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    System Change or Extinction? Thoughts on “The Uninhabitable Earth”

System Change or Extinction? Thoughts on “The Uninhabitable Earth”

“There are thus two critiques of “The Uninhabitable Earth.” First, Wallace-Wells fails to account for all the positive environmental actions we’re going to take. But he also ignores the negative political actions that are bound to occur. But something is missing here. These two critiques don’t go well together. It just doesn’t make sense that we could make major reductions in emissions with the same old “vicious right-wing minority” in power. If they’re still in charge and pushing wars, we’re screwed. It seems obvious, but apparently bears repeating: environmental change requires political change. Capitalism fuels environmental devastation. We will only halt environmental devastation if we dismantle capitalism.”

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 vivid new grass lined the walkways, [...]

Spring Social Ecology online seminar May 8-June 26!

Stay tuned for future versions of our online social ecology course, plus several new courses in the works for the 2017-18 academic year!

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

by long-time ISE faculty member, Peter Staudenmaier, who also teaches at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
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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’ presentation kicked off a lively discussion of Bookchin’s indebtedness to, [...]

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."