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the Marxist, post-capitalist, inexperienced manifesto charming Japan

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Kohei Saito’s ebook Capital within the Anthropocene has turn into an unlikely hit amongst younger folks and is about to be translated into English.

The local weather disaster will spiral uncontrolled except the world applies “emergency brakes” to capitalism and devises a “new way of living”, in line with a Japanese tutorial whose ebook on Marxism and the surroundings has turn into a shock bestseller.

The message from Kohei Saito, an affiliate professor at Tokyo University, is straightforward: capitalism’s demand for limitless earnings is destroying the planet and solely “degrowth” can restore the injury by slowing down social manufacturing and sharing wealth.

In sensible phrases, which means an finish to mass manufacturing and the mass consumption of wasteful items resembling quick vogue. In Capital within the Anthropocene, Saito additionally advocates decarbonisation via shorter working hours and prioritising important “labour-intensive” work resembling caregiving.

‘I was as surprised as everyone else’

Few would have anticipated Saito’s Japanese-language answer to the local weather disaster to have a lot attraction outdoors leftwing academia and politics. Instead, the ebook – which was impressed by Karl Marx’s writings on the surroundings – has turn into an unlikely hit, promoting greater than half one million copies because it was printed in September 2020.

As the world confronts extra proof of the consequences of local weather change – from floods in Pakistan to heatwaves in Britain – rampant inflation and the vitality disaster, Saito’s imaginative and prescient of a extra sustainable, post-capitalist world will seem in a tutorial textual content to be printed subsequent yr by Cambridge University Press, with an English translation of his bestseller to observe.
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