Social Ecology Blog

Janet Biehl on “Bookchin’s Trotskyist Decade, 1939-1948”

The Platypus Review has just posted a fascinating new article by Janet Biehl, excerpted from her forthcoming biography of Murray Bookchin, titled “Bookchin’s Trotskyist Decade, 1939-1948.” The piece offers a highly  engaging review of Bookchin’s early years as a labor militant, beginning with his disavowal of Stalinism at age 18. As a young revolutionary during and after World War 2, Bookchin was drawn to the Socialist Workers Party as a potential carrier of the revolutionary flame in a time of war and [...]

“The Day After Hurricane Sandy”

An exceptional review of the personal and political aftermath of the recent superstorm, written by the inimitable Nicholas Powers of  New York City’s Indypendent newspaper:  http://www.indypendent.org/2012/11/18/day-after-hurricane-sandy.

Some excerpts:
New Yorkers solemnly nodded when told about Gotham’s climate refugees. They were victims whose homelessness was not their fault. But beneath the sympathy were long lines of angry people at gas stations, angry apartment dwellers who ate cold food in the dark, families piled on top of each other in small rooms. The city’s nerves were frayed. [...]

New Book & website: Public Health and Social Justice

From Martin Donohoe, a Portland, Oregon medical doctor and long-time supporter of efforts to expose the hazards of GMOs:
http://www.publichealthandsocialjustice.org/
http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-111808814X.html
His website contains a vast archive of articles, slide shows, syllabi, and other documents relevant to topics in more than 30 key areas of public health and social justice.

Regarding Dr. Donohoe’s book, Dr. Paul Farmer (University Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; co-founder of Partners In Health) writes:
“In this ambitious [...]

New writing on utopias

ISE alum Karl Hardy has edited a special issue of the literary journal Puerto del Sol, focusing on the theme of Utopias!.

This special issue (47.2 Fall 2012) features original poetry and prose as well as a ’roundtable’ Q&A with:
Kim Stanley Robinson – author of acclaimed utopian novels including The Three Californias, Mars, and the Science in the Capitol series. He also edited the anthology Future Primitive: The New Ecotopias.
Jacqueline Dutton – author of “‘Non-Western’ Utopian Traditions” in The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature

Support Food Democracy at Green Mountain College

The fate of a pair of oxen at Green Mountain College’s Cerridwen Farm (Poultney, VT) has attracted national media attention, but not because of the exemplary way the administration at this small college has engaged students in deciding the role of animals in their community food system.

Please read the appeal that follows by the Director of the Green Mt. College Farm & Food Project.  Philip Ackerman-Leist also directs the MA Program in Sustainable Food Systems, and on-line program in which I currently [...]

New book: “Our Food, Our Right”

This outstanding introduction to today's community-based food movements is designed by Annie Brulé of SEEDS, the social ecology project on Washington state's Vashon Island. This review was written for the publisher's website at seattleglobaljustice.org: Local food is all the rage these days, and rightfully so. People across the US are increasingly frustrated by the chemical-laden, processed calories that pass for food in most major supermarkets and are increasingly looking to alternative sources, from farmers markets and farm share programs to co-ops and natural food stores. But with food prices rising everywhere, healthy food is in danger of becoming even more of an elite niche market, accessible only to those with surplus income to spend. While some of us will pay more for food that is local, organic and fair-trade, many of our neighbors are often limited by shrinking household budgets to food that is nutrient-deficient, genetically engineered, and potentially hazardous to health.

New book: “Recovering Bookchin”

New Compass Press, based in Norway, has just announced the publication of Recovering Bookchin: Social Ecology and the Crises of Our Time, written by Sheffield Hallam University (UK) Senior Lecturer, Dr. Andy Price. New Compass describes the rationale for this book:
Through an extensive body of political and philosophical ideas he called social ecology, Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) elucidated one of the first intellectual responses to the ecological crisis. However, over the last two decades of his life Bookchin’s ideas slipped from focus, obscured by the [...]

Municipalist campaign in Finland

A new post on the New Compass website describes the campaign of several municipal candidates in northern Finland who are running as part of a broader “Free Left” alliance.  The article is an interview with Svante Malmström, who attended the ISE during the mid-2000s.  Svante states that the group’s program
… states that the decision-powers should be brought back to the citizens. It demands the establishment of neighbourhood assemblies with real power. It also calls for the initiation of a participatory budgeting process.
The full [...]

New blog from ISE alum Andrea del Moral

From the lead essay, The ateneu of me, at http://andreadelmoral.wordpress.com/the-ateneu-of-me:

The what? you ask.

An ateneu is a community center-café-bar-meeting room-dance hall-library-theatre-gymnasium rolled into one. Ateneus dot the city of Barcelona, and like the lively, layered city itself, they are filled with multiple activities and people of many ages. Unlike Barcelona, they’re often visually uanssuming places, arising in the nooks of neighborhoods wherever space lends itself.

 

Occupy your Neighborhood, by Dan Chodorkoff

A new essay from Dan Chodorkoff, co-founder of the ISE:

Occupy your Neighborhood

by Dan Chodorkoff

Summer fades to Fall and more than one year has passed since Occupy Wall Street  entered the public arena.  Occupy’s message highlighted capitalism’s inherent injustices, and resonated with a broad cross section of the public.  The initial media frenzy has subsided and occupy activists are now struggling to develop new strategies to engage the 99% and to re-energize the movement.

Conceived as primarily a protest movement, Occupy is a testament to [...]