campaign was paired with ethno-narcissist ecology revolving around pre-bourgeois “indigenous” populations, and furthered by apocalypticism around “climate change” that resembles a death cult more than a potential to love life through the transformation of life, and even landscapes through socialism.

Under the bureaucratic Democratic Party “environmental” movement, Trotsky suddenly is made into an ecological villain for proposing that the taste of an emancipated man might be fulfilled by a nature that is molded by man for his own enjoyment. I find no celebration in Trotsky’s work of creating a degraded landscape of concrete and pollution, nor a declaration that such a creation is necessary for human flourishing, and it appears Trotsky was fully enthralled with the play that natural spaces could offer. But this is ignored by the pseudo-Left, and he is recast as a mere destroyer.

On the other hand, the work of Ralph Leonard and Leigh Phillips, two Millennial Left cornucopians, and even myself, has tended too much to ignore the desire for natural spaces, and the fact that I have continually mentioned, that it is not deviant at all for moderns to take up their own emancipation from nature in a way that places a great desire and taste for enjoying natural spaces front and center. It is not desirable for a hundred million people to live in Indiana, each living in McMansions, with not even a single square mile to pick mushrooms. If Emma Goldman said, “If I cannot dance in your revolution, I want nothing to do with it,” there is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing that to many who are otherwise sympathetic to socialism, a revolution without river otters, without deer to hunt, without beautiful trout streams is a revolution that is undesirable.

And yet, we do not need to accept a perspective that is totally opposed to ecology to remain Marxists. Even today’s “rewilding” movement is thoroughly a product of man, and the “wild” that these projects create is molded by man, not at all differently than the mountains Trotsky thought it would be in good taste to move. Geoengineering of the climate, a scientific program of eugenics for the improvement of man’s nature, and the development of the full productive forces of man can coexist with restored prairies full of beautiful birds and protected forests of deer and turkeys. Urban life can, when rationalized under socialism, include park spaces that host wildlife, as they are already doing in capitalism. The banality of religion and its edicts to have as many children as possible can be replaced with a prudent humanity that expands its population responsibly, and explores space with its numbers, and not just drains every wetland for corn fields. “Wilderness” can be recognized as something to preserve for human play and love, that is to say, something having social worth, without ascribing to it a reactionary sentimentality that it is something with intrinsic value.

As we exist now, no radical Left exists to begin with. The task of freedom is unfulfilled. But there may come a time when the potential of socialism is taken up by a radical party. And I do believe there will be some in it that will demand that the enjoyment of nature be fully maximized after the revolution. |P

[1] See Ashik Siddique, Ethan Wright, Mike Golash, Wyatt Verlen, “Freedom in the Anthopocene,” Platypus Review 121 (November 2019), available online at <>.

[2] Thomas Jefferson to James Madison (September 6, 1789), available online at <>.

[3] Available online at <>.

[4] N. Krupskaya to Lenin’s mother (August 26, 1898), in Lenin Collected Works, vol. 37 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977), 562–63, available online at <>.

[5] Leon Trotsky, “Revolutionary and Socialist Art,” in Literature and Revolution (1924), available online at <>.

[6] Leon Trotsky, “Lenin’s Illness,” in My Life (1930), available online at <>.

[7] Edward Abbey, “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom,” in The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West (New York: Plume, 1991), 228–30.

[8] Available online at <>.

[9] A. Neumann, “Interview with Karl Hess,” Reason (May 1982), available online at <>.