ecology of freedom

(1982) by murray bookchin – The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy

free\dom ness.. hier archy ness.. non hierarchical listening et al

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy is a 1982 book by the American libertarian socialist and ecologist Murray Bookchin, in which the author describes his concept of social ecology, the idea that ecological problems are caused by human social problems and can be solved only by reorganizing society along ecological and ethical lines. The book is considered Bookchin’s magnum opus, but it has also been criticized as utopian.

bookchin utopian law

bookchin art-ist law

Bookchin is critical of the class-centered analysis of Marxism and simplistic anti-state forms of libertarianism and liberalism and wished to present what he saw was a more complex view of societies. Bookchin writes that, “My use of the word hierarchy in the subtitle of this work is meant to be provocative. There is a strong theoretical need to contrast hierarchy with the more widespread use of the words class and State; careless use of these terms can produce a dangerous simplification of social reality. To use the words hierarchy, class, and State interchangeably, as many social theorists do, is insidious and obscurantist. This practice, in the name of a “classless” or “libertarian” society, could easily conceal the existence of hierarchical relationships and a hierarchical sensibility, both of which – even in the absence of economic exploitation or political coercion – would serve to perpetuate unfreedom.”

Bookchin also points to an accumulation of hierarchical systems throughout history that has occurred up to contemporary societies which tends to determine the human collective and individual psyche, “The objective history of the social structure becomes internalized as a subjective history of the psychic structure. Heinous as my view may be to modern Freudians, it is not the discipline of work but the discipline of rule that demands the repression of internal nature. This repression then extends outward to external nature as a mere object of rule and later of exploitation. This mentality permeates our individual psyches in a cumulative form up to the present day––not merely as capitalism but as the vast history of hierarchical society from its inception.”

people telling other people what to do.. any form of m\a\p


notes/quotes (reading 272 pf pdf from anarchist library):



environmental issues had developed in my mind as social issues, and problems of natural ecology had become problems of ‘social ecology’.. the subject was never to leave me.. by early 60s my views could be summarized in a fairly crisp formulation: the very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human.. t

again.. people telling other people what to do.. any form of m\a\p


as one premise led to another it became clear that a highly coherent project was forming in my work: the need to explain the emergence of social hierarchy and domination and *to elucidate the means, sensibility, and practice that could yield a truly harmonious ecological society..t.. my book post scarcity anarchism (1971) pioneered this vision.. composed of essays dating from 64 it addressed itself more to hierarchy than to class.. to domination rather than exploitation, to liberatory institutions rather than mere abolition of the state.. to freedom rather than justice and pleasure rather than happiness.. ‘eco anarchism’

*org around legit needs ie: a nother way

In it, Bookchin outlines the possible form anarchism might take under conditions of post-scarcity. One of Bookchin’s major works, its author’s radical thesis provoked controversy for being utopian in its faith in the liberatory potential of technology

via tech as it could be.. as a means to undo our hierarchical listening

as recently as 60s words like hierarchy and domination were rarely used.. marxists still spoke almost exclusively in terms of classes.. their concepts of oppression primarily confined to material exploitation, grinding poverty and unjust abuse of labor.. likewise.. orthodox anarchists place most of their emphasis on state as the ubiquitous source of social coercion.. society’s ‘original sin’ in marxian orthodoxy: private property.. in anarchist ortho: state..

during these years i concentrated on *how a truly free society, based on ecological principles, could mediate humanity’s relationship w nature.. as a result i began to explore the development of a new technology scaled to comprehensible human dimensions.. such a tech would include small solar and wind installations, organic gardens, and use of local ‘natural resources’ worked by decentralized communities.. this view quickly gave rise to another .. the need for direct democracy, for urban decentralization, for a high measure of self sufficiency for self empowerment based on communal forms of social life.. in short, the non authoritarian commune composed of communes

oi.. got away form *it man.. let’s do this first.. free art\ists.. and trust that

ie: bookchin art-ist law et al via deep dive


as i published these ideas over the years.. esp between 60s and 70s.. what began to trouble me was extent to which people tended to subvert their unity, coherence, and radical focus.. notions like decentralization and human scale for ie were deftly adopted w/o ref to solar and wind techniques or bio-agri practices that are their material underpinnings.. decent entered city planning as a mere stratagem for design.. alt tech became a narrow discipline increasingly confined to the academy and a new breed of technocrats.. in turn, each notion became divorced from a critical anal of society.. from a radical theory of social ecology..

it has become clear to me that it was the unity of my views.. their eco holism, not merely their individual components. that gave them a radical thrust.. that a society is decentralized.. that it uses solar/wind energy.. that it is farmed organically.. or that it reduces pollution.. none of these measures by itself or even in limited combo w others makes an eco society.. nor do piecemeal steps, however well intended.. even partially resolve problems that have reached a universal, global and catastrophic character.. if anything, partial ‘solutions’ serve merely as cosmetics to conceal the deep seated nature of the eco crisis.. they thereby deflect public attention and theoretical insight from an adequate understanding of the depth/scope of the necessary changes.. t

huge huge huge..

