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EDITOR: Murray Bookchin Vol. 1, No. 4 Price: 80 cents To conceal real crises by creating specious ones is an old political trick, but the past year has seen it triumph with an almost classic example of text-book success. The so-called "Iranian Crisis" and Russia's heavy-handed invasion of its Afghan satellite have completely deflected public attention from the deeper waters of American domestic and foreign policy. One would have to be blind not to see that the seizure of the American embassy in Teheran by a ragtail group of Maoist students spared both Khomeini and Carter a sharp decline in domestic popularity. The students, whoever they may be, functioned like a deus ex machina in promoting the political interests of the Iranian Ayatollah a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. It appeared originally in The Progressive, August 1989, pp. 19-23. DEATH OF A SMALL PLANET It's growth that's killing us BY MURRAY BOOKCHIN We tend to think of environmental catastrophes -such as the recent Exxon Valdez oil-spill disaster in the Bay of Alaska-as "accidents": isolated phenomena that erupt without notice or warning. But when does the word accident become inappropriate? When are such occurrences inevitable rather than accidental? And when does a consistent pattern of inevitable disasters point to a deep-seated crisis that is not only environmental but profoundly social? President Bush was content to blame the spill of more than ten million gallons of c... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. Ecology and Revolutionary Thought by Lewis Herber (pseudonym for Murray Bookchin) [Originally published in Bookchin’s newsletter Comment in 1964 and republished in the British monthly Anarchy in 1965.] In almost every period since the Renaissance, the development of revolutionary thought has been heavily influenced by a branch of science, often in conjunction with a school of philosophy. Astronomy in the time of Copernicus and Galileo helped to guide a sweeping movement of ideas from the medieval world, riddled by superstition, into one pervaded by a critical rationalism, openly naturalistic and humanistic in outlook. During the Enlightenment—the era that culminated i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We have been speaking of the spontaneous action of human energy as a great fact, which it is foolish and dangerous to overlook or ignore. But there are two ways of accepting the existence of a fact. We may rejoice in it and welcome it as a good, or find it distasteful and repel it as an evil. We may use our conscious exercise of will to give it free play, or we may set ourselves to counteract or evade its action. How do we look upon the spontaneous upleaping of energy in man whether it take shape in thought, feeling, or action, The common answer now-a days is, It is good or evil according to the circumstances like the manifestation of energy in fire, which we say is a good servant but a bad master. Au answer characteristic of our epoch of t... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


The producer has an acknowledged claim on the produce, we have said: A claim rendered confused and vague by the wage system and by the property law of to-day, but still generally recognized among civilized men as having theoretically some justice in it. Why? To discover we must make a careful analysis of the relation between producer and produce. It is a relationship not quite so simple as may appear at the first glance to those who have been accustomed to take it for granted without thinking much about it. As there is no question which leads us more directly to the root of the Anarchist position, we propose to dwell upon it at some length. When a man claims a thing on the ground that he is its producer, be certainly does not mean that be h... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

A Comedy in Four ActsLEONÍD FYÓDORITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. A retired Lieutenant of the Horse Guards. Owner of more than 60,000 acres of land in various provinces. A fresh-looking, bland, agreeable gentleman of 60. Believes in Spiritualism, and likes to astonish people with his wonderful stories. ANNA PÁVLOVNA ZVEZDÍNTSEVA. Wife of Leoníd. Stout; pretends to be young; quite taken up with the conventionalities of life; despises her husband, and blindly believes in her doctor. Very irritable. BETSY. Their daughter. A young woman of 20, fast, tries to be mannish, wears a pince-nez, flirts and giggles. Speaks very quickly and distinctly. VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. Their son, aged 25; has studied law, but has no definite occupation. Member of the Cycling Club, Jockey Club, and of the Society for Promoting the Breeding of Hounds. Enjoys perfect health, and has imperturbable self-assurance. Speaks loud...


The Impulse to Power introduction to the book "Power" by Bertrand Russell. Between man and other animals there are various differences, some intellectual, some emotional. One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of- animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction. The boa constrictor, when he has had his meal, sleeps until appetite revives; if other animals do not do likewise, it is because their meals are less adequate or because they fear enemies. The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative. With men, the matter is different. A large proportion of the human ... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)

Chapter 1: An Ecological Society Introduction Bookchin’s interest in ecology arose primarily from his boyhood curiosity about natural phenomena, from his studies of biology in high school. and from his love of green spaces in the environs of his native New York City, as well as from his dismay at their diminution with the buildup of urban streets and buildings. Yet another source of inspiration for his thinking about ecology were the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In scattered passages the two progenitors of Marxian socialism had alluded provocatively to a conflicted relationship between town and country. “The greatest division of material and mental labor,” they wrote, “is the separation of town and country. The antagonism between town and country begins with the transition from barbarism to civilization, from tribe to State, from locality to nation, and runs through the whole history of civilization to the pres...


