2021 Summer Reading Group: The Ecology of Freedom




June 29-Aug. 17, Tuesdays at 7 pm EST

Murray Bookchin’s book The Ecology of Freedom has become a classic of left ecological thought. Starting with the simple yet radical premise that the “very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human,” this rich work creatively draws from philosophy, anthropology, ecology, history, political theory, and more to evocatively describe not only the emergence of hierarchy, but its potential transcendence by a new society that is ecological, democratic, and truly free.

Hosted by the Institute for Social Ecology, this free 8-week reading group will meet weekly via Zoom video seminar. An ISE facilitator will introduce the central themes of the week and pose some potential questions to guide the discussion. We will record and post video from each session afterward. Our conversations can continue between sessions via an optional online discussion forum. A digital copy of the text will be provided,, hard copies can be ordered via AK Press. We aim for an engaging, informative, and interactive seminar atmosphere where we can grapple with the insights of this classic work.

To register for the reading group, please complete the form at the bottom of the page or contact us at Everyone is welcome to participate, we ask for a suggested donation of $20 from those who can afford it – no one turned away for lack of funds.


June 29: Introduction and Chapter 1 – The Concept of Social Ecology (43 pages); Dan Chodorkoff

July 6: Chapters 2 & 3 – The Outlook of Organic Society, The Emergence of Hierarchy (46 pages); Chaia Heller

July 13: Chapters 4 & 5 _ Epistemologies of Rule; The Legacy of Domination (51 pages); Mason Herson-Hord & Phil Kropotkin

July 20: Chapters 6 & 7 – Justice-Equal and Exact; The Legacy of Freedom (51 pages); Blair Taylor

July 27: Chapter 8 – From Saints to Sellers (27 pages); Steve Henderson

August 3: Chapter 9 & 10 – Two Images of Technology; The Social Matrix of Technology (48 pages); Brian Tokar

August 10: Chapter 11 – The Ambiguities of Freedom (48 pages); Grace Gershuny

August 17: Chapter 12 – An Ecological Society; Epilogue (50 pages); Katie Horvath & Kelly Roach

ISE Course Registration Form

To register for a course or request more info, please complete the form below. Please note registration is not complete until payment is confirmed.

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