Canadian Communists and the Politics of Nature in British Columbia, 1936-1956

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2013 Number 5

Canadian Communists and the Politics of Nature in British Columbia, 1936-1956
Eryk Martin, pages -

Abstract

The perspectives of communist members of the International Woodworkers of America who worked in the woods of British Columbia provide a critical lens for studying how ideas of nature and environmental change were intimately linked to their understandings of capitalism and the experiences of daily work. From the late 1930s to the late 1940s, local communists used their place within the forest industry to critique capitalism’s place in the woods by arguing that both labour and the environment were victims of industrial exploitation. Here, communists maintained that the physical health of workers and the economic stability of their communities were threatened by the same forces of development that unleashed waste and ecological despoilment on the forest and its non-human inhabitants. However, such articulations were highly unstable. By the early years of the 1950s, a series of political, technological and culture changes resulted in the withering of a communist environmental analysis. While forestlands remained an important site for class struggle, they were no longer defined as endangered environments.

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To cite this article
Eryk Martin (2013) Canadian Communists and the Politics of Nature in British Columbia, 1936-1956, Twentieth Century Communism, 2013(5), -

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