Fifty years more of dust-licking before an out-worn, meaningless superstition, and we are to make our continued want of energy and common sense an occasion of national rejoicing! National self-abasement for our folly would be more to the point. What possible meaning has all this cant about loyalty to the poor old German, who for fifty years has allowed herself to wear the cap and bells as Queen of England? Truly our civilization, from the British Constitution to the women's dress improvers, has grown into such monstrous shapes that it is hard to discover its relation to the reason of mankind. When the sovereign of England was a great military leader, like the First and Third Edwards, or the center of a national idea like Elizabeth, there wa... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


When Professor Huxley introduced, twenty-three years ago, the name and the subject of Physiography, his intentions were certainly excellent. Natural sciences were almost entirely excluded at that time from the schools. The teaching of geography stood very low: political geography, so-called, was a mere collection of names, and an entirely subordinate subject; and physical geography was a collection of information, too abstract, too incoherent, too wide, and too superficial at the same time, to be of any use in education. Under the name of Physiography natural sciences were, so to say, smuggled into the schools. And by showing how the study of Nature may be approached, and methods of scientific observation may be rendered familiar by examini... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM Our Changed Environment Life in the United States has changed so radically over the past one hundred years that the most wearisome historians tend to become rhapsodic when they describe the new advances that have been made in technology, science, and medicine. We are usually told that early in the last century most Americans lived heroic but narrow lives, eking out a material existence that was insecure and controlled by seasonal changes, drought, and the natural fertility of the soil. Daily work chores were extremely arduous; knowledge, beleaguered by superstition, was relatively crude. Historians with an interest in science often point out that medical remedies were primitive, if not useless; they may have sufficed to relieve the symptoms of common diseases, but they seldom effected a cure. Life was hard and precarious, afflicted by many tragedies that can easil...


I. We seek understanding of facts for guidance in action, for avoidance of mistake and suffering, and even for resignation to the inevitable. This statement may cover the chief aims of mankind in intellectual discussion, ignoring now that which is merely a scholastic exercise. I am not in favor of argument in the style of the debating tarnished by a practice of which easily generates an evil habit, and there are, at least as yet, too many occasion in real life on which every person who loves to tell the truth and expose falsehood must consider time and circumstance lest he impale himself upon implacable prejudices. Consequently if duplicity have its uses there need be no fear that it will not be cultivated without concerted efforts thereto ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


"If there's a Government then I'm agin' it!" We are emphatically of the opinion of that oft quoted Irishman. We are opposed to all centralized administration whether of labor or of affairs. We are in revolt against all domination whether of majority or minority. Of course, therefore, we protest, as against means not in accordance with our ends, against every attempt of the popular party to liberate the people by making use of the machinery of Government. All this is true of us Anarchists; is it the whole truth? Is this negative policy of perpetual protest essentially Anarchism? Active protest against evil is certainly better than dull submission to it; but he who whilst protesting against a wrong can point to no right capable of attainment,... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Lewis Herber [Murray Bookchin] Note: This is the final part of a two-part article on the technological bases of freedom. The first part (Anarchos n. 2) examined the technological limitations of the previous century and their influence on revolutionary theory. An economy anchored technologically in scarcity, it was shown, circumscribed the range of social ideas and tended to subvert revolutionary concepts of freedom. These limitations were compared with the potentialities of technology today -- the substitution of invention by design, the open end in technological development, the emergence of cybernetic devices, the prospect of reducing toil to a near vanishing point. The article examined the possibility of making qualitative changes in the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Twilight Comes Early by Murray Bookchin The twilight comes early, as it should in the autumn of the seasons and in the autumn of life. Every part of my body announces the eternity that must soon follow --- the growing pain that fatal diseases colonize my body, the failure of my organs, the loss of energy, the desire for death. Even society seems to be dying, to desert me, to bid its farewell. To those who are near to death, this is as it should be. To those who are still young, I feel nothing but sorrow. How sad that my children should be faced with a full lifetime of sterility and fear. Three days have passed since Bush was reelected. History threatens to roll back an epoch! What held my life together was socialism. Whether a society w... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Century Magazine, July 1929, Vol. 118, No. 3, Pgs. 311-315 The Twilight Of Science Is The Universe Running Down Bertrand Russell It is a curious fact that just when the man in the street has begun to believe thoroughly in science, the man in the laboratory has begun to lose his faith. When I was young, no physicist entertained the slightest doubt that the laws of physics give us real information about the motions of bodies, and that the physical world does really consist of the sort of entities that appear in the physicist's equations. The philosophers, it is true, throw doubt upon this view, and have done so ever since the time of Berkeley; but since their criticism never attached itself to any point in the detailed procedure of scienc... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We have all been so drilled from our youth up in the prejudices of property and authority that even the workers, for whom property and authority have done so little, are not free from superstitious belief in their necessity. Especially we are all too much inclined to believe that mere confusion must follow on a popular revolt, unless some central or local authority be immediately set up to control social life and reorganize the people. During the Commune of 1871, the newly-elected Municipal Government was too deeply engaged by the enemy at the gates to make many attempts at social reconstruction. Was the city, in which so much of the old order had been overthrown, given up to disorder or to merely aimless individual effort 7 Did its social ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


The word work, like "the word honesty, has obtained a quite peculiar meaning under the capitalist system of production. It is used indiscriminately for every sort of human labor. Yet how can any labor differ more widely than the slavery of a tram conductor from the free and useful work of the village blacksmith in Longfellow's poem- "Toiling,-rejoicing,-sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begun, Each evening sees its close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose." Work in the true sense means neither enforced and slavish toil nor the purposeless efforts of the man who plays with some occupation for mere amusement. At present much well-meaning and honest labor is pure waste, for it pr... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


A FIRST IMPRESSION. Sheffield is one of the most beautifully situated and one of the most hideously built towns in England. Grimy rows of squalid houses, broken by dirty yards and courts and noisy factories, the whole over-hung with a perpetual cloud of brown-black smoke, raining a shower of soot; that is one's first impression of Sheffield. On a nearer view, the life of the inmates of these houses, the workers in these factories, appears a, dark and ugly as their surroundings. In the hardware trade the struggle of the big and little industries still continues. One sees the small manufacturer, who rents a workshop or a place in a grinder's "hull," with its machine-tools and its steam-power, and there works with his own hands, assisted perha... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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