part\ial ness is killing/blinding us.. for (blank)’s sake

it was precisely this synthesis of ideas that i sought to achieve in the ecology of freedom.. and this synthesis had to be rooted in history.. only in this way could i hope to estab sense of genesis/continuity,.. that would give real meaning to my views.. the reconstructive utopina thinking that followed from my synthesis could then be based on the *realities of human experience.. change and reconstruction could **emerge from existing problems rather than wishful thinking and misty vagaries..

oi.. history ness is killing us.. ie: *all data non legit.. like data from whales in sea world.. so like you just mentioned.. keeping us distracted.. from the whole pic.. from legit potential/possibilities..

**emerging from existing problems is wishful/wasteful/energy-sucking thinking.. oi

to use words hierarchy, class and state interchangeably.. as many social theorists do, is insidious and obscurantist.. this practice.. in the name of a ‘classless’ or ‘libertarian’ society, could easily conceal the existence of hierarchical relationships and a hierarchical sensibility, both of which.. even in the absence of econ exploitation or political coercion.. would serve to perpetuate unfreedom.. t


and spot on to needing a means to undo our hierarchical listening


hierarchy and domination could easily continue to exist in a ‘classless’ or ‘stateless’ society.. *indeed classless but hierarchical societies exist today.. yet the people who live in them neither enjoy freedom, nor do they exercise control over their lives.. t

any form of m\a\p (but i don’t think *classless societies exist today..?)

i doubt that the word (hierarchy) can be encompassed by a form defn.. i view it historically and existentially as a complex system of command and obedience in which elites enjoy varying degrees of control over their subords w/o necessarily exploiting them.. such elites may completely lack any form of material wealth; they may even be dispossessed of it..

hier archy ness et al

hierarchy is not merely a social condition; it is also a state of consciousness.. a sensibility toward phenom at every level of personal/social experience.. early prelit societies (‘organic’ societies as i call them) existed in a family integrated and unified form based on kinship ties, age groups and sexual division of labor.. their high sense of internal unity and their egal outlook extend not only to each other but their relationship w nature.. views self not as lords of creation.. but as part of natural world.. neither above/below but w/in it

lit & num as colonialism et al

in organic societies the diff’s between individuals, age groups, sexes.. and between humanity and the natural manifold of living and nonliving phenom.. were seen as a ‘unity of diff’s’ or ‘unity of diversity’.. not as hierarchies.. their outlook was distinctly ecological, .. ecology knows no ‘king of beasts’ and no ‘lowly creature’.. (such terms come form our own hierarchical mentality)

again.. huge that we get to a means to undo our hierarchical listening.. to get us back/to ie: discrimination as equity ness et al.. and brown belonging law in an undisturbed ecosystem et al


until this phase of history/prehistory, the elders and males rarely exercised socially dominant roles because their civil sphere was simply not very important to the community.. markedly counterbalance by the enorm significance of the woman’s ‘domestic’ sphere.. household and childbearing responsibilities were much more important in early organic societies than politics and military affairs..

huge.. caring labor et al.. and whale mothers

also.. w all his history embed.. good to have dawn of everything (book) grasp of history.. ie: doe – room for happenstance‘s: The authors’ main claim, anyway, is not that early human beings were simply “more equal” or, as in the opposing myth, “more stupid and violent.” It’s that they were more everythingchristman on doe


heinous as my view may be to modern freudians… it is not the discipline of work but the discipline of rule that demands the repression of internal nature.. this repression then extends outward to external nature as a mere object of rule and later of exploitation.. this mentality permeates our individual psyches in a cumulative form up to the present day.. not merely as capitalism but as the vast history of hierarchical society form its inceptions..

people telling other people what to do.. supposed to’s of school/work et al


*unless we explore this history, which lives actively w/in us like earlier phases of our individual lives.. we will never be free of its hold.. t.. we may elim social injustice, but we will not achieve social freedom.. we may elim classes and exploitation, but we will not be spared form the trammels of hierarchy and domination.. we may exorcize the spirit of gain and accumulation form our psyches, but we will still be burdened by gnawing guilt, renunciation and a subtle belief in the ‘vices’ of sensuousness..

