Murray Bookchin passed away on July 30, 2006. We discuss the life and work of Murray Bookchin, Social Ecology, and the need for a new revolutionary movement with vision and hope.
Producer: Alan Minsky, Chris Burnett
"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..."
-The Last Utopian
The Visionary Life of Murray Bookchin
By BRIAN TOKAR
Chaia Heller is a writer, educator and activist working in the anti-biotechnology, anti-corporate globalization and feminist movements. As a long-time faculty member of the Institute for Social Ecology, Heller has been investigating the implications of multinationals, biotechnology, sweatshops, and new international trade apparatuses for women, people of color, farmers, and on democracy throughout the world. Her book, The Ecology of Everyday Life: Rethinking the Desire for Nature, radicalizes questions of globalization, feminism, ecology and technology. Heller holds a PhD in anthropology and teaches at Holyoke College.