Social Ecology Journals

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1 — Social Ecology and Social Movements: From the 1960s to the Present

Social ecologists have played an important catalytic role in many of the pivotal social and ecological movements of the past four decades. The discussion that follows will focus on events that staff, students and volunteers around the ISE in Plainfield have been most directly involved with. We hope that subsequent issues of Harbinger will include stories from many others […]

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1 — Buttercups and Sunflowers: On the Evolution of First and Second Nature

remarkable feature of social ecology is that Murray Bookchin’s vision of an ecological society goes beyond the development of eco-technologies and organic agriculture, but expands into the philosophical realm through dialectical naturalism. Murray recognizes the importance of healing the seemingly disparate relationship between nature and culture (first and second nature) by reminding us of the developmental relationship between them (dialectical naturalism). Through his discourses on dialectical naturalism, Murray invites the participation of ecologists, biologists, […]

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1 — Education & Community Action: A History of the Institute for Social Ecology’s Programs

by Michael Caplan

Emerging from the proletarian socialist movements of the Old Left, infusing a distinctly libertarian ecological outlook in the rise of the New Left, social theorist and activist Murray Bookchin started to lay the foundations of a remarkable revolutionary body of work which he soon called social ecology. His pioneering book, Our Synthetic Environment, which predated Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring by five months, offered a comprehensive overview of ecological degradation and elaborated upon the need for a revolutionary decentralization of society in order to address these grave issues. By the early seventies, Bookchin’s writings were fairly well known […]

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1 — Radical Alternatives: An Interview with Ingrid Young

By Michael Caplan

In the past few years, Norway and surrounding Scandinavian countries have proven to be a hotbed of activism inspired by the works of social ecology. Study groups, publishing projects, protests, conferences and seminars, anti-racist and ecological activism, and political organizational building are all common activities of the 4-year-old group Democratic Alternative (DA). Democratic Alternative, an emerging Scandinavian-wide organization committed to the political vision advanced by social ecology, represents an exciting attempt of a new association to put these ideals into practice. According to Democratic Alternative International Secretary Eirik Eglad, the organizations “has explicit aims to strengthen a […]

Harbinger Vol. 3. No. 1 — Economics in a Social-Ecological Society

n the midst of our struggles for a better world, social ecologists have frequently engaged in critical dialogue with other strands of radical thought about just what kind of world we’re struggling for. Such dialogues often address the question of how people in a liberated future will organize their material relationships with one another and with the natural world. What would economics look like in an ecological society? How might free communities […]

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1– Reflections: An Overview of the Roots of Social Ecology

he extent to which radical versions of environmentalism underwent sweeping metamorphoses and evolved into revolutionary ideologies when the New Left came of age is difficult to convey to the present generation, which has been almost completely divorced from the ebullient days of the New Left, not to speak of all the major problems in classical socialism, especially in its Marxist form. These changes burden us to this very day.
In fact, the way in which the […]

Harbinger Vol. 3 No. 1 – Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy

In August 2002, thirty anti-authoritarian organizers from around the US converged on a farm in upstate New York to found a new political confederation: the Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy. This article describes their mission and rationale.

Harbinger Vol. 2 No. 1 — Editorial

By Daniel Chodorkoff Welcome to the first edition of our second volume of Harbinger, A Journal of Social Ecology. Harbinger is the latest in a long line of publications offered by the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE). With the second edition of Harbinger, we are resurrecting a journal that we published in the 80s. We intend to explore the theory and practice needed to help to create an ecological society, and to cultivate a generous intellectual outlook that can inform the principle of hope. . .

Harbinger Vol. 2 No. 1 — Murray Bookchin interview

By David Vanek 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 is the cofounder of the Institute for Social Ecology, where he lectures each summer, and professor emeritus at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is currently finishing the third volume of a trilogy, /The Third Revolution,/ which is a history of the great European and American revolutions.

Harbinger Vol. 2 No. 1 — Biotechnology: Radicalizing the Debate

by Brian Tokar The more that officials of the U.S. government, and of global institutions such as the WTO, insist that only known, quantifiable risks are legitimate areas for public policy, the more imperative it becomes for activists and other concerned citizens to insist upon raising the larger questions: What does this new technology mean for our society, for the exercise of political and economic power and for the possibilities of actualizing a genuinely free society? How can we fully comprehend all the disturbing social consequences of the new genetic technologies?