To what extent is Ecologism a single doctrine?

Authors Avatar by thomasrobinson01hotmailcouk (student)

To what extent is Ecologism a single doctrine?

Ecologism as an ideology is deeply divided between those who practice ‘shallow ecology’ and ‘deep ecology’, whilst also encompassing a number of other ‘classical’ ideological traditions and therefore may alternatively be seen as a ‘cross-cutting ideology’.

Ecologists share a belief in ‘ecology’: the natural world is a complex web of interlinked ecosystems, the global ecosystem or biosphere being the largest. Yet the earth is a closed system with limited and exhaustible wealth. Human beings, through the aggressive pursuit of material wealth; regarding energy as ‘income’ that is topped up rather than ‘natural capital’, have upset the ‘balance of nature’ and are therefore facing extinction. Ecologism therefore tends to challenge anthropocentrism and favour ecocentrism.

Join now!

There is a significant difference between how ‘shallow ecologists’ and ‘deep ecologists’ interpret ecological theory. Deep ecologists completely reject anthropocentrism: the purpose of human life is to sustain nature. Environmental crisis has profound cultural and intellectual roots – the problem being a mechanistic world-view based on scientism. Deep ecologists therefore argue we must fundamentally change the way we understand the world, and look to modern physics, eastern mysticism and primitive religion for this ‘paradigm shift’. Whilst rejecting a ‘dualistic world-view’ as eco-feminism, eco-socialism, eco-anarchism and shallow ecologists have, instead embracing a ‘holistic’ world view: the whole is greater than the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay