Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reading Bookchin.

Murray Bookchin is slowly becoming one of my favorite libertarian thinkers. He was the founder of many movements, the Social Ecology movement, the Communalist movement, the idea of Dialectical Naturalism. He was fascinating, brave, imaginative, passionate, eccentric, and highly personal.

He was a great lecturer and writer, always interesting. I've gravitated more towards his views, particularly on Social Ecology, and the radical possibility for social change through technology, post-scarcity thinking and other things. I'm currently reading his essays on Libertarian Municipalism, and I admire the idea. Bookchin's theory of town halls and interconnecting systems of federations give an appealing alternative to modern life. He was a libertarian socialist, but not an anarchist for the latter part of his life. It reminds me of how Proudhon later on in his life moved to a system similar to a minimal state. This quote by Proudhon, addressing his critics explains it well:

“Since the expression ‘anarchical government’ is a contradiction in terms, the system itself seems to be impossible and the idea absurd. However, it is only language that needs to be criticized. … It means that once industrial functions have taken over from political functions, then business transactions and exchange alone produce the social order.” 

While I'm not sure I can accept, or even defend all his ideas, I am certainly in awe of his legacy. If you haven't read him or seen any of his lectures, I suggest you start with Post-Scarcity Anarchism , a collection of essays, and see his lecture "Forms Of Freedom". Watch the first part here:


  1. Om du gillar Bookchin och befinner dig i Sverige, råkar du händelsevis vara intresserad av och/eller tänkte slänga dom pga ointresse/platsbrist men om du vill kan du få dom för typ kostnaden porto eller så. Tänkte att det vore roligare om det hamnade hos någon med genuint intresse än att dom samlar damm hos mig.

    1. Gärna! Du kan maila så kan vi utbyta lite info.