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.
  • 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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    Debbie Bookchin in The Nation on Turkey’s repression of the Kurdish liberation movement

Debbie Bookchin in The Nation on Turkey’s repression of the Kurdish liberation movement

Debbie Bookchin has penned a powerful new article for The Nation on Erdogan’s current war against the Kurdish movement in Southeastern Turkey, and why the US and EU must act now to stop the bloodshed.  

“Why would Erdogan resume the peace process when his NATO allies give him tacit permission to brutalize his own people in the name of combating terrorism? As long as the West supports the PKK’s terrorist designation, Erdogan is cynically betting that Washington and the EU will remain silent while he doubles down on his longstanding goal: to obliterate the Kurdish freedom movement [...]

Social Ecology, Kurdistan, & the Origins of Freedom

Reflections on a recent visit to Turkey and North Kurdistan. Many Kurdish revolutionaries describe their struggle as one of organic society against authoritarian society and have forged a unique role in the continuing evolution of human freedom.

On the Necessity of Dialectical Naturalism

A recent article in the journal Antipode situates Murray Bookchin's theory of dialectical naturalism within the broader dialectical tradition, and contrasts his approach with Herbert Marcuse's technological pessimism.

Hamburg conference features scholars & Kurdish activists

Reflections on Challenging Captialist Modernity, Hamburg, Germany
Report by Eleanor Finley

In Kurdish, “roj” means sun. Rojava is the land to the west, where the setting sun of freedom and possibility lays to rest and renew itself. Last week, I spent three days at Hamburg University as part of Challenging Capitalist Modernity, a conference hosted by a network of organizations within the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Each evening, the sun shone down brightly through a tall glass wall into the conference lobby. There hundreds of people gathered from all over Europe and the Middle East to share, discuss, [...]

New book: Social Ecology and Social Change

In September last year New Compass organized a conference in collaboration with the University of Oslo called Ecological Challenges. Some of the questions we asked were:  How can we create a society that is ecological as well as egalitarian? How can we develop new forms of activism that are constructive as well as confrontational? How can we work for genuine social change and simultaneously prevent ecological destruction and improve people’s lives in today’s world?
The results of these discussions are now gathered in one book! Many people associated with the ISE in Vermont, both past and present, are among [...]

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    Video: Brian Tokar at the Oslo Ecological Challenges conference

Video: Brian Tokar at the Oslo Ecological Challenges conference

The New Compass has just posted a video of Brian Tokar’s presentation from last September in Oslo, titled “Climate Change as a Challenge to Democracy.” This was the opening session of the 3-day Ecological Challenges conference at the University of Oslo, and included a panel of academic and activist respondents to the opening talk. In April, New Compass Press will publish the full proceeds of the conference, under the title Social Ecology and Social Change.

ROAR Magazine interview with Debbie Bookchin

ROAR Magazine (Reflections on a Revolution), one of the very best websites chronicling today’s protest movements and global uprisings, has posted an extended interview with Debbie Bookchin about her father’s legacy and the importance of his essays collected in the book, The Next Revolution, co-edited by Debbie and ISE board member Blair Taylor. The interview is by ISE alum and University of Leeds doctoral student Federico Venturini.

On the question of Murray Bookchin’s most lasting contributions, Debbie explains:
On a very basic level, his introduction of ecology as a political category was extraordinary. He was fifty years ahead of his [...]

Ursula LeGuin on Murray Bookchin

"Capitalism’s grow-or-die imperative stands radically at odds with ecology’s imperative of interdependence and limit. The two imperatives can no longer coexist with each other; nor can any society founded on the myth that they can be reconciled hope to survive. Either we will establish an ecological society or society will go under for everyone, irrespective of his or her status."