Article Archive

Kurds and supporters gather in Hamburg

Internationalizing Democratic Modernity : A report from Challenging Capitalist Modernity III

by Eleanor Finley

From April 15 – 17, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany the Kurdish freedom movement held its third instantiation of Challenging Capitalist Modernity, the biennial conference dedicated to ‘democratic modernity’ and the ideas developed by imprisoned Kurdish political leader Abdullah Ocalan.

On the first day, over 1,200 activists, scholars, and students packed into a vast lecture hall, the University of Hamburg’s Audimax, with seven interpreter booths and two balconies. Outside, blossoming trees and [...]

Spring Social Ecology online seminar May 8-June 26!

Enrollment is now open for the spring session of the ISE’s online seminar Ecology, Democracy, Utopia, running May 8 to June 26. Combining video lectures, readings, interactive forums, and weekly online discussion sessions with ISE faculty as well as students from around the globe, the course introduces Social Ecology – an interdisciplinary body of ideas that examines social and ecological issues from a transformative and holistic perspective. Participants will learn the foundations of social ecology and apply these insights to a variety of [...]

Reason, creativity and freedom: The communalist model

On the unique relevance of communalism in this historical moment. By Eleanor Finley, originally published by ROAR Magazine.
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    Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth

Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth

ISE board member Eleanor Finley has a new article titled Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth. Part of the series Ecology after capitalism, it draws on Bookchin’s work to interrogate the limits of the degrowth perspective and contrasts it with social ecology’s analysis of post-scarcity and ecological development.

Radical Politics in a Reactionary Time

A commentary by ISE faculty member, Peter Staudenmaier, November 13, 2016

A friend of mine asked me this week to explain my perspective on the disorienting and dismaying rise of Trumpism. In my view, our focus at a time like this should not be so much on elections or politicians, but on the underlying social currents and the longer term historical factors that have brought us to this impasse. Taking a cue from Murray Bookchin’s 1989 essay “Radical Politics in an Era of Advanced [...]

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    Accelerationism… and Degrowth? The Left’s Strange Bedfellows

Accelerationism… and Degrowth? The Left’s Strange Bedfellows

ISE affiliate Aaron Vansintjan has written an engaging article that analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of two of the most widely discussed political tendencies on the left today, Accelerationism and Degrowth, exploring their political priorities, vision, and blind spots.
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    “Bookchin and Marx;” Reid Kotlas from the 2016 Annual Gathering

“Bookchin and Marx;” Reid Kotlas from the 2016 Annual Gathering

We are happy to present “Bookchin and Marx,” a paper delivered at this year’s ISE annual gathering by Reid Kotlas, a member of the Platypus Affiliated Society. Platypus is an international project “for the self-criticism, self-education, and, ultimately, the practical reconstitution of a Marxian Left” which hosts reading groups and publishes the journal The Platypus Review.  In recent years Platypus has initiated a critical engagement with the ideas of Social Ecology, and have invited ISE faculty members to participate in their annual gathering on multiple occasions. Kotlas’ [...]

Enroll Now – New Flexible Online Course!

Our first online course Ecology, Democracy, Utopia was a great success! In response to high demand we are now offering a self-directed course featuring the same video lectures, readings, and discussion forums but without the fixed time commitment of a weekly seminar. This allows for more flexible participation; you can start the course at any time, at your own speed, and according to your own schedule.
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    Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

"In November 2016, U.S. leftists will be offered up a blue and red pill provided by the matrix of our own failing democracy. Candidate #1 (let’s call this the blue pill) will be deemed the lesser of two evils, the greater of which is candidate #2 (the red pill). But what if, after responsibly choosing the pill determined to be less evil (an act of damage control), leftists then set their sights on going off their meds—that is, what if they aimed to leave the state matrix altogether? Local communalist politics, such as those outlined by Murray Bookchin’s theory of social ecology, beckon to leftists and offer a way to transcend the state by creating a confederation of directly democratic communities."
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    16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

ISE faculty and students were key organizers and active participants in the alterglobalization movement. To commemorate the 16th anniversary of the "A16" action in Washington D.C. and the important role played by Social Ecologists in this movement, we're posting the widely-read Bringing Democracy Home pamphlet that helped give the movement its political flavor. Although written 16 years ago, its insights remain as relevant as ever.