social eco and communalism

(2006) collection of essays by murray bookchin – 56 pg – thanks anarchist library

These essays, collected for the first time, represent the final works of Murray Bookchin, co-founder of the Institute for Social Ecology and the author of dozens of articles and books.. (edited by) Eirik Eiglad is the editor of the journal Communalism.


intro (eirik eiglad)


(bookchin) dedicated his whole life to seeking rational alts to capitalist society.. to cause of social freedom.. was involved w civil rights, anti nuke and students for demo society .. home town burlington vermont.. some of his older books, post scarcity anarchism, toward an eco society and eco of freedom

post scarcity anarchism.. toward an eco society.. ecology of freedom


his social ecology.. more fully developing in eco of freedom, remaking society, the philosophy of social eco and re enchanting humanity.. the murray book chin reader by janet biehl.. excellent presentation/intro to his body of ideas.. basic promise of social eco is to re harmonize society and nature..

re enchanting humanity sounds interesting.. but can’t find in anarch library..

he saw anarchism had been infected by current trends and was a product of individualist and anti social attitudes from its ver inception.. he openly broke w anarchism at conference in vermont in 2000 .. made it clear that social eco had to be embodied in communalism.. not that anarchism didn’t provide set of sound sentiments.. but that they never made u aa coherent theoretical framework for radical social action.. bookchin urged serious libertarians to transcend anarchism.. along w marxism and other radical ideologies.. create a new body of thought based on an approach that goes beyond all traditional form os fo socialist radicalism..


bookchin claimed we have to confront and challenge all hierarchical relationships and ultimately abolish hierarchy as such from the human condition

need: means to undo our hierarchical listening.. then don’t have to spend/waste energies on confronting/challenging/abolishing.. all will just become irrelevant s

3rd essay.. role of social eco in a period of reaction.. was written 1995 when bookchin had just finished writing re enchanting humanity.. .. it makes very clear distinction between social eco and contemp trends like deep eco,.. et al


final essay.. the communalist project.. best exposition to the extent that bookchin had shaken off all the anarchist trappings that were formerly id’d w his theories of social eco.. criticized anarchism for not being able to deal w theory of power in real life politics..

thread thru all essays is drive to understand and explain the struggle for a rational society.. and to understand the necessary ideological underpinnings of a contemp radical politics..

as bookchins ask ‘humanity is too intelligent not to live in a rational society.. it remains to see whether it is intelligent enough to achieve one’

rather.. to get out of sea world .. let go of intellect ness et al


what is social ecology

in effect, the way human beings deal w each other as social beings is crucial to addressing the eco crisis.. unless we clearly recognize these, we will fail to see that the hierarchical mentality and class relationships that so thoroughly permeate society are what has give n rise to he very idea of dominating the natural world.. unless we realize that the present market society, structure around the brutally competitive imperative of grow or die is a thoroughly impersonal self operation mech.. we will falsely tend to blame other phenom.. such as tech or pop growth.. for growing environ dislocations.. we will ignore their root causes.. such as trade for profit, industrial expansion for its own sake, and the id of progress w corp self interest.. in short.. we will tend to focus on the symptoms of a grim social pathology rather than on the pathology itself.. and our efforts will be directed toward limited goals whose attainment is more cosmetic than curative


these forms of domination must be confronted y collective action and by major social movements that challenge the social sources of the eco crisis.. not simply by personalistic forms of consumption and investment that often go under the oxymoronic rubric of green capitalism.. the present highly cooptative society is only too eager to find new means of commercial aggrandizement and to add eco verbiage to its advertising and customer relations efforts

among the many defns of nature that have been formulate dover time.. the one that has most affinity w soc eco is rather elusive and difficult to grasp because understanding and articulating it requires a certain way of thinking.. one that stands at odds w what is popularly called linear thinking.. this nonlinear or organic way of thinking is developmental rather than analytical…


