Before we get to a more specific analysis of contemporary socioeconomic evolutions and their ecological impact, and before we proceed to an investigation of the deeper causes of these evolutions, it is worth making a brief dig ration to examine more broadly the society-nature, or people-nature relation as it has historically evolved. a great number of researchers have up to date dealt with this relation, and so there is no need to expand substantially on this issue. it will be useful, however, to stress two important points involved in the relevant debates. The first concerns the choice between, on one hand, a metaphysical and un-dialectical conception of nature as an external immutable condition to be conquered and productively exploited, which has been developed on the broad historical background of private property, culminated with the ascend of industrial capitalism and continues today to constitute a dominant (bourgeois) ideology, and on the other hand a dialectical relation of society with nature that has been, most crucially, developed with the work of the classics of marxism. reflecting on the promethean triumphalism of the rising industrial capitalism and its achievements in ‘conquering nature’, engels would famously underscore the implications of those achievements by pointing out that, ‘for each such victory nature takes revenge on us’ (marx and engels 1968: 365). Contrary to this conception of nature as an external reality, the classics of marxism, based significantly on the epicurean materialist philosophy of nature, developed a rich and dialectical conception of the relation between society and nature, which sees humans as part of nature itself and considers that there is a historically evolving, continual interaction and interdependence between society and nature. in the context of this dialectical interaction, which has been often presented as a society-nature metabolism, people change their own nature through the labour process, while at the same time nature is perpetually transformed through this same labour process and the intended or unintended implications of human activity. This dialectical materialist conception and the associated ecological background are deeply rooted in the method and the conceptual categories of the marxian political economy. Hence, the charge levelled by some environmentalists (or ‘green’ activists) against marxism to the effect that the latter is presumably incompatible with real ecological concerns cannot be truly substantiated (see schmidt 1971; lee 1980; Harvey 1993; Burkett 1996; 1999; Foster 2000a; liodakis 2001; Bitsakis 2003).