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Murray Bookchin

category international | the left | press release author Friday August 11, 2006 03:50author by Ecobarrial Centro de Ecología Social Report this post to the editors


La creación de una tendencia que el llamó "comunalismo", criticada por muchos fundamentalistas "superrevolucionarios", que ni siquiera se toman la molestia de estudiarla a la luz de las experiencias actuales, constituye un camino de construcción altamente valorable y necesario, en los tiempos en que los movimientos sociales se encuentran con tan baja autoestima y grado de fuerza.

A continuación reproducimos la información directa en ingles que confirma el fallecimiento del conocido ecologista libertario norteamericano Murray Bookchin el pasado 30 de Julio en su casa de Burlington, estado de Vermont, EE.UU, afectado por problemas cardiacos.

Debido a que no existia certeza, la presente carta confirma la información proporcionada por el Social Ecology Institute.

Murray Bookchin fue un lucido teorico del ecologismo social y un reconocido activista del nuevo anarquismo, cuyo aporte fue su visión contemporanea de las ideas libertarias y su relación con la crisis planetaria, la globalización avazallante y las alternativas de autonomía y resistencia en nuestros tiempos.

Sus escritos entregan inspiración a quienes aun se atreven a cuestionar la sociedad industrial y sus relaciones de dominación, hacen vislumbrar la relación viva entre los problemas sociales y la tierra devastada, lo que nos conduce a nuevos caminos de interpretación de la lucha social.

Sobre si Bookchin es fiel o no a las ideas libertarias, esta por verse. Quienes seguimos su obra y acciones, creemos que su alejamiento de aquellos grupos radicales o anarcosindicalistas que no lograban interpretar los conflictos de nuestra época, respondió a su busqueda de una salida en la construcción revolucionaria de las comunidades que buscan un referente no autoritario y la creación aqui y ahora de experiencias autogestionarias y de apoyo mutuo, lucidas ante la situación actual del mundo.

La creación de una tendencia que el llamó "comunalismo", criticada por muchos fundamentalistas "superrevolucionarios", que ni siquiera se toman la molestia de estudiarla a la luz de las experiencias actuales, constituye un camino de construcción altamente valorable y necesario, en los tiempos en que los movimientos sociales se encuentran con tan baja autoestima y grado de fuerza.

Ecobarrial Centro de Ecología Social

San Bernardo, Chile

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
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
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
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
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
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
even the works of Marx and Lenin. During the past year, even while
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
to portend the system's demise.

Murray Bookchin was diagnosed several months ago with a fatal heart
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
correspondents throughout the world.
There will be a public memorial service in Burlington, Vermont on Sunday,
For more information, contact

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