Last modified on 25 November 2014, at 04:39

Murray Bookchin

If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable.

Murray Bookchin (14 January 192130 July 2006) was an American libertarian socialist speaker and writer.

QuotesEdit

As long as hierarchy persists, as long as domination organises humanity around a system of elites, the project of dominating nature will continue to exist and inevitably lead our planet to ecological extinction.
The ecological principle of unity in diversity grades into a richly mediated social principle; hence my use of the term social ecology.
  • An anarchist society, far from being a remote ideal, has become a precondition for the practice of ecological principles.
    • Ecology and Revolutionary Thought (1965).
  • This pursuit of security in the past, this attempt to find a haven in a fixed dogma and an organizational hierarchy as substitutes for creative thought and praxis is bitter evidence of how little many revolutionaries are capable of 'revolutionizing themselves and things,' much less of revolutionizing society as a whole. The deep-rooted conservatism of the People's Labor Party 'revolutionaries' is almost painfully evident; the authoritarian leader and hierarchy replace the patriarch and the school bureaucracy; the discipline of the Movement replaces the discipline of bourgeois society; the authoritarian code of political obedience replaces the state; the credo of 'proletarian morality' replaces the mores of puritanism and the work ethic. The old substance of exploitative society reappears in new forms, draped in a red flag, decorated by portraits of Mao (or Castro or Che) and adorned with the little 'Red Book' and other sacred litanies.
    • "Listen, Marxist!" in Post Scarcity Anarchism (1971).
  • Without changing the most molecular relationships in society — notably, those between men and women, adults and children, whites and other ethnic groups, heterosexuals and gays (the list, in fact, is considerable) — society will be riddled by domination even in a socialistic 'classless' and 'non-exploitative' form. It would be infused by hierarchy even as it celebrated the dubious virtues of 'people's democracies,' 'socialism' and the 'public ownership' of 'natural resources.' And as long as hierarchy persists, as long as domination organises humanity around a system of elites, the project of dominating nature will continue to exist and inevitably lead our planet to ecological extinction.
    • Toward an Ecological Society (1980).
  • Nor do piecemeal steps however well intended, even partially resolve problems that have reached a universal, global and catastrophic character. If anything, partial 'solutions' serve merely as cosmetics to conceal the deep seated nature of the ecological crisis. They thereby deflect public attention and theoretical insight from an adequate understanding of the depth and scope of the necessary changes.
    • The Ecology of Freedom (1982).
  • If we recognise that every ecosystem can also be viewed as a food web, we can think of it as a circular, interlacing nexus of plant animal relationships (rather than a stratified pyramid with man at the apex)... Each species, be it a form of bacteria or deer, is knitted together in a network of interdependence, however indirect the links may be.
    • The Ecology of Freedom (1982).
  • If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable.
    • The Ecology of Freedom (1982) p. 107 of the 2005 reprint.
  • The ecological principle of unity in diversity grades into a richly mediated social principle; hence my use of the term social ecology.
    • What Is Social Ecology? (1984).
  • To speak of 'limits to growth' under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be 'persuaded' to limit growth than a human being can be 'persuaded' to stop breathing. Attempts to 'green' capitalism, to make it 'ecological', are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.
    • Remaking Society (1990).

External linksEdit

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