Kropotkin and Bookchin discussed on “Libertarian Tradition” podcast


Murray Bookchin is discussed as part of a “Libertarian Tradition” podcast episode entitled “The Anarchism of Peter Kropotkin.” Interestingly, the “Libertarian Tradition” podcast is hosted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a think tank  which (in its own words) was

“…founded in 1982 as the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. It serves as the world’s leading provider of educational materials, conferences, media, and literature in support of the tradition of thought represented by Ludwig von Mises and the school of thought he enlivened and carried forward during the 20th century, which has now blossomed into a massive international movement of students, professors, professionals, and people in all walks of life. It seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth.”

It’s quite curious to see the way in which Kropotkin and Bookchin’s work is presented by laissez-fair capitalists. Their respective anti-capitalist views are, of course, not taken up.

Listen to the podcast here. Read a transcript of the podcast here.

One Reply to “Kropotkin and Bookchin discussed on “Libertarian Tradition” podcast”

  1. It has taken me some while to work out what this podcast meant. Here are my thoughts.
    Riggenbach is suggesting that Peter Kropotkin and Murray Bookchin were ‘anarcho-communists’ that are worth a second look as ‘libertarians’ of our sort! [whatever that means]
    He proposes that Kropotkin and Bookchin both express the idea that if human beings are freed from the burden of the state, they will naturally find a way to live peaceably together; they will create a spontaneous order and live in it harmoniously.
    This second look notes that Kropotkin, the naturalist, rejects the Hobbesian notion that a state of nature is a ‘war of all against all’. On the contrary in Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, 1902, he saw mutual aid and mutual support as important for the maintenance of life in nature. He envisioned a human society in which sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life. Kropotkin concluded that if life in the state of nature included mutual aid, then there could indeed be a free society, one in which force and the threat of force played no part.
    Bookchin argued in Post-Scarcity Anarchism, 1971, that the ecologist does not exert “power over nature” but rather steers the way through an ecological situation, managing rather than recreating an ecosystem. The anarchist, in turn, speaks in terms of social spontaneity, releasing the potentialities of people.
    Both, in their own way, regard authority as inhibitory, as a weight limiting the creative potential of a natural and social situation. Nature, on this view, is not a defective system that needs to be discarded but a highly ordered living process that merely needs to be relieved of its artificial restraints to become a magnificent system.
    Riggenbach regards Kropotkin and Bookchin as libertarian on the grounds of their insistence that the state of nature is a state of harmony, sociability, peace, mutual aid, spontaneity, and spontaneous order, without artificial authority, restraints, and force.
    What are your thoughts?

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