Social Ecology Blog

On the DC Climate Rally

At Least for a Day: The Fight Against Tar Sands Oil Unites Indigenous Activists, Occupiers, and Big Environmental NGOs On Sunday, February 17th, nearly 50,000 people ventured out into the icy morning to gather at the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. There, braced against the biting February wind, the Forward on Climate Rally swelled into the largest climate march in history. The focal point of the rally was to challenge President Obama to reject a proposal by the multinational corporation TransCanada to transport tar sands oil across the U.S through their under-construction Keystone XL pipeline...

New book: Civilization, Oikos and Progress

From ISE alum. Atle Hesmyr in Norway.  Atle has previously translated Kropotkin’s The Great French Revolution and Bookchin’s Remaking Society into Norwegian, among other projects:

Civilization, Oikos and Progress is a collection of essays on the foundations of civilization and the various developments within western civilization since its inception in ancient Greece and all the way into modernity. It includes analyses of the agrarian basis of civilization, and draws parallels to former civilizations in the Indus valley, Mesopotamia and Egypt as well. The idea of progress and its prospects in [...]

A new social ecology book in French

Vincent Gerber, a social ecologist from Switzerland, has written a new book about the life and work of Murray Bookchin. Murray Bookchin et l’écologie sociale, une biographie intellectuelle (published by Ecosociété) presents the main principles of social ecology and the story of their emergence through the life of Murray Bookchin. It offers an historical and personal context to explain the evolution of social ecology and Murray’s contributions to it. By interconnecting the story of the man with the development of his ideas, the book offers an original view of [...]

Report from the January ISE intensive

by Eleanor Finley

This year the Institute for Social Ecology hosted its annual week-long Winter Intensive program in Northampton, Massachusetts. Participants gathered at the Northampton Friends Meetinghouse, a bright, serene space in the heart of downtown Northampton. Classes were held each day from 9 to 6:45, with eight instructors lecturing and leading discussions on topics ranging from direct democracy and dual power to permaculture principles and carbon sequestering agriculture.

The ISE was thrilled to welcome poet and Yeshiva University professor, Joy Ladin, as well as Tar Sands/Keystone XL Blockade organizer Negesti [...]

Libertarian Municipalism and Citizen’s Movements in France

Hadrien Delahousse presented the following essay at the 2012 Social Ecology colloquium in Marshfield, Vermont.  This is his revised version, which seeks to incorporate some of the themes we discussed last summer in Vermont:

How Libertarian Municipalism Can Help Citizen’s Movements in France

Libertarian Municipalism is very little known in France. The idea of a local municipal assembly open to everyone taking political decisions is strange or not realistic to perhaps 97% of the people. Despite looking for alternative actions and information over more than 10 years, I discovered Murray Bookchin [...]

Soliman Lawrence on the revival of Jewish culture in Poland

ISE alum and former summer staff member Soliman Lawrence has been living in Berlin for many years and working as a documentary photographer. Recently he was interviewed by the popular German news magazine, Die Zeit, on his series of photographs documenting the recent revival of Jewish culture in Poland. Soli’s work explores the central paradox of this revival, that decades after the Holocaust in Poland, Jewish tradition is flourishing again, even though there are hardly any Polish Jews. The interview (in English with German subtitles) can be viewed here.  Soli’s [...]

New documentary on “Europe’s Last Revolution”

We’ve received notice of a documentary film, currently in production, that tells the story of the expropriated and collectively managed factories in northern Spain during the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War. The full title is translated as Collective Economy: Europe’s Last Revolution. Readers may recall Sam Dolgoff’s landmark book, The Anarchist Collectives, which was prefaced by Murray Bookchin, important historical accounts of the Spanish Revolution by authors such as Santillán, Augustin Souchy, Broué and Temime, and others, as well as Ken Loach’s classic 1995 film Land and Freedom. Now, [...]

“Occupy, Debt, Finance & Class Struggle”

This short essay by ISE alum, Rob Ogman, offers an insightful perspective on these issues.  Was the financial crisis partly a product of labor’s decline? How was Occupy a “coming out” event for the “graduates without a future”? How can we make debt cancellation a reality?  Full text at http://occupythecrisis.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/occupy-debt-finance-and-class-struggle/.

Paradise Lot: New book from 2 ISE alums.!

Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City

 
by Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates

 
Information from Chelsea Green Books. Their link also contains ordering information.

 
When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a [...]

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 capitalist consolidation. He worked in New Jersey’s [...]