Remaking Society : Pathways to a Green Future

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(1921 - 2006) ~ Father of Social Ecology and Anarcho-Communalism : Growing up in the era of traditional proletarian socialism, with its working-class insurrections and struggles against classical fascism, as an adult he helped start the ecology movement, embraced the feminist movement as antihierarchical, and developed his own democratic, communalist politics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "We are direly in need not only of 're-enchanting the world' and 'nature' but also of re-enchanting humanity -- of giving itself a sense of wonder over its own capacity as natural beings and a caring product of natural evolution" (From : "The Crisis in the Ecology Movement," by Murray Bo....)
• "...the extraordinary achievements of the Spanish workers and peasants in the revolution of 1936, many of which were unmatched by any previous revolution." (From : "The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Murray Book....)
• "...Proudhon here appears as a supporter of direct democracy and assembly self- management on a clearly civic level, a form of social organization well worth fighting for in an era of centralization and oligarchy." (From : "The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Murray Book....)

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This document contains 11 sections, with 88,386 words or 581,724 characters.


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Dedication For Art and Libera Bartell, who have fought for freedom all their lives. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Acknowledgments This book could not have been written without the suggestions, encouragement, and assistance of several dear friends. I owe my deepest debts to Dimitri Roussopoulos of Black Rose Books and to Rosella Di Leo and Amadeo Bertolo of Eleutheria Books who literally suggested that it be written and supervised its writing over the past two years. Abiding thanks are also due my dear friend and comrade Karl-Ludwig Schibel for our long and rich intellectual association. Important contributions to this project were also made by Janet Biehl, Beatrice Bookchin, Debby Bookchin, and Joseph Bookchin; by friends in the Burlington Greens who are much too numerous to name; and my colleagues at the Institute for Social Ecology in Plainsfield, Vermont, most particularly Dan Chodorkoff. Finally, I would like to thanks Steve Chase of South End Press for his personal interest and assistance in preparing the U.S. edition of Remaking Society for publication. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Why This Book Was Written I had long thought of writing a compact book that would dearly summarize my views on “remaking society” from an ecological view” point. It seemed to me (as it did to many of my friends) that a need existed to bring the ideas I have developed over several large books into a work of some two hundred pages; one that would not be too demanding for intelligent readers who are interested in social ecology. But what finally made me decide to write this book was a rather chilling incident. Early in June, 1987, I was privileged to be a feature speaker in a six-day National Gathering of American Greens in Amherst, Massachusetts. The event received a surprising amount of national press coverage — and rightly so. About two thousand people from at least forty-two states came to Amherst to debate the theoretical and practical problems of a Green movement in the United States. This was the biggest gathering o... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Society and Ecology The problems which many people face today in “defining” themselves, in knowing “who they are” — problems that feed a vast psychotherapy industry — are by no means personal ones. These problems exist not only for private individuals; they exist for modern society as a whole. Socially, we live in desperate uncertainty about how people relate to each other. We suffer not only as individuals from alienation and confusion over our identities and goals; our entire society, conceived as a single entity, seems unclear about its own nature and sense of direction. If earlier societies tried to foster a belief in the virtues of cooperation and care, thereby giving an ethical meaning to social life, modern society fosters a belief in the virtues of competition and egotism, thereby divesting human association of all meaning — except, perhaps, as an instrument for gain and mindless consumption. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Hierarchies, Classes, and States Up to now, I have tried to show that humanity and the human capacity to think are products of natural evolution, not “aliens” in the natural world. Indeed, every intuition tells us that human beings and their consciousness are results of an evolutionary tendency toward increasing differentiation, complexity, and subjectivity. Like most sound intuitions, this one has its basis in fact: the paleontological evidence for this tendency. The simplest unicellular fossils of the distant past and the most complex mammalian remains of recent times all testify to the reality of a remarkable biological drama. This drama is the story of a nature rendered more and more aware of itself, a nature that slowly acquires new powers of subjectivity, and one that gives rise to a remarkable primate life-form, called human beings, that have the power to choose, alter, and reconstruct their environment — and raise the moral issu... