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Murray Bookchin

(1921—2006)


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anarchism

Peter Kropotkin (1842—1921) anarchist and scientist

 

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(1921–2006)

One of the leading anarchist social philosophers of the late twentieth century and a pioneering figure in the emerging green movement. In Post‐Scarcity Anarchism (1971), Bookchin argues that capitalism has developed productive technology to a point which makes possible a transition to a society of general affluence and free time based on decentralized, self‐governing communities, a social vision akin to that of anarcho‐communists such as Kropotkin. At the same time, Bookchin argues, capitalism threatens environmental catastrophe, making it essential to effect a transition to an environmentally sustainable post‐capitalist society of this kind. Bookchin further developed his philosophy of what he came to call ‘social ecology’ in The Ecology of Freedom (1982) and in polemics with other radical thinkers. Against ‘deep green’ thinkers, Bookchin asserted the distinctive value of humanity and the importance of rationalism and scientific development (Re‐enchanting Humanity, 1984). He criticized currents of anarchist thought which he saw as privileging politically disengaged individualism above the claims of collective struggle and comprehensive social change (Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, 1995). He undertook an impressive survey of participatory democratic currents in the French, Russian, and other revolutions (The Third Revolution, four volumes, 1996–2005). His political theory is perhaps ultimately best understood as a form of radical civic republicanism which encourages local communities to take direct democratic control over the management of their social and economic needs (‘libertarian municipalism’ or ‘communalism’).

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Subjects: Politics.


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