yeah.. i think *that is the hold.. obsessing with history ness.. it’s keeping us in sea world.. keeping us perpetuating tragedy of the non common.. i think the way to be free of any hold is to let go.. do a legit re\set.. begin again.. which we have the means for today.. we have the means for 8b people to leap.. to a nother way


happiness: satisfy needs of survival.. food, shelter, clothing and material security.. pleasure: satisfy needs of desires.. intellectual, esthetic, sensuous, playful ‘daydreams’.. the social quest for happiness, which so often seems liberating, tends to occur in ways that shrewdly devalue or repress the quest for pleasure.. t

huge distinction

this is non legit needs trumping/distracting legit needs.. perpetuating insatiation.. we need to org around legit needs via ie: oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

it is precisely in this utopistic *quest for pleasure, i believe, that humanity begins to gain its most sparkling glimpse of emancipation..t.. transcends justice into freedom.. realization of humanity’s potentialities in most creative form

and/or.. the means we can legit dance

*i’d call it non hierarchical listening

let’s do this first

if i were asked to single out the one underlying contrast that permeates this book, it is the seeming conflict between the ‘realm of necessity’ and the ‘realm of freedom’.. the material conditions for freedom.. takes us back to aristotle’s politics.. the internal nature that society must *dominate to create the material conditions for freedom.. the free time and leisure to allow man to develop his potentialities and powers..

i think if we are legit free.. the dance.. that dance.. affords us all we need.. no need to *micro manage that process

how could ‘natural’ nature be kept in tow w/o subjugating ‘human’ nature

rather.. if human nature set legit free.. natural nature is also free.. all a part of the same dance

my attempt.. to give meaning to the world of necessity (nature) in terms of the ability of the world of freedom(society) to colonize and liberate it.. my strategy is to reexamine the evolution and meaning of technology in a new ecological light.. i am led to a drastic reconsideration of the nature and structure of technics, of work, and of humanity’s metabolism w nature

org around legit needs (via tech as it could be) .. and everything else falls into place

the modern world has reduced reason to rationalization.. to a mere technique for achieving practical ends.. this book tries to recover this notion of an immanent world reason.. in my view reason exists in nature as the self organizing attributes of substance..


the title of this book, the ecology of freedom, is meant to express the reconciliation of nature and human society in a new ecological sensibility and a new ecological society.. a reharmonization of nature and humanity thru a reharmonization of human w human.. t

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh


we live so completely *immersed in our present that it absorbs all our sensibilities and hence our very capacity to think of alt social forms..t thus i will continually return to **prelit sensibilities .. to explore their contrasts w later institutions, technics and forms of thinking in hierarchical societies..

*in sea world.. hari rat park law et al

**to me.. that would be not yet scrambled ness.. but that means new ish (because of rat cage birthing) w every baby.. rather than pre lit.. as in written/printed world.. which is still scrambled/immersed.. any form of m\a\p is scrambled/immersed.. blind to legit alts..


we are virtually incapable of dealing w a vast wealth of natural phenom that were *integrally part of their lives.. the **very structure or our language conspires against an understanding of their outlook

*those in ‘primitive/savage/pre-developed’ past.. but i’d say.. they didn’t even grok then integrality of the interconnectedness.. better than us.. yeah.. but not enough.. had already been compromised

**language as control/enclosure for sure.. but again.. we were whales even before language..

i am eager to determine what can be recovered from that outlook and integrated in to our own..

don’t even need to go there.. not about finding whatever in deep past.. about finding fittingness et al.. w/in each person.. which.. is our means to leap.. since it’s already in each one of us.. don’t need to study/research history ness.. just need to listen deeper..

my detestation of a futurism so committed to the present that it cancels out futurity itself by denying anything new that is not an extrapolation of the existing society

hari rat park law et al.. we need a means to get us all out of sea world.. otherwise.. we’ll just keep perpetuating tragedy of the non common


1 – the concept of social ecology


the knowledge and physical instruments for promoting a harmonization of humanity w nature and of human w human are largely at hand or could easily be devised..t ie:.. small scale solar/wind energy devices.. efficient transportation, and energy saving shelters.. what we crucially lack is the consciousness and sensibility that will help us achieve such eminently desirable goals.. t

rather.. what we’re lacking is the grokking of legit needs.. if we org around those.. if we use tech as it could be to facil those.. all the other techs will just be part of the dance.. wind/solar et al.. secondary.. need human energies restored first..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

we cannot allow ourselves to be imprisoned w/in a mechanistic outlook and a dehumanizing tech.. with its shackles of alienation, competition, and a brute denial of humanity’s potentialities.. poetry and imagination must be integrated w science and tech .. is there a scientific discipline that allows for the indiscipline of fancy, imagination and artfulness?..t

yeah.. let’s call that science (scientific discipline is too much.. science is even too much.. words are too much.. to get at the freedom we need) .. maybe ie: cure ios city.. (org around legit needs)


we can no longer afford to remain captives to the tendency of the more traditional sciences to dissect phenom and examine their fragments.. we must combine them, relate them, and see them in their totality as well as their specificity

or rather.. let go of thinking we have to combine/relate or even to ‘see them in their totality/specificity’.. the dance doesn’t need us to see it.. just to be our part of it.. trying to combine/relate/see is still part\ial ness and that fragmentation is killing us .. keeping us in sea world.. for (blank)’s sake

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