SOURCES OF INSPIRATION (& speech by Murray Bookchin)


3 key SOURCES OF INSPIRATION for this project:

1. The field studies and writings of Robert Axelrod – “THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION” and other crucial works.

2. Everything Murray Bookchin ever said or wrote… from the amazing prescient essays in “POST-SCARCITY ANARCHISM”; through his tome “THE ECOLOGY OF FREEDOM – The emergence and dissolution of hierarchy”; to his later calls for LIBERTARIAN MUNICIPALISM that so closely parallel some of our own conclusions.  His daughter recently (2015) published a collection of some of his later essays (he passed about a decade ago) titled “THE NEXT REVOLUTION”; and there is a recent biography (2015 as well) by Janet Biehl, titled “ECOLOGY OR CATASTROPHE – The Life of Murray Bookchin”.

3. INDIGENOUS COMMUNITARIAN/TRIBAL NATIONS OF EARTH throughout history… especially honoring the tenacity and wisdom of those surviving today to continue to defend and enjoy their communities, cultures and land.

 

MURRAY BOOKCHIN SPEECH (1980’s)

“My friends, the power of capitalism to destroy is unprecedented in human history. It is on a collision course with the environment, threatening our air and water, flora and fauna, the natural cycles, turning forests into deserts, soil into sand, and water into sewage. It’s pushing back the clock, undoing countless millennia of biotic evolution.

It’s not only threatening the integrity of life on earth, it’s turning us into commodities. It invades us with advertising, making us think we need things that are actually useless. It’s simplifying our social relationships, defining us as buyers and sellers. It’s turning our neighborhoods and communities over to the cash nexus, bringing them into the ever-expanding market.

Either we’re going to let the grow-or-die market economy massively destroy the planet or we will have to make sweeping reconstruction of society. If we’re going to live in harmony with the natural world, we will have to change the social world.

In earlier times society was more communal and small scale – people took responsibility for each other, and for themselves, and had the confidence to stand up for themselves. I’m not saying we should go back in time. But we can learn from some of the old ways. About interdependence, about cooperation and mutual aid.

We have to organize a movement to create an ecological society, one that’s decentralized, democratic, humane. We have to start revitalizing our communities and our neighborhoods, creating a new politics at the local level, bringing them back to life, strengthening them.

My critics will tell you that I’m a wild-eyed utopian. But I assure you everything I’m suggesting is immensely realistic. The more we try, on the basis of so-called pragmatic considerations, to change society in a small piecemeal way, the more we lose sight of the larger picture. The real pragmatic solution is the long-range one – the one that gets down to the root causes of the ecological crisis.

My friends, either we will create an ecotopia based on ecological principles, or we simply go under as a species. We have to be realistic and do the impossible – because otherwise we will have the unthinkable!”

(a composite of several speeches he made in the 1980’s – from the prologue of Janet Biehl’s biography)

 

Please send lists/links of/to your sources of activist (or otherwise) inspiration,       ty

Comments