humans are highly intelligent.. indeed, very self conscious primates which is to say they have emerged.. not diverged.. from a long evolution of .. primate life forms.. they are a product of a significant evolutionary trend toward *intellectuality, self awareness.. will intentionality and **expressiveness.. be it in verbal or in body language

ugh.. huge part of the cancer.. *intellect ness.. **naming the colour ness et al.. need to let go.. need to get out of sea world

graeber unpredictability/surprise law

in many respects.. human traits are enlargements of non human traits.. that have been evolving over the ages.. *increasing care for the young, cooperation, the sub of mentally guided behavior for largely **instinctive behavior.. all are present more keenly in human behavior.. ***in fact.. the emergence and development of human society has been a continual process of shedding instinctive behavioral traits and of clearing a new terrain for potentially rational behavior

*rather.. maté parenting law.. graeber parent/care law.. et al.. **killing/scrambling our not yet scrambled ness.. ***oi.. the the death of us ness


owing to their naturally endowed intelligence, powers of communication, capacity for institutional org, and relative freedom from instinctive behavior.. *they refashion their environ..

oi.. *aka: perpetuate sea world.. tragedy of the non common.. et al

language as control/enclosure.. lit & num as colonialism.. et al.. need to get back/to not yet scrambled ness..


[on explaining progressions of hierarchy and domination]

so.. dawn of everything (book) helps to spot ‘history progressions as fact’.. when just one side of elefant.. but too.. elefant in sea world.. so double waste..

in absence of written language helped to confer on the elderly a high degree of status.. traditional wisdom of community.. including knowledge of traditional kinship lines that prescribed marital ties in obedience to extensive incest taboos as well as survival techniques that had to be acquired by young/mature members of group..

is he describing non hier here? but still uses word obedience.. ? and no lit so elderly kept obedience in check.. so elders not excluded because voice of exclusions..?

i’m all aflux after last chapter of toward an eco society where he bashes gorz for this kind of contradictory ness


the causes of the emergence of hierarchy are transparent enough: the infirmities of aged, increasing population numbers, natural disasters, tech changes that privileged activities of hunting over horticultural.. the growth of civil society and spread of warfare.. all served to enhance the males standing at expense of females

rather.. symptoms perpetuating it


in non hierarchical societies, certain customs guide human behavior along basically decent (conforming w standards) lines

? wtf


the point social ecology emphasizes is not that moral/spiritual persuasion and renewal are meaningless or unnecessary; they are necessary and can be educational..

oh my.. any form of m\a\p.. the death of us.. let go


power will always belong to elite and commanding strata if it is not institutionalized in face to face democracies, among people fully empowered to make decisions in new communal assemblies.. (then 24).. these judgments, in turn would be referred back for discussion, approval, modification or rejection by assembly of assemblies.. as a whole, reflecting the wishes of the fully assemble majority

oh my.. why am i reading.. re reading all these words.. taking notes.. arguing w the air?

public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

any form of democratic admin.. the death of us.. let go


unless soc eco w its naturalistic outlook, its developmental interp of natural/social phenom.. its emphasis on discipline w freedom and responsibility w imagination.. can be brought to service.. humanity may well prove to be incapable fo changing the world

oh my.. can’t change world w same song (which soc eco is – to me – being painted as)


radical politics in an era of advanced capitalism


a new alt, a political one, would have to be developed that is neither parliamentary on the one hand nor locked into direct action and countercultural activities on the other.. indeed, direct action could mesh w this new politics in the form of community assemblies oriented toward a fully participatory democracy.. into the highest form of direct action, the full empowerment of the people in determining the destiny of society

i don’t think legit free people would care for full empowerment or determining destiny.. which means we need to legit let go of any if any form of democratic admin.. any form of m\a\p


much of what we today call politics is really sate-craft structured around staffing the sate apparatus w parliamentarians, judges, Bs police, the military and the like.. a phenom replicated from summits of the state to the smallest of communities.. society in turns was the relatively private arena, the realm of familial obligation, friendship, personal self maintenance, production and reproduction.. from its first emergence.. structured around the family or oikos (con in fact once meant little more than the management of the family)..

