Continuing the dialogue

Some background, to help contextualize this piece for those who might be new to this discussion. This past January, I published a short essay “Social ecology needs development, dissent, dynamism” on the Social Ecology Blog hosted on the Institute for Social Ecology’s website. My intention was not to specifically articulate my own evolving perspective but to try and establish some space for “development, dissent, and dynamism” with respect to the social ecology of Murray Bookchin. For those who might not be aware, Bookchin was a co-founder (with Dan Chodorkoff) and longtime director of the Institute for Social Ecology and his body of work is the […]

Reply to Eirik Eiglad

For background please see the brief post “Making public a proposal for public debate” including the comments made on that post.

Greetings to Eirik and my thanks for his reply.

First, to clarify for accuracy, at no time have I posted on the New Compass website (http://new-compass.net — there is a typo in Eirik’s reply). I believe what he is referring to is my adding a comment with a link to the post (“Making public a proposal for public debate”) to several social network postings announcing the launch of the New Compass website. In doing so, I intended no disrespect; my […]

Making a public proposal for a public “debate”

The article “Social ecology needs development, dissent, dynamism” published January 17, 2011 has, as of this writing, received 48 comments and, according to Google Analytics, 871 page views (609 unique views).

[from a comment left in response to the “Social ecology needs…” article] Marcus Melder said:
I want to suggest a formal debate between a Communalist social ecologist and a social ecologist who does not support libertarian municipalism as a transformative praxis. This could provide a published critique b/w social ecologists and could be done as a youtube video or as was done b/w P. Staudenmaier and M. Albert (but this […]

Social ecology needs development, dissent, dynamism

If you’re reading this post on the ISE blog then chances are I don’t need to spend much time reviewing the seriousness of the contemporary situation. Suffice to say, we are experiencing numerous social and ecological crises and the ongoing consequences of climate change foretell a bleak future. And if you are familiar with social ecology, as a body of ideas developed by Murray Bookchin, then a detailed description of his influential vision of a non-hierarchical, ecological , decentralized, and directly-democratic alternative is unnecessary. Unfortunately, while Bookchin’s social ecology is recognized to have played a significant role in the ongoing […]

Greenwashing War: Burlington, Vermont Mayor Signs Deal With Lockheed Martin

Current ISE Director Brian Tokar is quoted in an article posted to progressive news outlet Toward Freedom; here’s the lead paragraph:
When it leaked in Seven Days, a local alternative weekly, that Mayor Bob Kiss of liberal mecca Burlington, Vermont had inked a deal with the world’s largest war profiteer all hell broke loose inside the Burlington left. Charges of “corporate greenwashing” and hypocrisy lit up Facebook pages and coffeeshop conversations. These charges land fresh like the daily newspaper at the doorstep of most mayors of American cities. Mayor Bob Kiss however, is a former conscientious objector, […]

Announcing the New ISE Blog!

I’m writing on behalf of the Board of the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE) to 
announce the launch of our new blog, hosted on the ISE’s website [
i.e. here]. This blog will serve as a platform to regularly publish 
articles and announcements on any and all topics related to the theory and 
practice of social ecology. 

We are particularly excited about the blog’s potential to act as a hub of robust 
discussion that will help to articulate the ongoing importance of social ecology 
to our contemporary situation.

Review: Social Ecology and Communalism

Social Ecology and Communalism by Murray Bookchin. Edited by Eirik Eiglad. Oakland, AK Press: 118 pages. ISBN 978-1-904859-49-9 [Available to purchase from AK Press]

The American presidential election season has pundits and pollsters proclaiming “change” a primary factor in the minds of many voters. It’s little wonder that this stark period – marked by the so-called “War on Terror,” the extension of neoliberalism across the globe, and the urgency of global warming – has motivated such vague desires among the citizenry. Undefined, undifferentiated and ultimately relegated to mere platitudes, “change” here means little; it is cosmetic, commodified, and reinforces […]

2008 Presidential Prospects for Progressives: Nader, the Greens, and Building a Movement

While the presidential primary season lurches onward with Obama and Hillary struggling to secure the Democrat nomination, progressives are finding themselves in predicament similar to both 2000 and 2004. Al Gore and John Kerry left a lot to be desired, though Bill Bradley, Dennis Kucinich, and Al Sharpton never gained much traction with their “inside the party” candidacies. We can’t forget Howard Dean either, who was considered the frontrunner in 2004 before faltering and eventually becoming the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The question, yet again, is whether or not to hold your nose and vote for the “lesser […]