The Complex Political Economy of Natural Capitalism: The Case of Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farms, and Walmart

Rubén Ramírez Sánchez 1 *

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This paper examines the ideas presented in the proposal of ―natural capitalism‖ by paying attention to three cases that exemplify the conflation of business and market ideals—such as profit and consumption—with environmental change: Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farm, and Walmart. While proponents of natural capitalism offer a mostly optimistic solution to our current environmental crisis that is synthesized by the power of markets, technology, and consumption to halt the perils of environmental degradation, a deeper criticism of these strategies reveals the inherent contradictions of the conflation of environment and capital and its seeming impossibility. While necessary, these critiques mostly fail to examine the complex discursive and political repercussions of actual manifestations of natural capitalism and realistic prescriptions for action. The main objective of this article, then, is to examine these two opposing viewpoints through a theory of articulation as a means for working toward ontology of environmental change.


natural capitalism green capitalism political economy


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp. 178-198

Published Online: 25 Jul 2013

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