John Bellamy Foster and his colleagues have recently argued that the project of ecosocialism should be understood in terms of a “prefigurative” and “first stage” of red-green thinkers whose insights have largely been transcended by their own work on the metabolic rift. Rift scholars have further argued that “second-stage” ecosocialists should push back against “idealist” deviations occurring amongst historical materialists concerned with the production of nature, socionatures and “hybridity,” as well as more or less all engagements with literatures on eco-technological transitions, industrial ecology and the like, which are implicated in supporting “green capitalism.” This paper critically evaluates these claims. In each case, it is argued, rift scholarship is narrowing the possibilities for interdisciplinary engagement and for thinking in dynamic and reconstructive terms about red-green futures. It is our sense that an ecosocialist vision of just transitions has to be conceptualized as a diverse, dynamic, iterative and always incomplete affair. Anthropocene ecosocialisms are inevitably going to involve co-producing, making and remaking hybrid social ecologies on an irreducibly restless, turbulent and warming planet. We argue that what follows from this is the necessity to both critique and recuperate the better insights of hybrid political ecology and ecological modernities.
- metabolic rift