need a diff oikos.. for legit free people

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

tribes .. rooted in bio facts of life held social communities together.. gave them a sense of internal solidarity so strong that the tribes largely excluded the strangers/outsider whose acceptability depended on canons of hospitality and the need for new members to replenish warriors when warfare became increasingly important

oi.. to nika quoting david here..

m of care – mar 17:

via nika dubrovsky fb share next day:

Simona at the 29th minute says: “war is a very special process related to the constructing of an enemy, with a “forbidden metamorphism” or, as David Greber would say, is an opportunity to rethink oneself. War is when you cannot stop being “Italian” or “Russian” when the natural process of internal pluralism stops. “

david on war.. marsh label law et al

so barriers drop so we can keep fighting


their parochial, even patriarchal attributes should not be permitted to overshadow their universal humanistic attributes

not universal humanistic universal attributes if any form of m\a\p.. rather whale attributes.. so they don’t overshadow.. they kill

to one degree or another in this public domain a radically new arena.. a political one.. emerged.. based on limited but often participatory forms of democracy and a new concept of civic persona hood, the citizen

same song.. not radical.. (aka: not deep enough).. not new.. not legit diff..

politics means management of community by its members/citizens.. politics also meant recognition of civic rights fro strangers or outsiders .. a new respect for the individual.. a growing regard for rational canons of behavior over unthinking imperatives of custom..

same song


to be a political person.. it was supposed, required certain material preconditions.. a modicum of free time needed to participate in political affairs.. leisure that was probably supplied by slave labor.. even more important than leisure time was need for personal training or character formation.. which inculcated the reasoned restraint by which citizens maintained the decorum needed to keep an assembly of the people viable.. an ideal of public service was necessary to outweigh narrow egotistic impulses and to develop the idea of a general interest.. this was achieved be establishing a complex network fo relationships ranging form loyal friendship.. greek notion of philia.. to shared experiences in civic festivals and military service

oi.. oi.. oi..

non resonance w phyle ness (too much m\a\p ness)


hence the enormous need for genuinely political grassroots movements.. united confederally.. anchored in abiding and democratic institutions that can be evolved into truly libertarian ones.. life would indeed be marvelous.. if not miraculous.. if we were born w all the training, lit, skills and mental equipment we need to practice a profession or vocation.. alas.. we must go through the toil of acquiring these abilities.. a toil that requires struggle, confrontation, ed, and development..

oi.. so many red flags.. no train et al.. contradictions (gorz style).. oi

supposed to’s of school/work.. the death of us


role of social eco in a period of reaction


until social forces emerge that can provide a voice for basic social change rather than spiritual redemption, social ecology must take upon itself the task of preserving and extending the great traditions from which it has emerged

? .. not freedom.. not legit change..


the communalist project

whether the 21st cent will be most radical of all times or most reactionary.. or will simply lapse into a gray ear of dismal mediocrity.. will depend overwhelmingly upon the kind of social moment and program that social radicals create out of the theoretical, organizational, and political wealth that has accumulated during past 2 centuries of the revolutionary era

we also live in an era when human creativity, tech and imagination have the *capability to produce extraordinary material achievements and to endow us w societies that allow for degree of freedom that far and away exceed the most dramatic and emancipatory visions projected but social theorists.. such as simon, fourier, marx, and kropotkin.. many thinkers of the post modern age have obtusely singled out science and tech as the principal threats to human well being.. yet few disciplines have imparted to humanity such a stupendous knowledge of the innermost secrets of **matter and life, or provided our species better w the ability to alter every important feature of **reality and to improve the well being of human and hon human life forms..

*mufleh humanity law et al

**rather of sea world

we are thus in a position either to follow a path toward a grim end of history.. or to move onto a path toward the true making of history in which humanity genuinely progresses toward a rational world..

that’s the whalespeak ness of spinach or rock ness


yet our decision to create a better society and our choice of the way to do it *must come from w/in ourselves.. w/o the aid of a deity, still less a mystical force of nature or a charismatic leader.. if we choose road toward better future.. our choice **must be the consequence of our ability and ours alone.. to learn form the material lessons of the past and to appreciate the real prospects of the future..

