Political Theory: Anarchism, Communalism & Libertarian Municipalism

Leading British filmmaker on Bookchin & the Kurds

The influential documentarian Adam Curtis has posted an excellent, detailed blog post at the BBC on the connection between Murray Bookchin and Abdullah Ocalan of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). This piece is more explicit about Bookchin’s specific contributions than most of the earlier articles.  The post also features several short film clips of  key figures from the 1960s discussing the topic of utopia and anti-utopia, including Lewis Mumford challenging the ’60s conterculture for nominally favoring escapism over true autonomy. Here’s an excerpt from Curtis’ post:
[T]he moment you look into what the Kurds are fighting [...]

Scarcity, post-scarcity and community after the Italian earthquake

Our good friend and past ISE intensive participant Federico Venturini writes from the University of Leeds in England, where he’s finishing his dissertation on revolutionary social movements in Rio de Janeiro.  You can follow Fede’s blog at http://rioprarua.noblogs.org; which also features some photos from the recent Ecological Challenges conference in Oslo:
I am very pleased to inform that the paper Scarcity, post-scarcity and local community: L’Aquila as a case study that I co-authored with Ersilia Verlinghieri has been published on Planum, the Journal of Urbanism in a special issue in collaboration with SCIBE, titled WITHIN THE LIMITS [...]

New Murray Bookchin collection in French

From our colleague Vincent Gerber in Geneva:
October 16th will be the publication date for our book “Murray Bookchin, une écologie sociale et radicale,” in the series titled Precursors of Degrowth, produced by Serge Latouche. For more information, see my posting here.
This project comes up after the publication of my earlier book on Bookchin and social ecology, and Floreal Romero and I worked together on this. The aim of this small book is to present how ideas of social ecology influence (or are similar to) the recent Degrowth movement, and also how they differ. Half [...]

2 items on social movements and power

ROAR Magazine has posted two thought provoking articles on social movements and the contest for political power:  an interview with John Holloway on movements and the state, and a reflection from Greece on the current and potential role of the leftist Syriza alliance.

From the latter story:
The effects of such a [left] electoral victory would be equivocal for grassroots movements, since, on the one hand, such a victory may tilt the power balance and, thus, provide breathing space to the movements in their confrontation with capitalist domination, but, on the other hand, it could accelerate the [...]

Call to support Kurds under attack in Syria

Urgent Call
International People’s coalition against ISIS – for Kobanê – and for humanity!
On the 15 September 2014 the ISIS launched a major multi-front military campaign against the Kurdish region of Kobanê (Arabic: Ayn Al-Arab) in Rojava/Northern Syria. This is the third ISIS onslaught on Kobanê since March 2014. As the ISIS was unsuccessful on the two previous occasions, they are attacking with larger forces and want to conquer Kobanê.

In January this year, the Rojava Kurds established local administrations in the form of three cantons. One of the three cantons formed is Kobanê. The Turkish [...]

Scarcity and Post-scarcity in SciFi

ISE Board member Blair Taylor draws our attention to an amusing illustrated review of images of post-scarcity in science fiction, and the ways in which the narrative seems invariably pulled along by the introduction of a uniquely scarce essential need.  Might this say more about the limits of our imagination than any inherent tendency toward scarcity in human societies?

See http://io9.com/post-scarcity-societies-that-still-have-scarcity-1640882232.