elcome to the latest issue of Harbinger, a Journal of Social Ecology. This issue has been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. Our goal, to inform and inspire those actively pursuing an ecological society rooted in decentralist, directly democratic ideals, is clearly expressed in the articles that make up this issue. The thematic core focuses on the vision of social ecology, as expressed by Peter Staudenmaier, and its relationship to new understandings in evolutionary theory. Murray Bookchin, the seminal theorist of social ecology, provides an historical overview of the issues that he faced when he first started fleshing out these ideas as far back as the 1950s. For social ecology, nature is natural evolution, an ongoing dialectic of change and growth. Biologist Sonia Schmitz offers an assessment of the dialectical naturalism of Bookchin based on her interpretation of neo-Darwinian theory. Additionally Bookchin offers his vision for a new politics rooted in the ideas of social ecology, “The Communalist Project.”
The history of the Institute for Social Ecology is explored in a timeline of the 29 year history of the ISE, and Brian Tokar examines the significant impact of social ecology on social movements from the 1960s to the present. A related series of articles looks at promising contemporary movements that articulate their visions of direct democracy—Democratic Alternative, from Norway, and the North American based Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy.
We also review the latest developments at the Institute for Social Ecology, including a preview of upcoming programs and an update on ISE projects.
Harbinger will continue to publish on an occasional basis, and to bring you the latest developments in the theory and practice of social ecology, as well as news of the ISE. We hope that you find this issue interesting and informative.