Kurds and supporters gather in Hamburg

Internationalizing Democratic Modernity : A report from Challenging Capitalist Modernity III

by Eleanor Finley

From April 15 – 17, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany the Kurdish freedom movement held its third instantiation of Challenging Capitalist Modernity, the biennial conference dedicated to ‘democratic modernity’ and the ideas developed by imprisoned Kurdish political leader Abdullah Ocalan.

On the first day, over 1,200 activists, scholars, and students packed into a vast lecture hall, the University of Hamburg’s Audimax, with seven interpreter booths and two balconies. Outside, blossoming trees and vivid new grass lined the walkways, [...]

Reason, creativity and freedom: The communalist model

On the unique relevance of communalism in this historical moment. By Eleanor Finley, originally published by ROAR Magazine.
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    Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth

Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth

ISE board member Eleanor Finley has a new article titled Beyond the Limits of Nature: A social-ecological view of growth and degrowth. Part of the series Ecology after capitalism, it draws on Bookchin’s work to interrogate the limits of the degrowth perspective and contrasts it with social ecology’s analysis of post-scarcity and ecological development.

Radical Politics in a Reactionary Time

by long-time ISE faculty member, Peter Staudenmaier, who also teaches at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
  • Permalink In this photo taken on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, a family leave the Sur district in Diyarbakir, Turkey. The family are among tens of thousands displaced by fighting raging between Turkish security forces and militants in the southeast after a peace process collapsed in the summer. (AP Photo/Murat Bay)Gallery

    Sur: A neighbourhood of history, hope, and resistance: An interview with former mayor Abdullah Demirbas

Sur: A neighbourhood of history, hope, and resistance: An interview with former mayor Abdullah Demirbas

From 2004 until 2012, Abdullah Demirbas served as mayor of Diyarbakir (or Amed), Kurdistan's central Sur District, which has been largely destroyed in recent months by Turkish military assault.
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    Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

Chaia Heller – Beyond Electoral Politics: Moving the Left Toward Communalism

"In November 2016, U.S. leftists will be offered up a blue and red pill provided by the matrix of our own failing democracy. Candidate #1 (let’s call this the blue pill) will be deemed the lesser of two evils, the greater of which is candidate #2 (the red pill). But what if, after responsibly choosing the pill determined to be less evil (an act of damage control), leftists then set their sights on going off their meds—that is, what if they aimed to leave the state matrix altogether? Local communalist politics, such as those outlined by Murray Bookchin’s theory of social ecology, beckon to leftists and offer a way to transcend the state by creating a confederation of directly democratic communities."

An organic revolutionary in South Korea

by Grace Gershuny

Last October I had the opportunity to deliver a talk at a conference in Goesan province, South Korea. The Regional Conference on Marketing & Innovation in Organic Farming was co-sponsored by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) with the Goesan provincial government. My presentation, co-authored by former IFOAM President Katherine DiMatteo, was entitled, “The organic revolution, or you can’t dismantle capitalism with a marketing plan” (full text was posted in September, but the link unfortunately may not work in all browsers).

The whole event was inspiring on [...]

Is the Paris climate conference designed to fail?

... by ISE director Brian Tokar. Addressing common myths about the upcoming Paris conference, how events since the 2009 Copenhagen conference have set the stage for what could be a fatally flawed agreement, and how activists in Europe and the US are responding. available at CommonDreams, Counterpunch, ZNet, New Compass, Toward Freedom, and a terrific new website, Paris Climate Justice.

3rd annual European social ecology conference

Dan Chodorkoff reports:

I recently returned from Patras, Greece where I represented the ISE at the third annual conference of TRISE, the Transnational Institute for Social Ecology. The conference drew participants from 13 countries and four continents for four days of discussions around the theme “The Power to Destroy the Power to Create; the Legacy of Murray Bookchin.” The forty-odd people who gathered ranged from veteran social ecologists to those newly introduced to the ideas, and a weekend of fascinating discussion grew out of this mix.

The background of the conference, [...]

  • Permalink The city of Urfa, northeast of Kobane on the Turkish side of the border.Gallery

    Epistemologies of Freedom: Interview with a young Kurdish revolutionary

Epistemologies of Freedom: Interview with a young Kurdish revolutionary

Interview with a young revolutionary from Kobane, also a careful student of Ocalan’s thinking. He offers a brief account of his experiences as well as reflections on the Rojava Revolution, social ecology, and Turkey’s recent betrayal of the Kurdish Movement: "Unless the Middle East overcomes the nation-state, it can never be a peaceful region."