Social Ecology Blog

¡Carmelo Ruiz, Presente!

All of us at the ISE were terribly saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our friend, comrade and former student Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero during the afternoon of Tuesday, September 6th. Carmelo apparently had a sudden, fatal heart attack while at work in his home city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Carmelo was one of the most articulate and accomplished of our many social ecology M.A. graduates during the years we were based at Goddard College in Vermont. While at the ISE, he studied the growth of corporate and neoliberal [...]

By |September 9th, 2016|Social Ecology Blog|2 Comments|

Carmelo Ruiz: A different perspective on organic standards

Book Review: Organic Revolutionary: A memoir of the movement for real food, planetary healing, and human liberation. By Grace Gershuny, 2016.

by Carmelo Ruiz

It has been taken as an article of faith by not few American environmentalists and food activists that organic agriculture was originally a concept filled with revolutionary promise, that was poised to replace the corporate-dominated toxic US food system with a decentralized, ecologically sound, healthy, and socially just, network of eco-farms and eco-villages producing food using the latest eco-technologies. And that the main reason this has not [...]

Program for ISE 2016 Annual Gathering, Aug. 19-21

Full schedule for our 2016 Annual Gathering, August 19-21, Marshfield Vermont. It was one of our best – special thanks to all the new folks who came from throughout the US and beyond!
  • 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.

Social ecology gathering in Lyons, France

From our colleague Vincent Gerber in Geneva:

The French « Rencontres internationales d’écologie sociale » recently discussed ways to overcome capitalism. At the center of the discussions: libertarian municipalism as an alternative to the nation-state and the need to renew militancy.

By Les Incontrôlées

On May 27-29, 2016, radical ecologists, supporters of degrowth, and anarchists gathered in Lyons for the first Rencontres internationales d’écologie sociale (International Social Ecology Gathering). Organized by an international board, it brought together nearly 120 activists, mostly from France, Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland but also from the United States, Guatemala, [...]

Enroll Now – New Flexible Online Course!

Our first online course Ecology, Democracy, Utopia was a great success! In response to high demand we are now offering a self-directed course featuring the same video lectures, readings, and discussion forums but without the fixed time commitment of a weekly seminar. This allows for more flexible participation; you can start the course at any time, at your own speed, and according to your own schedule.

Social Ecologists at the Left Forum in NYC 5/21-22

ISE faculty and board members are on 4 panels at the annual Left Forum this year:

Also Debbie Bookchin will be speaking on the Saturday evening plenary on “Black Liberation and the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity,” with Kshama Sawant and others, and Ynestra King is on a panel on “Revolution and Nonviolence: From Deming, Fanon, and Pan-Africanism to Today’s Global Movements” on Saturday morning (10 am) as well.

Here are the scheduled times for the panels featured here:

Climate Justice and Energy Democracy after Paris: Sat, 10:00 – 11:50 am [...]

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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."
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    16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

16 Year Anniversary of A16 IMF/World Bank Protest – Bringing Democracy Home

ISE faculty and students were key organizers and active participants in the alterglobalization movement. To commemorate the 16th anniversary of the "A16" action in Washington D.C. and the important role played by Social Ecologists in this movement, we're posting the widely-read Bringing Democracy Home pamphlet that helped give the movement its political flavor. Although written 16 years ago, its insights remain as relevant as ever.

Online debate on “degrowth”

The websites Commons Transition and have both highlighted a very interesting online debate on the future of the term “degrowth.” Pioneered by French economist Serge Latouche, degrowth has become a rallying point for an impressive array of critics and visionaries, especially in Europe. Some have critiqued the degrowth paradigm for being too eclectic, and perhaps insufficiently anticapitalist, but conversations initiated by degrowth advocates continue to be quite illuminating for many of us here.

In this dialogue, UK-based economist Kate Raworth argues that the term degrowth has outlived its usefulness [...]