*itch-in-the-soul.. imagine if we

**learn from sea world?.. or depend on and trust itch-in-the-soul..?


anarchism has often been confused w revolutionary syndicalism, a highly structured and well developed mass form of libertarian trade unionism that.. unlike anarchism.. was long committed to democratic procedures.. to discipline in action and to org’d.. long range revolutionary practice to eliminate capitalism.. endnote: kroptokin for ie.. rejected democratic decision making procedures: ‘majority rule is as defective as any other kind of rule’.. he asserted..

public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. any form of m\a\p.. the death of us ness


revolutionary syndicalism’s destiny has been tied in varying degrees to a pathology called workerism..

where takes a lot of work ness comes to play.. in having to have all the mtgs et al.. to get nowhere

rev syndic lacks a strategy for social change beyond the general strike.. *stirring but ultimately ineffectual.. their limitations are striking evidence that as episodic forms of direction action .. general strikes are not equitable w revolution nor even w profound social changes.. which presuppose a mass movement and **require years of gestation and a clear sense of direction..

*irrelevant distraction

**let go

let’s leap.. for (blank)’s sake


social eco is an eco not of hunger and material deprivation but of plenty; it seeks the creation of a rational society in which waste, indeed excess, will be controlled by a new system of values; and when or if shortages arise as a result of irrational behavior, popular assemblies will establish rational standards of consumption by democratic processes.. in short, social eco favors management, plans and regulations formulated democratically by popular assemblies, not freewheeling forms of behavior that have their origin in individual eccentricities

oh my.. full circle man.. you’re gorz ing yourself


municipal life should become a school for the formation of citizens both by absorbing new citizens and by educating the young, while the assemblies themselves should function not only as permanent decision making intuitions but as arenas for educating the people in handling complex civic and regional affairs.. in a communalist way of life, convention econ w its focus on prices and scarce resource would be replaced by ethics.. w its concern for human needs and the good life.. human solidarity or philia .. would replace material gain and egotism..

oi.. gorz et al


anarch contrast.. (not free form) but legislatively potent neighborhood assemblies.. then confederate into leagues.. decision making by majority voting.. anarchists’ consensus vs communalism voting.. less life collapse into sheer chaos.. the need for org and ed.. how achieve rational society.. requires substantially more though/work than embracing a mystified concept of aboriginal innocence and bliss..

oi oi oi ouch


a communalist society should rest above all on efforts of a new radical org to change the world.. one that has a new political vocab to explain its goals.. a new program and theoretical framework to make those goals coherent.. above all require dedicated individuals willing to take responsibilities of ed and leadership.. a libertarian municipalist movement should function not w the adherence of flippant an tentative members but w people who have been schooled in the movements ideas procedures and activities.. they should demo a serious commitment to their org.. an org whose structure is laid out explicitly in a formal constitution and appropriate bylaws.. said a very wise man more than a century and a half ago: ‘men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please’

oi.. not new.. same song.. fear of freedom/play/chaos circled you right back around.. never let go enough to see.. whimsy smashing et al.. oi.. all the red flags.. socrates supposed to law et al


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people


significantly.. communalists do not hesitate to run candidates in municipal elections who if elected would use what real power their offices confer to legislate popular assemblies into existence.. what is clear is that human beings are much too intelligent not to have a rational society; the most serious question we face is whether they are rational enough to achieve one

sounds like.. make a lot of money so can give to charity.. help the poor be like me.. sounds like nathan and ernie and nikhil.. so many red flags.. any form of any form of m\a\p.. killing us


after murray bookchin – eirik eiglad (2006)

bookchin was enthusiastic about this specific collection of essays.. and thought they rep’d the most recent and in many ways clearest expression of his ideological stance..