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Turning Points in History I have tried to show how far we must go and how deeply we must enter into the most everyday aspects of our lives in order to root out the notion of dominating nature. In so doing, I have tried to emphasize the extent to which the domination of human by human precedes the notion of dominating nature, indeed, even precedes the emergence of classes and the State. I have asked — and tried to answer — how hierarchies emerged, why they emerged, and the way they became increasingly differentiated into initially temporary and, later, firmly based status groups, and, finally, classes and the State. My purpose has been to let these trends unfold from their own inner logic and examine all their nuanced forms along the way. The reader has been persistently reminded that humanity and its social origins are no less a product of natural evolution than other mammals and their communities; indeed, that hum... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Ideals of Freedom I have touched upon popular attempts to resist the immersion of society into “evil,” namely, the resistance of the Spanish Comuneros and the French sans culottes to the nation-state and, less directly, of craftsmen and independent farmers to capitalism. But the drift of patricentric, urban, and economic institutions in an increasingly antihumanistic and anti-ecological direction was fought by people on a very sweeping scale and with more explosive ideas than I have indicated. Today, when we run the risk of losing all knowledge of history and, particularly, of the revolutionary tradition and utopian alternatives it offered, it is very important that we examine the libertarian movements that emerged at each of history’s turning points and the ideas of freedom they advanced. Here, we shall find a remarkable development of ideas that sought to countervail “civilization’s” imm... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Defining the Revolutionary Project The ideals of freedom, tainted as they have been, still exist in our midst. But rarely has the revolutionary project been more diluted by the “embourgeoisment” that Bakunin feared toward the end of his life. Nor have its terms been more ambiguous than they are today. Words like “radicalism” and “leftism” have become murky and they are in grave danger of being severely compromised. What passes for revolutionism, radicalism, and leftism, today, would have been dismissed a generation or two ago as reformism and political opportunism. Social thought has moved so deeply into the bowels of the present society that self-styled “leftists” — be they socialists, Marxists, or independent radicals of various kinds — risk the possibility of being digested without even knowing it. There is simply no conscious left of any significance in many Euro-American countries. Indeed,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Defining the Revolutionary Project The ideals of freedom, tainted as they have been, still exist in our midst. But rarely has the revolutionary project been more diluted by the “embourgeoisment” that Bakunin feared toward the end of his life. Nor have its terms been more ambiguous than they are today. Words like “radicalism” and “leftism” have become murky and they are in grave danger of being severely compromised. What passes for revolutionism, radicalism, and leftism, today, would have been dismissed a generation or two ago as reformism and political opportunism. Social thought has moved so deeply into the bowels of the present society that self-styled “leftists” — be they socialists, Marxists, or independent radicals of various kinds — risk the possibility of being digested without even knowing it. There is simply no conscious left of any significance in many Euro-American countries. Indeed,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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From Here to There The door that can open the way to a New Left of the future, one that embodies the experience of the thirties, sixties, and the decades that have followed them, is still swinging to and fro on its hinges. It has neither opened fully nor closed. Its swings depend partly upon the hard realities of everyday social life — namely, whether the economy is depressed or rising, the kind of political climate that exists in various parts of the world, events in the Third World as well as the First and Second, the fortunes of radical tendencies at home and abroad, and the sweeping environmental changes that confront humanity in the years that lie ahead. Ecologically, humanity is faced with major climatic changes, rising levels of pollution, and new, environmentally induced illnesses. Terrible human tragedies in the form of hunger, famine, and malnutrition are claiming millions of lives annually. An incalculable numbe... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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I have not penned this reference to viruses lightmindedly. The “unimpeachable right” of pathogenic viruses to exist is seriously discussed in David Ehrenfeld’s The Arrogance of Humanism. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 208–210. See Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology, (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1985) for a comprehensive book-length account of the views expressed by the “deep ecology” movement. Much of the language used by “deep ecologists” — such as “biocentric equality” — will be found in this work. Ibid., 225. Robert Briffault, “The Evolution of the Human Species” in The Making of Man, V.F. Calverton, ed. (New York: Modern Library, 1931), 765–766. David Ehremfeld, op.cit.,207 Dorothy Lee... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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January 02, 2021 ; 5:58:50 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

January 02, 2021 ; 5:59:23 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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