Whether the twenty-first century will be the most radical of times or the most reactionary—or will simply lapse into a gray era of dismal mediocrity—will depend overwhelmingly upon the kind of social movement and program that social radicals create out of the theoretical, organizational, and political wealth that has accumulated during the past two centuries of the revolutionary [...]
Murray Bookchin, born in 1921, has been involved in leftist politics for seven decades and has written almost two dozen books on a great variety of subjects, encompassing ecology, nature philosophy, history, urban studies, and the Left, particularly Marxism and anarchism. In the 1950s, with his long 1952 essay “The Problem of Chemicals in Food,” he warned against the chemicalization of agriculture and the environment, and with this and other writings, he helped lay foundations of the modern radical ecology movement. He [...]
This article was presented as the keynote speech to the conference “The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism” held in Plainfield, Vermont, U.S.A., on August 26-29, 1999. The speech has been revised for publication. This article originally appeared in Left Green Perspectives (Number 41, January 2000).
Age, chronic illnesses, and the summer heat oblige me to remain at home—hence I am very sorry that I cannot participate in your conference on libertarian municipalism. I would like, however—thanks to Janet Biehl, who will read these remarks—to [...]
This speech was originally presented to the International Conference on the Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism in Lisbon, August 26, 1998
Thank you for the privilege of addressing your conference on libertarian municipalism, if only by means of a videotape. Unfortunately, I am incapable [...]
Liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice.
Socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.
— Mikhail Bakunin
What form will anarchism take as it enters the twenty-first century? What basic ideas will it advance? What kind of movement, if any, will it try to create? How will it try to change the human sensibilities and social institutions that it has inherited from the past?
In a fundamental sense these were the issues that I tried to raise in my 1995 [...]
Economic factors alone, to be sure, cannot account for the differences in the socialist movements that emerged in Britain and France: political traditions, the flexibility of existing institutions, and the cultural élan of the laboring classes had significant effects as well. But the role of economic factors should not be underrated. Reaching unprecedented peaks early in the century, British land enclosures produced a labor force that was inchoate and demoralized, one that eventually fell prey to ruthless exploitation on the part [...]
Recently I have begun to encounter, especially among young people, individuals who call themselves “leftists” but who have little or no awareness of the most basic features of the Left’s longstanding analysis of capitalism, or of the history of the revolutionary movements that [...]