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I've worked as a sailboat rigger, carpenter-builder, and trans-Africa adventure travel leader. I wrote my UCLA History PhD thesis on the contradictions of market reform in the context of China’s bureaucratic-collectivist class structure. I held postdoctoral appointments at the East-West Center in Honolulu and Rutgers University New Brunswick but didn't pursue an academic career as I didn't care for academic life and had other interests. Most of my recent research and writing has focused on the problematic of suppressing carbon emissions and other pollutants in capitalist economies and in China's hybrid marketized bureaucratic collectivism. My articles have appeared in New Left ReviewJl. of Ecological Economics, the Ecologist, Real-World Economics ReviewForeign Policy, Spectre, the China Project, Made in China and other media. My book Green Capitalism: The God That Failed appeared in 2016 and my China’s Engine of Environmental Collapse in 2020. I'm currently completing The Triumph and Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution, a study of the nature of Mao's revolution and the social system the Communist Party installed. I'm also a co-founder of System Change Not Climate Change ( and contribute to the website. 

Richard Smith

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