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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  July 2006

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE July 2006

Subject:

Bookchin, visionary social theorist, dies at 85

From:

Carmelo Ruiz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 31 Jul 2006 11:34:01 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (191 lines)

--- Brian Tokar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Murray Bookchin, visionary social theorist, dies at
> 85
> 
> Murray Bookchin, the visionary social theorist 
> and activist, died during the early morning of
> Sunday, July 30th in his 
> home in Burlington, Vermont. During a prolific
> career of writing, 
> teaching and political activism that spanned half a
> century, Bookchin 
> forged a new anti-authoritarian outlook rooted in
> ecology, dialectical 
> philosophy and left libertarianism.
> 
> During the 1950s and ‘60s, Bookchin built upon the
> legacies of utopian 
> social philosophy and critical theory, challenging
> the primacy of 
> Marxism on the left and linking contemporary
> ecological and urban 
> crises to problems of capital and social hierarchy
> in general. 
> Beginning in the mid-sixties, he pioneered a new
> political and 
> philosophical synthesis—termed social ecology—that
> sought to reclaim 
> local political power, by means of direct popular
> democracy, against 
> the consolidation and increasing centralization of
> the nation state.
> 
>  From the 1960s to the present, the utopian
> dimension of Bookchin’s 
> social ecology inspired several generations of
> social and ecological 
> activists, from the pioneering urban ecology
> movements of the sixties, 
> to the 1970s’ back-to-the-land, antinuclear, and
> sustainable technology 
> movements, the beginnings of Green politics and
> organic agriculture in 
> the early 1980s, and the anti-authoritarian global
> justice movement 
> that came of age in 1999 in the streets of
> Seattle. His influence was 
> often cited by prominent political and social
> activists throughout the 
> US, Europe, South America, Turkey, Japan, and
> beyond.
> 
> Even as numerous social movements drew on his ideas,
> however, Bookchin 
> remained a relentless critic of the currents in
> those movements that he 
> found deeply disturbing, including the New Left’s
> drift toward 
> Marxism-Leninism in the late 1960s, tendencies
> toward mysticism and 
> misanthropy in the radical environmental movement,
> and the growing 
> focus on individualism and personal lifestyles among
> 1990s anarchists. 
> In the late 1990s, Bookchin broke with anarchism,
> the political 
> tradition he had been most identified with for over
> 30 years and 
> articulated a new political vision that he called
> communalism.
> 
> Bookchin was raised in a leftist family in the Bronx
> during the 1920s 
> and ‘30s. He enjoyed retelling the story of his
> expulsion from the 
> Young Communist League at age 18 for openly
> criticizing Stalin, his 
> brief flirtation with Trotskyism as a labor
> organizer in the foundries 
> of New Jersey, and his introduction to anarchism by
> veterans of the 
> immigrant labor movement during the 1950s. In 1974,
> he co-founded the 
> Institute for Social Ecology, along with Dan
> Chodorkoff, then a 
> graduate student at Vermont’s Goddard College. For
> 30 years, the 
> Institute for Social Ecology has brought thousands
> of students to 
> Vermont for intensive educational programs focusing
> on the theory and 
> praxis of social ecology. A self-educated scholar
> and public 
> intellectual, Bookchin served as a full professor at
> Ramapo College of 
> New Jersey despite his own lack of conventional
> academic credentials.He 
> published more than 20 books and many hundreds of
> articles during his 
> lifetime, many of which were translated into
> Italian, German, Spanish, 
> Japanese, Turkish and other languages.
> 
> During the 1960s - ‘80s, Bookchin emphasized his
> fundamental 
> theoretical break with Marxism, arguing that Marx’s
> central focus on 
> economics and class obscured the more profound role
> of social hierarchy 
> in the shaping of human history. His anthropological
> studies affirmed 
> the role of domination by age, gender and other
> manifestations of 
> social power as the antecedents of modern-day
> economic exploitation. In 
> The Ecology of Freedom(1982), he examined the
> parallel legacies of 
> domination and freedom in human societies, from
> prehistoric times to 
> the present, and he later published a four-volume
> work,The Third 
> Revolution, exploring anti-authoritarian currents
> throughout the 
> Western revolutionary tradition.
> 
> At the same time, he criticized the lack of
> philosophical rigor that 
> has often plagued the anarchist tradition, and drew
> theoretical 
> sustenance from dialectical philosophy—particularly
> the works of 
> Aristotle and Hegel; the Frankfurt School—of which
> he became 
> increasingly critical in later years—and even the
> works of Marx and 
> Lenin. During the past year, even while terminally
> ill in Burlington, 
> Bookchin was working toward a re-evaluation of what
> he perceived as the 
> historic failure of the 20th century left. He argued
> that Marxist 
> crisis theory failed to recognize the inherent
> flexibility and 
> malleability of capitalism, and that Marx never saw
> capitalism in its 
> true contemporary sense. Until his death, Bookchin
> asserted that only 
> the ecological problems created by modern capitalism
> were of sufficient 
> magnitude to portend the system’s demise.
> 
> Murray Bookchin was diagnosed several months ago
> with a fatal heart 
> condition. He will be remembered by his devoted
> family 
> members—including his long-time companion Janet
> Biehl, his former wife 
> Bea Bookchin, his son, daughter, son-in-law, and
> granddaughter—as well 
> as his friends, colleagues and frequent
> correspondents throughout the 
> world. There will be a public memorial service in
> Burlington, Vermont 
> on Sunday, August 13th. For more information,
> contact 
> info(at)social-ecology.org.
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------
> Brian Tokar
> Institute for Social Ecology
> P.O. Box 48
> Plainfield, VT 05667
> www.social-ecology.org
> 
> 


====== 

Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

http://carmeloruiz.blogspot.com/
http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/carmeloruiz/

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