Economics & Capitalism

New books from Dan Chodorkoff & Brian Tokar

From New Compass Press in Norway, a new collection of Dan Chodorkoff’s essays, The Anthropology of Utopia, plus a revised and expanded edition of Brian Tokar’s Toward Climate Justice.  Both available in September; review copies now available from New Compass:
THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF UTOPIA
Essays on Social Ecology and Community Development
By Dan Chodorkoff

How can we avert ecological catastrophe? How can we build community? What is the practical relevance of utopia? These are some of the questions anthropologist Dan Chodorkoff explores in his essays on social ecology and community development.

The Anthropology of Utopia surveys alternative ways of life that can help us […]

40th anniversary greetings from Australia!

"And what a journey it has been over those 40 years – with great successes, numerous challenges and some ‘failures’, all of which we can learn from in going forwards."

“Ecological Challenges” conference in Oslo

The weekend immediately following the gigantic People’s Climate March in New York City, social ecologists and others will be gathering in Oslo for this important event:

Ecological Challenges: Oslo 2014 Conference
25-27 September 2014

The ecology movement deals with the greatest social and political challenge of our time: climate change. How should we meet this challenge? Some claim that democracy is to slow to solve the climate crisis, and that authoritarian measures are necessary to create a greener future. At the conference we will explore the idea of participatory democracy as a counter argument to this claim. How do differences in scale […]

Don’t Mourn, Organize! A Social Ecology Panel at the 2014 Left Forum

This year, the annual Left Forum was held on May 30st through June 1st at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference and its theme, Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice, attracted scholars and activists from across many social, environmental and labor movements including Occupy Wall Street, Idle No More, and Turkey’s Gezi Park.  Social ecologists collaborated to produce a panel discussion on the legacy and contributions of Murray Bookchin and his vision of communalist politics. Don’t Mourn, Organize! The Radical Decentralist Politics of Social Ecologist Murray Bookchin was attended […]

Dan Chodorkoff on the origins of the ISE

Video of Dan Chodorkoff discussing the origins of the ISE, focusing on early renewable energy experiments at Cate Farm in central Vermont.

Report from European social ecology meeting

Dan Chodorkoff reports from the recent European social ecology meeting in Greece:

TRISE, the Transnational Institute for Social Ecology held its second annual meeting in Marathon Greece from April 23-27th.    The organization is a primarily European effort to develop and disseminate the ideas of social ecology, with an emphasis on urban issues and the active transformation of cities.  There were folks from Sweden, Finland, Italy, Canada, the U.S. and Greece present.  I was there with my wife Betsy to represent the I.S.E. and to do a presentation on our 40 years of history.  All told about 25 people, many of […]

New book: Between Occultism and Nazism

From long-time ISE faculty member, Peter Staudenmeier, now a professor at Marquette University:

Between Occultism and Nazism:
Anthroposophy and the Politics of Race in the Fascist Era

The relationship between Nazism and occultism has been an object of fascination and speculation for decades. Peter Staudenmaier’s Between Occultism and Nazism provides a detailed historical examination centered on the anthroposophist movement founded by Rudolf Steiner. Its surprising findings reveal a remarkable level of Nazi support for Waldorf schools, biodynamic farming, and other anthroposophist initiatives, even as Nazi officials attempted to suppress occult tendencies. The book also includes an analysis of anthroposophist involvement in the […]

Peter Staudenmaier: What is Capitalism?

From long-time ISE faculty member, Peter Staudenmeier, written for the Lexicon pamphlet series sponsored by the Institute for Anarchist Studies. This was originally posted in March 2014 and revised in August 2015:
In ancient myths of paradise, people lived in boundless plenty without work or want. The fruits of the earth were freely available to all and no labor was necessary. If life under capitalism is a far cry from paradise, it is nonetheless beholden to its own myths of work, prosperity, and progress. Understanding what the world was like before the rise of capitalism, and envisioning a different world […]

On Wall St. and Organizing Nature

A provocative interview published in 2011 in the Toronto-based journal Upping the Anti offers a fresh outlook on key questions of society and nature, and offers important resonances with Murray Bookchin’s writings. The piece addresses how societies define ecological relationships, and touches on issues of technology, productivity, commodification, and the accumulation of capital. The interviewee, Jason Moore, is based at Umeå University in Sweden.

Moore argues that:

There is no social dimension to these problems [of financialization, world hunger and climate change]; there is no environmental dimension. At least, not in the way these adjectives are typically understood. The securitization of […]

Recent articles (Winter 2014)

2 recent posts to the ISE Blog contain links to new articles of mine that are featured elsewhere:

Myths of Green Capitalism

Dave Van Ronk vs. “Llewyn Davis”

I also have an extended essay and 2 short pieces in the book described here:

New international handbook of the climate change movement

And a chapter in this book, edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank of Counterpunch:

Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion

As well as this recent book from Food First, based in Oakland:

Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems