Magazine article New Internationalist

The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society // Review

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society // Review

Article excerpt

WOODY ALLEN ONCE ASKED: Is there a body-soul split, and if so, which of them is it better to have? Substitute a nature-society split, and up pops the gangster.

With humour and irony Andrew Ross offers a sharp challenge to the new world order being offered by geneticists which, he says, equates to biological determinism or 'the Chicago gangster theory of life'.

But he also questions the zealous austerity of much environmentalist thought. Put simply, he doesn't want the Green movement to be seen as one which always says 'no'.

In some neo-Puritan quarters a liberal society is seen as a primary cause of the ecological crisis. Asceticism, self-denial and guilt are the order of the day,' according to Ross. The structural poverty and hunger that has accompanied post-colonial under-development is not the result of natural scarcity but of bad economics. …

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