Kohei Saito

April 2024 Forums General discussion Kohei Saito

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    Kohei Saito, an associate professor at Tokyo University, is simple: capitalism’s demand for unlimited profits is destroying the planet and only “degrowth” can repair the damage by slowing down social production and sharing wealth.


    “He doesn’t say there are good and bad things about capitalism, or that it is possible to reform it … he just says we have to get rid of the entire system.”

    I note in the accompanying article photo he is reading Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capitalism. I hope it is not a bad sign.


    He knows about us and our position as 3 years ago three of us had a discussion with him in a pub after a meeting at which he spoke.

    Wednesday 6 November: Marx, Ecology and the Climate Emergency


    Could be with an upcoming English translation, his publishers may bring him to the UK on a book tour

    If so, be good if he could be coaxed to give another talk but making it a bigger occasion so as to attract the eco-audience.

    Degrowth is one of those concepts that we accept and reject, depending on what is meant by it.

    As I said on Discord last night I very much hold with a cornucopia vision of socialism but at the same time critical of consumerism and the waste in capitalism in general


    An interview with Saito

    Saito developed a “unique way of reading Marx”, he says, as a “degrowth ecological communist”.

    Saito says. Everyone on the planet should have access to the basic things we need to live – electricity, water, education – but “we need to come up with a vision where mass production, mass consumption and mass waste can be avoided.”

    Saito writes, “Marx came to see the plunder of the natural environment as a manifestation of the central contradiction of capitalism.”

    Marx’s idea of communism changed significantly, and was no longer growth-driven. “The pre-capitalist society had a unique way of communal regulations of land,” Saito says, “and they also imposed various rules on their production and consumption which realised a more steady-state of sustainable production.”

    And a lot more statements…


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