In Wildness Is the Liberation of the World: On Maroon Ecology and Partisan Nature

In: Historical Materialism
Andreas Malm Human Ecology Division, Lund University

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For good reasons, the green movement turned from wilderness to environmental justice as its central category in the 1980s and ’90s. Today, several leading wilderness advocates seem to compete for the most reactionary positions, particularly on the issue of migration. A case can, however, be made for a progressive, cosmopolitan, Marxist view of wilderness as a space less fully subjugated to capital than others. There is a long history of exploited and persecuted people seeking freedom in and through the wild. This essay focuses on two such groups – maroons and Jewish partisans – and asks what we lose in a rapidly warming world where the remotest and supposedly wildest corners of the world are among the first to be destroyed.

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